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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Do house moves count as ‘essential’ under the lockdown?

*** Please see this story for the latest news on house moving, updated 12 noon on Tuesday March 24 ***


The property industry is in confusion after the lockdown announcement by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

With immediate effect after his mid-evening announcement UK citizens were allowed out for only four reasons: shopping for basic necessities, daily exercise, any medical need, and travelling to and from essential work.

But this leaves up in the air any party to a transaction currently underway - for example can they actually move in to their property? 

Is this regarded as ‘essential work’? Are removal teams allowed to operate?

Estate Agent Today asked the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government for clarification last evening; so far there has been no response.

One possible option would be for an exchange with a delay on completion, or a contract worded in such a way as to permit a delay if it was specifically caused by the Coronavirus clampdown.

Do agent or conveyancer readers have a view on this?

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    I am due to move on Friday, most of my property has been boxed up, I have a tenant lined up to rent my property and I have mail redirection and utilities and broadband already arranged for my new property. I think if you have exchanged then the move should go ahead. The move itself will only myself my partner and two or three removal guys. How is that worse than crowds on public services or supermarkets

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    Currently, in the same position. My tenancy ends on Monday and I should be moving into my new place this Friday, deposit and rent already paid. My move is just me and my partner using our own van, so no contact with others. I went to the supermarket yesterday, it was still packed and the customers and staff not following the 2 metre rules, I walked in and out again as I don't want to put myself at risk.

     
    George  Wade

    If u need a removals company to carry out your move let me know can get it sorted thanks george

     
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    I am in the same position, but our removal company has cancelled due to threats of fines if they move us, coupled with it being impossible not to touch our furniture which is obvious.

     
  • Rob Hailstone

    In my opinion, and until there is official guidance to the contrary, property moves should not continue for at least the next three weeks.

    I have been communicating with a number of conveyancers throughout the night. They have been deciding how best to deal with the situation. It is likely they will focus on exchanged transactions first and try to agree new completion dates, but when? There are a host of complex issues to consider. For example, will mortgage offers expire?

    I will be sending out some thoughts and advice (still working on them) to the BLG member firms within the next hour or so. If anyone wants a copy please email me and if I can respond today, I will: rh@boldgroup.co.uk

    Also, if time allows and I receive any information or ideas that are helpful I will try to post them here.

    One thing is clear, we must work together.

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    As a letting and estate agent I’m still helping local councils, buyers and renters with accommodation, got a pipeline to keep in contact with and jobs to do to catch up while quiet have my staff remotely positions across area and have safeguarded with viewing contact, the minute things stop the harder it will be to get it moving again zoopla currently ringing out as many people as it can to try snide Into the minds of people again.

    Be safe and be sensible with what yr doing but dont stop if you can keep going without contact!

     
    Sally Holdway

    I agree Rob. I really really feel for people who are stuck in the middle of a move process, but in my opinion, adhering to the stay at home rule outweighs the benefits of moving right now. It seems to me that chains renegotiating a completion in 6 weeks time (I think delaying 3 weeks risks being in the same position again) is the best bet to keep deals alive at the moment. And without sounding alarmist what happens if a completion goes ahead now and buyer moves into a house where someone has CV-19 (or their removals guy has it etc etc) and catch it themselves? Certainly the first and foremost duty of a solicitor is to act in the best interest of their client. The question they will be grappling with now is what 'best interest' means - is it getting their completion over the line or reducing their clients' exposure to CV-19?

     
    Mark brumwell

    Apparently a removals company was threatened with a 1k fine by the police today

     
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    Good afternoon. I would really appreciate some advice. We have exchanged contracts and are due to complete on the 3rd April. We are in self isolation as my son has as cough. This will be two weeks on 6th April. The removal company have followed the lockdown and have cancelled. My solicitor is adamant we have to vacate the property by 3rd. We won’t be able to take our possessions except for a few I can fit in the car with my two children and the family pets. We have nowhere to go as we are not allowed to exchange and complete on our new property. We should have exchanged at the end of the week.
    Where do I stand? Legally? as in self isolation (told to do so by GP) the lockdown and having no moving services. I’m so confused. Thanks

     
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    Can any one answer this please. We have exchanged contracts with a completion date in 2 weeks but due to the governments stay put policy do not wish to move then. Would we then be in a default situation and liable to the substantial penalty or would the governments policy to stay put supersede any penalty so we could move at a revised completion date once the situation inproved.

