Moving House – Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Guidance on Moving Home Safely
This guidance was aligned to the Government advice on home moving during the COVID-19 pandemic. As restrictions are removed not all of these will apply.
Of course, no guidance can cover every scenario, so please take a common sense approach to moving home during this time.
For those who are vulnerable or shielding please seek medical advice on whether you should consider moving house.
- Please try to minimise any physical meetings
- Use your phone, email or online video links whenever possible
- Most companies are able to verify your indentity electronically
- Contracts may still need to be signed and some legal documents also need to be witnessed
- Maintain social distancing (2m)
- Don't share pens
- Wash you hands before and after to minimise any risk
Where possible property professionals will:
- Use their own transport
- Use gloves or a paper towel when refueling their vehicle
- Use hand sanitiser before and after any visit
- Maintain social distancing
- Use knuckles rather than finger tips when touching light fittings or any other contact points
- Declare COVID-19 symptoms and adhere to Government guidance
- Consider whether anyone in the property is in a high-risk category
- Minimise the time spent in your property
- Ideally, you want to have no more than 1 professional and 2 adults visiting your property
- If possible, avoid small children visiting your home.
- If they have to come then ensure that the professional hosting the viewing asks them not to touch anything.
- Limit any viewing to members of the same household.
- If a couple currently live apart then they will need to arrange separate viewings.
- Try to arrange to leave your property during the viewing e.g. go for a walk.
- Always adhere to social distancing.
- Avoid appointments during peak commuter times e.g. rush hour.
- Bear in mind that some visits e.g. energy performance, property surveys and removal company assessments may take more time to complete than a viewing.
- Where possible, anyone coming to assess your home or property will contact you to ask for more details to try to minimise any time spent there.
- When handing over the keys to your property to nay professional please ensure that they have been properly sanatised.
A property professional should check if:
- Anyone in the property has had COVID.
- Someone living in the property has displayed any COVID symptoms and not completed the required period of self-isolation.
- You or anyone in the property has any COVID symptoms.
- There is anyone in the property who is in a high-risk category e.g. has an underlying health issue, is over 70 years of age.
They should also confirm that they and anyone who is going to be viewing the property is not symptomatic.
You can minimise the risk when preparing your property for a viewing by:
- Keeping all windows and internal doors open, wherever possible.
- Wiping down door handles, handrails, lift controls or any other touch points.
- Opening any loft hatches and setting up a loft ladder (if applicable).
- Turning the room lights on.
- If possible, leave the property during the viewing or visit.
- If it is not possible to do so then:
- Try to remain in one room.
- Aim to have only one adult present.
- Social distance at all times.
- Wash your hands before and after someone has visited.
- Do not shake hands.
- If it is not possible to do so then:
- Try to ensure that pets and children are not in the property.
- If this is not possible then, stay in one room and move when required.
- Restrict access to toilets and washing facilities unless the property professional is there for an extended period. If used, disinfect after use.
- Sanitise any house keys before being passed to a property professional and again once they are returned.
- Clean door handles and any other touch points before and after each visit.
- Some more vulnerable visitors may request anyone present to wear non-surgical face masks.
If you are viewing a property:
- Before arranging a physical viewing of a property, consider viewing it virtually to minimise the number of viewing or visits you need to make.
- Viewings should ideally take place outisde of peak commuting times e.g. rush hour.
- Avoid using public transport.
- Estate agents will be aiming to arrive 10 minutes before any viewing is due to start.
- Please try to be on time.
- If you are running late then advise the agent as soon as possible.
- Viewers are asked to wash their hands prior to entering and upon leaving the property.
- It is recommended that only one professional and up to two adults attend any viewings.
- Where viewers need to be accompanied by small children they should be kept from touching any surfaces.
- Physical viewings should be limited to members of the same household.
- If a couple wish to view but are currenlty living in separate households, they should book separate viewings.
- Ideally the estate agent will show you around the property. if this is not possible, please adhere to the 2m social distancing.
- Avoid touching any surfaces. if you have them use gloves and disinfectant wipes.
- Some vulnerable visitors and occupants may ask people present to wear non-surgical face masks.
- Any feedback relating to the property should be discussed outside or on the phone after the visit.
You may need to be more patient than normal as it may take longer to secure viewings during this period. Many companies will still have furloughed staff and may be having to cover more accompanied visits than normal.
All the measures listed are to try and keep everyone as safe as possible.
A lot of the stress of moving day can be reduced dramatically by preparing as much as possible beforehand.
- Boxes and packing equipment will be available via your removal company or online suppliers.
- Always check what is included in the overall cost.
- The packing services offered by removal companies will be very limited for the time being.
- Other breakables
- Pack as much as possible yourself wherever possible.
- If you can do this over a number of weeks or days to minimise injuring yourself.
- Start with the things that you rarely use or need to access.
- Clearly label all boxes and containers.
- What is in the box?
- What room will it need to be taken to in the new property?
- Clean any belongings that will be handled by others e.g. white goods.
- Co-ordinate your move with anybody living in the property so they have time to move out before the removal company arrives.
- Try to have everything packed and ready by the night before you move.
- Check if there is an agreed time for the property that you are moving to to become vacant.
- If it is possible, allow 72 hours between a householder moving out and a new one moving in.
- This may be easier to organise where one or more party is renting.
- If you need to transfer any money to us please check any limits with your bank or building society well ahead of time.
- Try to avoid visiting your bank or building society in person.
- If possible arrange any transfers via your online banking.
- Be alert to fraud:
- Don't share your account details via email.
- Remember email communications are not secure.
- Always contact us if you receive an email stating we have changed our account details.
- Don't announce your move on social media.
- A deep-clean is recommended when moving in or out or a property.
- It is highly recommended that you discuss with us whether you need to do a deep-clean on your home once it has been emptied.
- You will also need to check whether the property you are moving to has been subject to a deep-clean.
If you are vulnerable or shielding during this time then please seek medical advice on whether you should be moving house.
"All parties involved in home buying and selling should prioritise agreeing amicable arrangements to change move dates for individuals in this group, or whre someone in a chain is in this group."
For further advice go to:
On moving day and before the removal company arrives:
- If possible, leave the property while the removal team are working.
- Stay outside or
- Limit yourself to one room
- Always observe the 2m social distancing measures.
- It may not be possible for the removal team to stay 2m apart from each other.
- If you have access to disposable gloves, sanitsing gels and non-surgical masks then use them.
- Clean down hard surfaces with warm soapy water. Then, disinfect these surfaces with household disinfectant.
- Wipe sdown door handles, handrails, lift controls and any other touch points with household disinfectant.
- Check that the disinfectant won't damage any of the surfaces mentioned.
- Clean and wash toilet facilities as above.
- Keep windows open to allow for ventililation around the property.
- Have one designated bathroom, if you can, for the removal team to use.
- Place soap and hand sanitiser within easy reach.
- Open any loft hatches (if applicable) and set up loft ladders.
- Try to ensure that pets and children are not in the property or are kepr in the same room as you.
- Wash your hand regularly, use paper towels to dry them and/or your own hand sanitiser.