Viewings banned, moves halted, no on-site surveys – Wales lockdown

20 October 2020 | Renting

The Welsh government has given details of the rentals and sales house moving process during the 16 day lockdown beginning 6pm on Friday October 23.

The lockdown ends on November 9 so in the intervening period the housing market is severely restricted.

All non-essential retail premises are expected to be shut; in the UK-wide spring lockdown this meant most lettings agencies shut, although were at times accessed by staff for essential purposes such as obtaining keys.

The lockdown will not affect a landlord’s obligations in relation to urgent repairs and maintenance, but discretion and common sense should be exercised for non-essential works says the Welsh Government.

The Cardiff administration has set out its instructions for the lockdown in the form of four Frequently Asked Questions. 

These are:

Can I move home?

Yes, if you can’t delay the moving date until after the short lockdown period is over. Associated activities, for example, removals processes, property preparation, handover of keys, surveys and valuations can also take place in line with guidance on working in other people’s homes.

Can home viewings take place? 

No. Property viewings cannot take place during the circuit breaker period and high street estate agencies are required to close. Virtual viewings can continue.

Can a mortgage survey be done at my property?

Surveyors should not enter occupied properties during the lockdown period. Vacant properties can be entered and street level surveys can take place.

Can I travel to and from my second home during the lockdown?

No. Travel in Wales without a reasonable excuse during the circuit breaker lockdown period is an offence. Travelling into, out of or within Wales to visit, check/inspect or stay in a second home is not a reasonable excuse.

The lockdown will come into force at 6pm on Friday after which everyone in Wales will be required to stay at home – this means working from home wherever possible.

There will be no gatherings of people you do not live with either indoors or outdoors during the two-week period. There will continue to be an exception for adults and single parents who live alone who can form an extended household with one other household.

The Welsh Government has created an extra Economic Resilience Fund of almost £300m and every business covered by the small business rate relief will get a £1,000 payment while SME retail, leisure, hospitality and tourism businesses will receive a one-off payment of up to £5,000. 

Funds will open in the first week of the lockdown. 

All businesses required to close will also be able to access the support available through the UK government.

This post has originally been featured in Letting Agent Today.