     
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    I’m in Scotland and missives were concluded yesterday, my date of entry is 17th April just outside the 3 week lockdown window. I’m desperately worried how this will be affected so following this article for updates. I hope it is still going through!

    George  Wade

    If u need a removals company to carry out your move let me know can get it sorted thanks george

     
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    My seller has already moved out. We have partially moved our. Due to complete tomorrow. Both parties self moving so only family involved. My kids have no beds! I really cant live with the one cupboard of items left in my house. I really hope the lawyers dont try and stop this from happening.

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    • 24 March 2020 07:41 AM

    There definitely needs to be further clarification on this.
    I like others here am due to exchange and complete on Thursday, however everything seems to be up in the air. Certainly more advice on this would be very welcomed at this already very anxious and stressful time.

  • Rob Hailstone

    Believe me Amy, all of the lawyers will want their client’s transactions to complete if they can. They need clear guidance from the Government and their regulators etc.

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    I think we will agree to go ahead with the moves, even without completing. It is simply past the point of no return. Post going to wrong houses. Utilities switched. If we dont move tomorrow, I will have to go to the supermarket to restock on food supplies I have been purposefully running down. There I will come into contact with hundreds more people than during the move!

    Mark brumwell

    You may agree but for the majority of removals companies, the risk is too great. Some will only be charging a couple of hundred to risk the health and their employees health

     
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    We are due to move on Fri, but it will not be possible without removal men. What happens if they cant work?

    Mark brumwell

    Most arent im afraid. Is there any hire vans available incase yous are stuck?

     
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    Michael Gove has just confirmed on BBC 1 that sales can still go ahead if absolutely necessary. You can watch on I player

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    Do you have a link, I can't find this

     
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    Sorry I don’t it was just on the bbc breakfast program where the host posed questions to Gove if it’s any help and you can watch it on catch up he said it about 7.45 real time.

     
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    Hi Lindsay, which Breakfast Programme was it ? We have not exchanged yet as solicitors advised to exchange and complete same day i.e. 27th. Really keen to see this.

     
    Sally Holdway

    it is available on iplayer at 7.45am. I'm not much use at shorthand, but this was pretty much what he said..

    If it is possible to pause (then pause). There will be some specific cases where moving down the chain, when the the process will mean people will be buying or selling, but one of the things I would stress at the moment IF AT ALL POSSIBLE people should stay in their own homes.

     
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    • L L
    • 24 March 2020 07:59 AM

    I work for a letting agents. Lots of move ins this week. Property inspectors doing inventories and checkouts.
    Some agents been told to continue and let people move in. Some aren't sure. Would be good to get some definitive answers

    Murray Lee

    agree same here, we also hold management keys for emergencies
    Can we be in the office but not "open"

    Also if we are closed why dont we get the business rates relief?

     
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    I think this type of speculation promoted by this article is unhelpful. You can take the advice in a few ways, including the fact that they have not said not to go to work, and essentially only work away from home if what you can do cannot be replicated at home.

    Clearly you cannot do a viewing, key release or removal at home. I would hope that we can all focus on what the specific advice is and not go looking to make our own interpretations.

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    Louise, I have my own Inventory company, for the last couple of weeks I have been doing check ins and outs mainly without tenants present, just picking up keys from agents who I know very well usually just handing them through the door, when I have met tenants it has been on the strict basis of handing over keys and then they have to leave. The fly in the ointment is, of course, the deposit return, I suspect the government may just say, give it back to the tenants, which of course could be grossly unfair with the cost of cleaning and damages.
    I intend to continue working until the authorities say stop. I am taking all the recommended precautions, gloves, gel, wiping over keys etc. I'm afraid the AIIC are not giving a great deal of information to us at the moment.
    I would get your clerks to carry on without the tenants present.
    If you want to chat further- r.kirwan@btinternet.com.

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    Michael Gove has just had to clear things up on BBC this morning. Moving house is fine... for now!

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    He said if at all possible stay in current home

     
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    Mentions specific circumstances though. For example we have been selling our home since April last year with loads of issues. Now finally ready to exchange only reason we haven't is move date set for Friday 27th and sols advised to exchange and complete same day. Everything is packed, moving downmarket so sold majority of furniture and moving downmarket for financial reasons. Hoping we can get moved

     
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    I am also due to complete and move onto a New Build on Thursday. Exchange happened 4 months ago so we are way past the point of renegotiating the completion date Conveyancing law doesnt allow for a pandemic or lockdown. Lawyers say they are still working from home and banks are transferring monies and we are contractually obligated. Removal companies are keen to wrap up our move as they have some of our belongings in storage. So what is our solution?

