You are about to vacate your rented property and are probably wondering if you can safely and legally move out during the lockdown? 

The short answer is yes – you can complete a house move by following the UK government’s guidelines for safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. Keep reading to learn more about what they are and how Fantastic Services can be of any help to you.

Can you move house during the lockdown?

Here is the official statement by the UK government regarding moving house during the COVID-19 outbreak:

“People are free to move home, however, the process of finding and moving into a new home is likely to be different, as those involved in the process will need to adopt practices and procedures to ensure that the risk of spread of coronavirus is reduced as far as possible. It is vital that everyone stays alert and safe.”

Until May 13, moving house was allowed only in extreme cases when tenants were legally obliged to leave their property and they had no other option but to move out. All other moving jobs were to be postponed or cancelled according to the safety guidelines, issued by the UK government.

After May 13, property viewings and moving jobs can be completed under less strict conditions and operation of removals service providers is much easier now. However, social distancing remains necessary, as well as other measures for health safety. 

May 13 update following the re-start housing plan

Robert Jenrick, the housing secretary in the UK, published new guidance on May 13, according to which everyone in England can move house if they follow the new strict guidelines.

You can find the complete updated guidelines here. We recommend that you read all of the information so you can have a smooth and problem-free moving process.

Some of the major changes to the property moves and purchases are the following:

  • Property viewings should be done virtually whenever this is possible.
  • Physical property viewing is limited only to members from the same household
  • If children are present at property viewings, parents should keep them away from surfaces. You should also bring sanitisers with you and wash your hands regularly.
  • Anyone involved in the moving process should follow the social distancing advice published by the UK government.
  • When moving from a property, packing should be done by the citizens whenever possible. In case you don’t have the option to do so, moving companies may assist with this process but you should inform them about it in advance.
  • Clean all of your belongings prior to the move, following the public health guidelines.
  • Ensure access to handwashing facilities for all people involved in the moving process. It’s best to use paper towels on these premises and to ensure their proper disposal after usage.
  • Moving companies should implement a “buddy system” that ensures all heavy items are moved by the same people at any step of the moving process.

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What else changes after the housing plan introduction?

  • The social distancing advice remains active but UK citizens can now freely engage with the housing market.
  • Estate agents can now work in their offices. Property viewing is allowed and removal companies are allowed to work without the previous restrictions.
  • Extended working hours on construction sites are now allowed.
  • A list of safe working practises has been launched by the collaborative effort of the UK government and the Home Builders Federation.

Additional series of measures have been introduced by the Housing Secretary that affect the house building industry heavily:

  • Work hours for builders are now much more flexible so they can deal with transportation to work easier.
  • Planning applications to be uploaded on social media for more public visibility.

Read the whole housing plan, introduced by the Housing Secretary on May 13.

What companies work during the pandemic? Has anything changed in the work process?

There are strict government guidelines that companies now need to follow when completing removals jobs to ensure the safety of all parties involved in the process of relocation.

These are the most important points of the official guidelines issued on 26 March 2020 that need to be followed during the moving process:

  • If the moving date cannot be changed, the company should honour its commitment to the client and complete the service at the previously arranged time and date.
  • All movers can do their job as long as none of them has any symptoms of COVID-19. Clients should also be 100% free of symptoms for the safety of the removals team.
  • Everyone present at the properties during the removal job should maintain a 2-metre distance from each other.
  • Regular hand washing is also highly advised. A minimum of 20 seconds should be invested in the process to properly remove all microorganisms from the tissue.

How Is Fantastic Services operating during the lockdown?

Everyone at Fantastic Services takes the COVID-19 pandemic and the following lockdown very seriously. Thus, we have created a specific approach we take during these hard times of insecurity, fear and restrictions:

  • We do daily checks on all technicians who perform onsite visits. We make 100% sure none has coronavirus symptoms;
  • There are travel restrictions for all professionals;
  • Each technician comes equipped with all of the required PPE (mask, gloves and goggles)
  • During service completion, all professionals are instructed to open the windows for better ventilation;
  • We launched a new service – Antiviral Sanitisation – which can be ordered separately or in a package with other services.

See all information about our COVID-19 approach and get fully informed about the changes we’ve implemented.

What Fantastic Services can help you with

You can take advantage of any of our moving services, including:

There are a couple of things you can do to ensure the removal service you are getting is safe for everyone involved. First, deep clean your property, then disinfect the items you need packed. Make sure you wear protective clothing during these activities and/or if you will be present at the address.

Image source: Shutterstock / Yuganov Konstantin

  • Last update: May 14, 2020

Posted in Life Under Lockdown, Moving and Packing Tips

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