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Moving during lockdown – what do I do?

  1. 24 March 2020
  2. By Andi Forsythe

We know that moving home can be stressful enough at times without the further complication of a lockdown, especially when there isn’t a great amount of clarity from the government. 

But if you were considering moving, or are in the middle of your move, we will try to keep you updated with relevant information as soon as we have it.

Please bear in mind the government have been clear that people should only continue with their moves if absolutely necessary. If you can delay your move, you should do so. If you are right at the end of the moving process and need to move, please discuss options with your removals firm, along with your conveyancing solicitor.
If you haven’t exchanged yet
If you have not yet exchanged, hold off for now. Spend this period of time ensuring that all queries have been answered and as much of the process has been completed as possible, so you’re ready to press the button and exchange as soon as the lockdown is lifted.
If you’ve already exchanged
If you have already exchanged and are due to complete within the next three weeks, speak to your solicitor as soon as possible to try and agree a new completion date beyond the lockdown period with all other parties.
If your completion date is already beyond the next three weeks, monitor the situation closely. Ask your solicitor to begin conversations with other parties - you may need to act quickly to agree a new date if the lockdown period is extended.
If you were thinking about selling
Many estate agencies are still working remotely and you can call to have a chat with them about listing your property. However, you’ve actually got an advantage in being able to thoroughly clean and update your property, doing all the DIY projects and decluttering that always gets forgotten. So when you do list your property, it’ll be in the best possible condition.
If you’ve already got a mortgage offer
During these times of job instability, it’s natural to want to make the most of your mortgage offer, but these do have a time limit and if you are not already at the exchange phrase, it’s better to wait. You may want to talk to your mortgage broker or lender about the next phase of your purchase, and see what they recommend after the lockdown is lifted.
If you need to leave your rented accommodation
In some cases it may be important that you move out immediately, if your landlord has already got a new tenant, or you need to move into a new property. Talk to your estate agents about the move date and whether they are able to compromise. If you need a removals firm for this, be clear about the items, the date and the risk involved. They will be able to advise you further.

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