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    Me my husband, 4 kids and dog moved in with the in laws in January which was meant to be for 4 weeks and still here.... We are meant to be finally completing on 6th April but now worried this won't happen. My mother in law is classed as a vulnerable adult so it would be best if we weren't here for the foreseeable future so really can't afford to not move... Ahhh I could just cry.

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    My sale has completed and van booked for Friday to move large items boxes already taken new house and my lease is up next week can my move go ahead

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    I have registered on this site as I am also about to move house - half my belongings are at the new property, half at the old property... I have access to both properties for a limited period.

    Having listened to the announcement from Boris, it is clear that I can no longer make any shuttle journeys between the two houses with boxes - so will stop that. However, I still plan to make my move on the 31st of this month as 'it is not possible' to remain in my current house. The move cannot be stopped - it would be an unintended consequence of the announcement to either bankrupt someone or make them homeless.

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    In Spain, where the lockdown has been in place for over a week, and is VERY strictly policed, house moves are considered essential and people apply to the Police for a document to allow movement. I expect the details will come out in the next few days.

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    First update from my house move saga... Original date for new build was mid December, postponed until mid January and then the end of March, due to complete in the next 48 hours. We moved out of our rental property on 21st February and into our in-laws and sent our belongings into storage. I have just had a call from our removals company saying that they are postponing all moves until they received further guidance from the government, their removal teams have said that they don't want to work in close proximity which I completely understand. Not sure I can survive at my in-laws for much longer!

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    Following this article!
    My partner and I are due to move on Friday. We are doing the move ourselves and with the help of my brother and his van. So we wouldn’t be having contact with anyone else.
    We are currently living with my parents but my dad is classed as high risk and my mum is a key worker at the hospital, she has been sleeping in the living so not to risk my dads health. The idea was, when we moved she would be able to sleep in the spare room. It’s in their best interest that we do leave.
    I personally feel the move is essential for us.
    If anyone has anymore information it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

  • Rob Hailstone

    Hoping for clearer guidance from the Government shorty. If I get it, I will post it here.

    Just don't shoot the messemger if/when I do!

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    Gove was reasonably clear in relation to moving.. "If possible, stay in your home". Clearly for people on the cusp of a move, it is not legally possible to stay in, what is now, someone else's home if you've sold it.

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    I run a removals firm and really not sure whether we can do moves for customers now bearing in mind latest announcement.

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    The way I have understood Michael Gove and my lawyers, if people are at the point of no return, then legal transactions have to continue and moves can happen. However, if people haven't heaven exchanged contracts then they can hold off or build a delay into the exchange/completion.

     
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    That would certainly make some sense Farry (below) but what about renters where they are moving out but tenancy doesn't expire for a few weeks?

     
    Mark brumwell

    I agree Miles. Not many companies now are going to risk their employees lives just to keep their customers happy (as harsh as that sounds) some employees are on minimum wage and also dont want to work

     
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    I have seen two removal vans this morning - so I assume some are supporting customers and moving them.

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    Yes, we are doing a move today but not really sure we should be!

     
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    If you are delivering something - which you are - then you can continue. That's my read of the latest guidance. Also advice by government says "if it is not possible to stay in your home" - this is true from someone moving.

     
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    I complete on Friday and checking with my solicitor this is going ahead. This will be my own family home. The removal company have backed out this morning, but I have a 7.5 ton lorry. I have handed my notice in on the property I have been renting and will be homeless if I don't move. It will be my household family that will be moving the items in the house and it is half a mile between both properties. Can this be classed as essential travel, otherwise we will be homeless. I should also mention that this is a new build and there is no chain. We are at the point of no return, so if I risk a fine then all I can do is take it on the chin.

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    I agree with you Andrew.... I note that in the very latest guidance that delivery drivers are allowed to continue to operate. You are delivering furniture.

    Mark brumwell

    Delivering essential items is how i read it

     
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    Thanks Neil. I wholly support the lockdown and respect the law. If our circumstances were different then I would just stay at home as prescribed. Hopefully if I am challenged by the authorities they will show some compassion for our circumstances. I am sure there will be many more people in our situation.

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    I spoke with my local MP this morning on this very issue - I emailed him last night for guidance and clarification and, rather unbelievably (at this busy time) phone me.

    The only thing he could really say was "we would prefer you to stay in your home" I explained my circumstances and that this was, effectively, an unstoppable event - I have fridge, freezer etc and half my belongings at the new home. His guidance wasn't very clear. I said "well, I am going to risk it and move" "I can understand that" he said. He has put this on the 'urgent' list to review with the government.

