Despite England entering a second national coronavirus lockdown until at least December 2, 2020, the property market across the UK has remained open.
But what does the second lockdown mean for the property market and what can, and can’t, you do while the restrictions are in place?
We’ve got all the answers here…
What are the rules for house viewings during the Covid-19 pandemic?
Unlike the first Covid-19 lockdown, that saw everything closed, including estate agents and construction sites, the property market is remaining open during Lockdown 2.0.
That means you can:
- Move home, whether you’re renting or buying
- Hire a removals company to move your belongings
- View properties to rent or buy, either virtually or in person
- Sell your home
- Undertake surveys, conveyancing and searches
Of course, all of the above must be done while maintaining social distancing and hygiene recommendations.
Property viewings during lockdown
Under the lockdown rules, it’s recommended that initial viewings are done virtually.
Further viewings can then be done in person, are by appointment only and are limited to no more than two members of the same household.
Face coverings and other personal protective equipment (PPE) should be worn during viewings and social distancing should be maintained.
At Ellis & Co, all of our offices are continuing to operate with strict social distancing and hygiene measures in place.
Find out more about what we’re doing to help keep you safe here.
Property maintenance, surveys and trade visitors during lockdown
If you’re selling your home, you’re in the process of buying a new property, or you’re a landlord or tenant arranging a new tenancy, you can still proceed despite the lockdown while maintaining social distancing and hygiene.
- Estate agents can still visit your home to take photographs
- Tradespeople can still visit properties to carry out maintenance
- Removals companies can still move belongings in and out
Social distancing and hygiene guidelines for people visiting properties include:
- Doing so by appointment only
- Limiting contact with tenants/ owners / buyers and maintaining a safe distance
- Wearing appropriate PPE and face coverings
- Cleaning belongings after moving
Mortgage payment holidays during lockdown
Property owners were able to take a three-month mortgage payment holiday during the spring Covid-19 lockdown and this was then extended to six months up until the end of October.
With the new lockdown coming into force in England until at least December 2, the mortgage payment holiday scheme has now been extended for a further six months.
If you took a mortgage holiday during the first lockdown, you can take another now up to the six month limit.
So, if you took a three-month payment break in the spring, you could take another three-month break now.
If you didn’t take a payment holiday during the first lockdown, you could take up to six months off paying your mortgage this time around.
However, if you have already had a six-month deferral from the previous lockdown and through the summer, you will need to discuss your options with your lender directly.
Should I take a mortgage payment holiday?
Firstly, you should speak to your lender and discuss your own circumstances arising from the second Covid-19 lockdown.
You’ll then be able to make a judgement, along with your lender, on whether a payment holiday is the best course of action.
Can I get a mortgage while in lockdown?
Mortgage applications are still going through despite the lockdown.
However, the number of mortgage products available is more limited than prior to the first lockdown in spring.
That’s because lenders have reduced the amount of high loan-to-value products they’re offering.
Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage or loans secured on it