With all the uncertainty and rule changes that go hand in hand with Coronavirus, you may be wondering if you’re even allowed to move and how that could even happen if you can. Read on to find out the answer to your question: How Will the New COVID Rules Affect Me Moving House?
Am I Allowed To Move House During Covid?
In a word, yes. There has been no official ruling to say that nobody can move home, infact with the introduction of the Stamp Duty Holiday, the government are encouraging it. This may seem strange with the guidelines stating that only certain amounts of people can be in the same property or outside. There are ways to navigate around the rules to enable you to move from your old home to your new, whilst still following the guidelines.
What Are The Rules For Moving House During Lock Down?
The initial searching for properties will be very different from before, with many initial viewings being carried out virtually wherever possible. When you are visiting the estate agents office or viewing a property, you should wear the approved facial covering and ensure you carry hand sanitizer with you to use as often as possible. This is of course unless you are in the list of those exempt from wearing a face covering.
Whilst a virtual appointment can enable a generic viewing, if there is a property that takes your interest, you’ll still need to visit in order to take measurements. When physically viewing the property, ensure that no more than 2 households are inside the property at any one time. This includes the agent accompanying you.
If you are buyers from separate households looking to purchase together, it is advised that one person should view the property at a time. These appointments should be arranged by appointment only, and no “open houses” should take place. You should avoid where possible, touching any surfaces and must wash and/or sanitize your hands as often as you can. Ideally attend without children. If you must be accompanied by small children, ensure they do not touch surfaces and wash their hands regularly.
If you are selling your house, open all internal doors so that people need to touch them minimally, and disinfect the handles after each viewing. It is also recommended that you vacate your property when there are others viewing your property to minimise unnecessary contact.
Do I Have To Move My Own Belongings When Moving Due To Social Distancing?
How will the new Covid rules affect me moving house and moving my belongings? One of the current rules during COVID is social distancing. You must keep 2 metres apart from people you do not live with.
Removal companies like many other businesses, are still open for business and able to carry out moves as needed. However, their normal procedures may differ to make sure the safest possible move will take place not only for themselves, but for you also.
Whilst removal companies are open and available to move your belongings, it is advised that you as a household should pack as much as possible yourself. This minimises the contact of your belongings with people outside of your household, which in turn minimises the spread of the virus.
Removal firms will be able to provide advice for packing items such as fragile belongings, and should be able to provide you with the necessary materials if needed.
Ensure your personal possessions are cleaned with standard cleaning products before they are handled by your removal firm. Open all internal doors where possible and remain a distance from 2 metres from members outside of your household. Make sure you wash and/or sanitize your hands at regular intervals, to minimise any germs as much as possible.
It might seem courteous to offer your removers refreshments, however to stop the spread of any germs, refrain from supplying your movers with these. Do provide them with access to washroom facilities, but ideally keep paper towels available for hand washing which can be disposed of.
Who To Inform When You’re Moving House
To make it easier for you, we’ve compiled a list of those you need to contact when moving home.
- Electoral Roll
- Local Authority (Council Tax)
- TV Licensing
- DWP (Department for Work & Pensions)
- Your place of work
- Pension Services
- Credit Card Companies
- Bank & Building Societies
- Store Loyalty Card Providers
- Car Insurance Provider
- Mobile Phone Provider
- Home Insurance
- Life Insurance
- Pet Insurance
- Utility Providers (Water, Gas, Electricity)
- Home Phone Provider
- Broadband Provider
- Satellite TV Provider
- Dr’s Surgery, Dentist & Optician
- Schools, Colleges and Universities
- Pet Microchip providers
The Moving House Checklist
- Book time off work before and after your move date.
- Find new schools and arrange transfer of child records
- Reach out to at least 3 removal companies for quotes and book as soon as you have your move date
- Declutter and pack any non-essential items as early as possible
- Check for any parking restrictions at your new property
- If you’re renting your current property, give your landlord the stated notice period in your contract
- Arrange child and pet care for your moving day
- Empty your fridge and freezer contents in the weeks and days leading up to your moving date
- Give notice to utility companies, register to vote and pay your council tax for your new property as soon as you have a confirmed date. Apply for a refund if there is one due on your current property
- If you’re a renter and your contract states it is needed, book a professional cleaner for the day of your move
- Redirect your post
- Label your boxes to help movers locate which room to place your belongings in
- Confirm things with your new property occupiers such as location of stopcock, thermostat, window keys etc
- Take a meter reading for your gas and electric and submit for your final bill
- Check, check and recheck your property for any items you may have left behind.
Sort out Your Council Tax & Redirect Your Mail Ahead Of Time
As soon as you have a confirmed date for your removal, 2 things you can check off your checklist for moving home. Applying for council tax, and redirecting your mail.
Applying for council tax is an important one, and something you should do as early as possible. So long as you have a confirmed date for moving, and it is not subject to change, submit your application as soon as possible. You can find out your local council here.
Redirecting your post is also a handy thing to do. Whether that be for 3, 6 or 12 months, it’s wide to pay for the redirection so that any companies that may not contact you on a regular basis, you can notify of your change of address. You can redirect your post with Royal Mail here.
To Conclude: How Will the New COVID Rules Affect Me Moving House?
Moving home is a stressful process. It can be even more stressful with the rules and regulations currently in place. Hopefully, our guide has answered your questions on moving during current restrictions.
We can help you sell your property in Norwich, Norfolk or Suffolk.