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    Thanks again Neil. Reviewing what Michael Gove said this morning, I think there was an inevitability that some people at a final stage of moving home would be treated as essential travel. I fall under the key workers guidelines albeit not in moving furniture, but the government are happy for us to keep the supply lines moving and being in contact with many people to do this, but a simple house move is up in the air. Doesn't seem fair or equitable to be honest.

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    We also are due to complete this Frida 27th, we are awaiting further instructions from our solicitor who is waiting on info from government and regulators. Our removals firm are not sure if they can complete the move and brought my attention to the advice from the British Association of Removers (trade union) you can find the same advice on their homepage bar.co.uk
    There are 3 people in our chain - one of the couples is classed as high risk, it feels like the solicitor, estate agents are pushing the move although morally this feels wrong as we will be breaking the government rules and putting ourselves and others at risk. Although it will be an absolute nightmare if we have to delay it feels like that is the best thing for our health.

    Advice from BAR (Removals trade union):

    The PM’s latest briefing on 23rd March with regards to the developing crisis arising from the global coronavirus pandemic was absolutely clear, and in a nutshell the day to day life of the UK is now formally suspended for a period of at least 3 weeks. The question then arises as to what should happen with any moves that are either underway or booked to take place, and the recommendation of the BAR to its Members has been equally as clear as that given by the PM, and that recommendation is as follows;

    The Member should only complete any moves that are underway and immediately cancel or postpone any move that has not yet started. It is evident that our collective and absolute priority now must be on ensuring the safety of the staff and customers of our Members, and of course their respective families, and so all parties must now make every immediate effort to remove the risk for mover and consumer alike at the very earliest opportunity. There will of course be many more questions asked and answers needing to be given over the next few days, but it is imperative that we react now to that very explicit instruction from the PM and we strongly encourage everyone to comply with the instructions issued by the PM, and the subsequent recommendation made by the BAR, and to keep safe and well.

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    I am meant to complete on Monday 30th March, I have already exchanged, my removal company is following the BAR advice and completing moves today and then shutting down. My move is to North Wales in temporary accommodation, where we are told by Welsh Government that we should not travel owing to NHS capacity. My buyer who is living with family is insisting that the move happens and threatening to sue me if I do not complete. I want to adhere to Government announcement and in these circumstances staying in my own home is possible and the buyer can stay in their family house. Not sure where I stand? I do not want to be sued and pay interest on the property. There should be an opt out in these circumstances that either buyer or seller can delay until things have settled down. Removal company employees are self isolating and by Monday no other removal company will probably be able to help, even if I wanted them to risk their lives for a move that can be delayed.

    Kimberly Sims

    Peter, No lawyer is even going to look at it. These are unprecedented times. Let him try to sue you. He will get nowhere.

     
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    I signed all the missives last week on my property. I'm set to pay the deposit today. The removal company are still running and so all I need to do is pick up the keys from the solicitors on Friday. My tenancy on my rented flat runs out on Monday and I am aware they have someone lined up to come in after me. In my opinion any pause / halting on moving house surely would cause more confusion and panic than not. Where would I go if I can't move in? I can't afford to continue to pay rent and a mortgage? Would it alter the mortgage agreement if it was deferred? And what about the tenant moving into my current rented property? Spain is currently further ahead / more exposure to Covid-19 and they are still allowing moving house deemed as 'essential travel'. Surely because if they stopped it it would simply cause more complications?

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    My local removals contact has told me this morning that they're now not allowed to leave the yard, but there are pikies (am I allowed to use that term?) running vans and capitalising on the situation - as if they're immune...

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    Update on the moving situation... We are going ahead with the handover and following social distancing guidelines (masks, gloves and 2 metre distance). We complete on the 31st otherwise we would have issues with the mortgage and help to buy.

    We're going to contact the removal company and see if they can move some of our essential belongings and keep the rest in storage (big sideboard and piano etc). Hopefully one or two of them will be willing to do so if we keep our distance whilst they do their work!

