COVID-19

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GOVERNMENT GUIDANCE FOR AGENTS

Agents should ask whether any party is showing symptoms or has been asked to self-isolate before going ahead with any viewing, or visits to offices.

Agents should operate using an appointment system for visits to their offices and when conducting viewings.

Agents should operate an appointment system and inform visitors to their offices of the need to wear face coverings. Agents should ensure their offices are 'Covid secure' and that they take appropriate measures to prevent the spread of the disease. Agents should wear face coverings while in close face-to-face contact with visitors and where other protective measures are unlikely to be in place, such as in clients' homes during a viewing.

Agents should strongly encourage clients to view properties virtually in the first instance and then only physically inspect properties which they have a strong interest in.

Where they do not accompany the visit, they should make sure that both buyers and sellers clearly understand how the viewing should be conducted safely.

Agents should avoid driving clients to appointments. Advise clients to find alternative means of travel including public transport, walking, cycling or using their own vehicle.

All parties viewing a property should wash their hands with soap and water (or hand sanitiser if not available) immediately after entering the properties, with internal doors opened and surfaces having been wiped down before they enter. Separate towels or paper towels should be used if possible and washed or disposed of safely after use.

Agents should do what they can to promote flexibility when arranging move dates, for example advising clients to ensure contracts have explicit terms to manage the timing risks presented by coronavirus.

Agents should work with their clients and other agents to broker a new date to move where sales are due to complete and one of the parties falls ill with coronavirus or has to self-isolate.

Agents should ensure that any keys are appropriately cleaned before handover.

Agents should ask clients whether they have returned to the UK from one of the countries not on the exception list. If clients have returned from a country on the quarantine list, agents can continue to progress their home move virtually until the quarantine period is over.

GOVERNMENT GUIDANCE FOR VIEWINGS

Initial viewings should be done virtually wherever possible. Property agents should be able to help you with this.

Members of the public who are visiting an agent's office or viewing a property should wear a suitable face covering as described in government guidance unless they are exempt from this requirement. This should be confirmed with the agent before arrival. Anyone with concerns should contact the agent in advance of their visit to discuss appropriate measures. The agent may require you to arrange an appointment before visiting the premises.

All physical viewings where prospective buyers or renters will be entering the property should involve no more than 2 households inside the property at any one time. This includes any agent accompanying either party. Anyone in a support bubble with either household, however, will count as part of that household.

Where prospective buyers who are currently from separate households wish to view the property on the same occasion, we advise that one household leaves the property to allow the other to enter. This allows for both households to view the property and ensures social distancing.

Viewings should be arranged by appointment only and 'open house' viewings should not take place. When viewing properties in person, you should avoid touching surfaces wherever possible, wash your hands regularly and/or use hand sanitiser. If you need to be accompanied by small children, you should try to keep them from touching surfaces and ensure they wash their hands regularly.

If people are being shown around your home, you should open all internal doors and ensure surfaces, such as door handles, are cleaned after each viewing with standard household cleaning products.

Anyone involved in any aspect of the home-moving process should practice social distancing in line with public health advice.

When moving between properties, you and those in your household should try to do as much of the packing yourself as you can. Where this is not possible, you should speak to removal firms in advance. If you are particularly worried about the risk of infection, then speak to your landlord, estate agent or removers as they may be able to put extra precautionary measures in place.