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    Not every removal company is a member of BAR (trade union ) thousands and thousands are for example just guys with Luton Vans and insurance (working carefully) we move Friday all is exchanged already and completion on Friday the sticking point for a lot is transferring the keys as estate agents are closed we simply arranged to pass the keys to the buyer at our door when we recieve confirmation....if you have exchanged it is legal and you can move if you have not exchanged there lies the issue

    Mark brumwell

    MOVE ASSURED UPDATE
    We have had so many conflicting reports of what can and cant be done, both legally and morally, and it now appears that we have clarification.
    We have been in contact with many sources throughout the day and from what we understand this is the position at this moment.
    Removals in general are not classed as essential and the police now have the powers to stop and issue penalties.
    We understand that they are trying to implement this in a structured way. On this first day they are setting up roadside checks for all vehicles. Any removal vehicle will be told to return straight to their base with a warning. We can see that this will escalate very quickly into a fine.
    The police have been given these powers and that is fact no matter what we see on news bulletins.
    This has been confirmed by one member being turned round and many others contacting the police direct.
    Now that this has been confirmed as the' law ' there should be no question of breach of contract being cited in respect of booked moves not going ahead.

    Morally, we want you and your families to all stay safe and well. We will all be stronger for all of this.
    STAY HOME
    STAY SAFE ❤️
    #teamassured #moveassuredfamily

     
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    You should double check with the insurance before proceeding as that's the issue with the reputable companies under BAR. I'm trying to get a reputable company to move belongings for later this week (with insurance) and its proving impossible.

     
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    Boris stated three words 'stay at home' - he only gave a few exemptions. Moving home is not one of them, unless and until the Home Office specifically exempt them.

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    what part of after completion you not legally living or owning the property have you missed ? sorry but its essential don't you think ?

     
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    The news is reporting that you should stay at home unless your journey is absolutely necessary.... I would suggest if you have people moving into a house you no longer own (following completion) that your journey is necessary. If delivery companies can operate, I can't really see the issue. This is not a discretionary thing for people having to move home.

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    But most reputable delivery companies cannot operate due to the lockdown. Your belongings won't be insured.

     
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    I sold on Friday and furniture in storage. I move in to new place on Thursday, but i can't get a removal company to get belongings out of storage. I am mid move, staying with friends, daughter has congenital heart disease staying with her sister till we move in house. We are in greenock they are in Edinburgh. If I can't move in, she can't come home and we are expecting her to recieve a letter to stay home for 12 weeks. How do i get supplies to them, sister is a student they have self isolated for 2 weeks, friends have all left uni. Nightmare, tubes still packed with people travelling but i can't get a removal van.

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    Kelly, I would suggest you ring around the 'man with a van' type of places - someone might help. Given that delivery companies are explicitly allowed to operate, then someone might be able to help. Last resort is to hire a van and do it yourself. I feel your pain!

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    Getting a van is the least of our worries. Now land registry closed so no wet signatures which is mad, if we can drive cars without MOT for 6 months, surely we can have E signatures. Keep house moves going that we're literally hours away from being concluded. Solicitor only allowed to keep funds for 3 days post sale day so I hope they come to their senses soon

     
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    Does anyone recommend agreeing a completion date only when things get clear if removal companies can operate and we can move house during lockdown? solicitors pushing for same day exchange and completions, leaving us this tricky situations.

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    I’m in the middle of a house move. Only a few car loads left to do. No delivery men needed. services/ utilities run out and start up in new property at end of the month. Keys are also due to be handed in at the end of the month or pay another months rent. Would this move be considered essential?

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    [A private landlord writes] I have one group of tenants due to move out on 31 March and another due to move in 1 April. Both are in limbo. The one moving out is also in a chain as their place is currently occupied. Noone is sure what will happen. I have reassured all. Contracts all signed. First month's rent paid and deposit secured. Not clear what should happen other than be reasonable with people and let the first month's rent actually start when they can move in...Thoughts, anyone?

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    I am in the same position. My current tenants are due to leave 31st March but they've left already, with my new tenant due to move in on 1st April. All the current tenants belongings which were due to be picked up today has been put on hold as the removal company was a member of BAR. I'm hoping my new tenant can stay put until things get moving again. My main concern is my loss of income during this period. I've been told the government will compensate me during this period if my flat remains empty. but I cannot find any information. All the contracts are signed, but i'm pretty sure the usual legal obligations will just be put on hold until after the lockdown as we're are in uncharted waters.

     
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    The Homeowners Alliance have advised on the BBC 'going through with a move if you can' although it says you might struggle getting belongings moved.

  • Mark brumwell

    Hi. Not many companies are risking the virus to complete moves. The majority of them have temporarily suspended operations since yesterday.

    Its just too risky, they dont see themselves as key workers and cant adhere to the 2metre rule carrying a chest of draws etc.

    Ive also been informed that a removals company was stopped by police today and was told if he continued, he'd receive a 1k fine.

    Hope yous get sorted, its a very stressful time for us all

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    If you have vacated a house (having sold it) what would the removal company do with all the furniture in the back? Burn it? They are delivering it and delivery companies are entitled to deliver under the legislation announced.

    Fortunately my removals company are going ahead - and I will pay any fines. I am advised that the Police do not have the powers to fine at the moment, so I doubt your story is quite right.

     
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    the police went past my removal company today never batted an eyelid also I don't believe this as it's not law yet for the police to issue any fines fact

     
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    I think some people miss the point (not aimed at you though) is that we must social distance during work, and very few moves can take place where removals operatives don't need to get within 2 metres of each other. All employers have a duty of care to their staff and so have to observe these rules or risk virus spreading and staff potentially dying. We just can't do moves involving moving heavy items where staff need to be within 2 metres of each other. Cowboys will of course not care about such things, but I wouldn't want to have cowboys moving all my worldly goods!

     
  • Mark brumwell

    Hi. Not many companies are risking the virus to complete moves. The majority of them have temporarily suspended operations since yesterday.

    Its just too risky, they dont see themselves as key workers and cant adhere to the 2metre rule carrying a chest of draws etc.

    Ive also been informed that a removals company was stopped by police today and was told if he continued, he'd receive a 1k fine.

    Hope yous get sorted, its a very stressful time for us all

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    total BS regarding the police stop scare mongering

     
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    the majority have not stopped where do you get your figures from?

     
  • Mark brumwell

    My story is from a large company down south (Plymouth). Posted onto a removals and storage forum this morning. Ive been a member for years and we've been discussing it since yesterday . So dince i posted this youve ask a policeman whether its true? Your story doesnt seem to stack up

  • Mark brumwell

    Why would i scaremonger. Im trying to advise people of the situation from a removals perspective. Stop being so selfish thinking your move is paramount and a minimum wage porter is happy to risk his life fto conclude your move. Would you go and help someone in the current lockdown?

  • Mark brumwell

    Paul dunning. Why don't you join a removals forum and find out. 15 companies i know personally in the NEast have stopped. I have no pleasure in telling you the story being stopped by police. Why would i? We've lost, potentially 1 month of work. The majority of forum member are suspending operations. Ive also been inundated with calls off worried customers that have been told their company wont be working this week.

    I sincerely hope there's a resolution for yous all

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    total BS all hearsay the police have no legislation yet to fine and that's a fact

     
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    My removals firm are stopping operations tomorrow. I’m due to exchange and complete on Monday, 30th. Just one property in the chain as I’m in rented and my vendor is going into rented. I have an alternative option arranged (man with a van). Solicitor is happy to proceed.

    But my vendor wants to wait until the 3 week lock down period is over! How naive! Lock down will be with us for the foreseeable future. Look at Italy, a Spain and China.

    I was made redundant 3 weeks ago, no chance of a job for months as all recruitment on hold. I can’t afford the rent and I can’t dip into my deposit to live off indefinitely. I’m afraid I’ve given them an ultimatum - move on 30th or I pull out completely.

    Am I being too harsh? I’m hoping it focuses the mind on getting this done now as I’m sure it won’t happen for months if not.

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    Things are going to get worse Maria - not better. So move while you can would be my advice - and by whatever means you can.

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    Thank you so much for that, thank you. So hard to judge what the right thing to do is. At the same time I have a greedy landlord who’s smug about my predicament, trapped here. I’m beginning to realise the rental isn’t quite above board. All so stressful.

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    We know so little as this is totally uncharted territory - and ghastly for everyone. But we do know that lockdowns are tightening not loosening on the continent, therefore the advice would be to go as quickly as you can - by whatever means. There is enough government wriggle room in respect of house moves (at the moment) to suggest this is an essential journey. If you don't fail the attitude test with the Police (!) you should be OK.

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    there are not enough police to attend burglary in our city there are 5 cars on patrol....also they are dealing with other crime and have no legislation yet to fine as has been suggested they will have these powers but not at the moment

     
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    In Spain there are no restrictions on moving home

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    In a somewhat similar position to Maria, finally managed to get the fire certificate for cladding and close to exchange but now not really sure what the right move is. Are people in similar position thinking about pulling out altogether at all? Also, I’m not even sure I can exchange/complete currently. I’m at my 3rd temp accommodation in 5 months and it’s all just terrible timing. Luckily I’m staying at a friend currently.

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    Can anyone offer advice? I'm a landlord with a tenant who just served notice yesterday on the eve of the shut-down announcement. He has a two month notice period but I won't be able to undertake the work of organising the re-let as I normally would because of the lock-down. I think the lock-down will go beyond the three week limit and while it persists I can't organise the inventory, building renovations, cleaning, gas check and electrical checks that are needed because most of these suppliers will have ceased working. Also I don't see this as essential whilst he appears to think that moving at this time is essential (he has no financial reason to move, it's because of a sense that the pandemic will be long and he doesn't want to have to hold up his next life stage/wants to get married etc, but the current flat is a lovely property just a little small for his preferences).

    The timing means that I can't undertake the process of changing tenants for probably at least half the notice period and I can't get hold of the letting agency who have closed their offices and aren't responding to email. In a way, the tenant is depriving me of the notice period because I'm unable to prepare for a new tenancy while he's in a hurry to go because he has a new place lined up. Does anyone have advice on how I can handle this? Anyone know an agency in W10 in London who can help if Foxtons don't come back to me? Any thoughts much appreciated.

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    Hi Hannah it is still possible to get work done, you may have to ring around a bit. I have my own inventory business, we are still functioning doing inspections on the basis that tenants are not there, which still complies with current guidelines, I know cleaners still working as well.

     
    George  Wade

    If u need a removals company to carry out your move let me know can get it sorted thanks george

     
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    Right I work for a removal company in London who as it stands are still working. now as far as I’m concerned i shouldn’t be at work I’m being advised by the government not to visit family members yet I’m being expected to go into peoples houses who I’ve never met before. A lot of removal companies I have worked for don’t pay much more then minimum wage why should we be expected to move people when we can’t implement the 2m rule. Now I can understand the predicament a lot of people are going to be in but surely the health and safety of me and my family should come first

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    Professional Help and advice please
    My 2 elderly parents age 85 and 82 both with cancer are due to move house on April 1st in Scotland to the south west
    They have been told to self isolate the removal company have cancelled the transport they had arranged have cancelled and their solicitor now tells them they are are in breach of contract if they don’t move out and can be sued by the purchasers !!
    Please suggest who I can go to with this as a matter of desperation and urgency

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    I really don't think their solicitor is in a position to say that. These are unprecedented times and those obligations about breach of contract are surely on hold.
    I would say this would be the case for a healthy couple, but seeing as your parents are both vulnerable, elderly and have cancer i'm sure they have every right to stay put until this situation gets under control.

     
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    • M M
    • 25 March 2020 08:57 AM

    Have the deeds been registered with Register of Scotland? As I was informed yesterday that my move on Friday has been put on hold due to them closing. Our deeds hadn’t been registered yet.

     
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    • M M
    • 25 March 2020 08:55 AM

    I am due to move in to a new build in Scotland on Friday. Registers of Scotland have closed up due to lock down and our move has been put on hold until further notice. They will be unable to register the deeds due to the closure. They are working on a digital solution but no guarantee when this will be active.

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    Hi. I too am in Scotland affected by the closure of the register, and my sale was meant to go through on 27 March also. Are you any further forward?
    My solicitor cannot get hold of my buyers solicitor- so things really aren’t moving for me... just wondering if you had had any luck?

     
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    • M M
    • 03 May 2020 12:04 PM

    Sarah Green - yes we were allowed to move in on 27th March. Sorry only just seeing your comment just now.

    Have you had any luck since?

     
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    David L if contracts have been exchanged it's legally binding only the sellers conscience would come into play unfortunately that's the law

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    The government identified transport as key work

    Transport
    This includes those who will keep the air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the COVID-19 response, including those working on transport systems through which supply chains pass.

    Does ` freight transport modes` includes house moves ?

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    Michael Gove said yesterday those who have exchanged should move. Removals are the issue along with getting keys as estate agents are closed if you have not exchanged basically your in trouble

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    The government have now added house moving as being permitted. I'm not sure where you will stand getting a removal company tho.

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    Where did you get that info?
    Do you have a source or a link ?

     
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    Can you provide evidence to support this?

     
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    Please can you let us all have a link to your source or direct us to where you saw this. It is the opposite to what our property solicitor has told us and our removal company. Our estate agent has told us she is in the same position as us, her removal company cannot move her or they will be breaking the law. They are 100% trustworthy. We have used them twice.

     
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    Joey Du Toit its on the government website.

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    Thank you Richard, my partner checked this morning with our agents and property lawyer and were told it only applies to buyers and sellers. I will have a look myself now.

     
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    I have my own inventory business and still doing move ins and outs as far as I am aware in full compliance with the regulations, nobody is present at the property and key hand over at a distance is easily arranged.

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    This is what is on the governments website

    Buying and Selling Homes during this stay-at-home period

    Given the situation in the UK with regard to the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19), we urge parties involved in home moving to adapt and be flexible to alter their usual processes.

    There is no need to pull out of transactions, but we all need to ensure we are following guidance to stay at home and away from others at all times, including the specific measures for those who are presenting symptoms, self-isolating or shielding. Prioritising the health of individuals and the public must be the priority.

    Where the property being moved into is vacant, then you can continue with this transaction although you should follow the guidance in this document on home removals. Where the property is currently occupied, we encourage all parties to do all they can to amicably agree alternative dates to move, for a time when it is likely that stay-at-home measures against coronavirus (COVID-19) will no longer be in place.

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    This is what is on the governments website

    Buying and Selling Homes during this stay-at-home period

    Given the situation in the UK with regard to the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19), we urge parties involved in home moving to adapt and be flexible to alter their usual processes.

    There is no need to pull out of transactions, but we all need to ensure we are following guidance to stay at home and away from others at all times, including the specific measures for those who are presenting symptoms, self-isolating or shielding. Prioritising the health of individuals and the public must be the priority.

    Where the property being moved into is vacant, then you can continue with this transaction although you should follow the guidance in this document on home removals. Where the property is currently occupied, we encourage all parties to do all they can to amicably agree alternative dates to move, for a time when it is likely that stay-at-home measures against coronavirus (COVID-19) will no longer be in place.

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    Yes I see what’s on the Govt website but if the furniture has been in store awaiting the move and that store is now closed, I can’t see how anything can proceed even if the house being moved into is empty.

  • Kimberly Sims

    Did anyone move? We moved on 9th April, using a local removals firm ... house was empty so all good. But been without TV, Wi-fi/broadband, landline.... but that’s another story. Two weeks on, we now have basic TV but still no Wi-fi (thanks, BT) and a load of stuff we didn’t want to take with us, but had no choice due to no recycling/refuse centres open or charity shops! Luckily, a friend knew a local farmer and they took away an old mattress to be burnt, (apparently it is normal for farmers to have a little dell to burn their unwanted things in...) but still have loads of packing boxes. The other problem is, due to no deliveries, we can’t get the new bed frame we ordered or wardrobe (was able to get clothes rails as a last resort) so it’s not all that convenient.

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    Hi Kimberley,
    Glad you moved OK. How did your removals firm observe social distancing requirements and their staff not get within 2 metres of each other when moving heavy items e.g. washing machine, chest of drawers?

     
  • George  Wade

    If Anyone need a removals company to carry out there move Get in touch I can get it sorted hassle free. thanks george

  • Sikhanyiso Masuku

    We also need permits as removals companies as much as those selling in the streets. We also earn a living through transport. Goverment must do something se dying of hunger here

  • Sikhanyiso Masuku

    We also need permits as removals companies as much as those selling in the streets. We also earn a living through transport. Goverment must do something se dying of hunger here

  • Kimberly Sims

    In answer to Miles, yes, I think they didn’t find it easy. I helped - because I had been to the USA six months’ ago and randomly bought some one time use face masks. I got them pre-coronavirus for my daughter, who was newly pregnant and simply worried about exhaust fumes and toxic air in London when she was out and about. Still had loads left so offered them up to the removals guys, who were amazed and found them really good. We also had lots of hand gel (again purchased in the US) which we dispensed to them one each. They had quite a lot of moving devices, which meant a lot of the time, they were able to move articles by themselves. Most of the time, they were able to keep to the regular distancing requirements, but i am sure, not always.
    It is a very difficult balance to make. In our work/industry, we have had the same problems with ensuring distancing rules. Having masks and having hand washing facilities AND anti-bacterial gels is the minimum. We were really grateful for our movers, as we would have been potentially in a terrible position if they hadn’t been able to do it. We provided packed lunch/sandwiches and cold drinks from the supermarket rather than the riskier making tea and coffee option for them, which also prevents transmission risks. The other point was that our house had been empty for eight months prior to us moving in. I imagine most people’s house sales and purchases have fallen through due to this current situation. It was important that we had absolutely everything ready and packed for them, to make it quick for them to load and go. We spent weeks packing beforehand, into stacked boxes put into our double garage.

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    Sound like you were a little luck but well done and nice to have people trying their best to help you.

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