Moving house during the pandemic – common sense and flexibility must prevail

At the end of May, the UK Government updated advice on residential property transactions in England. The regulations now make it clear that people who wish to move home can do so. However, the process of finding and moving into a home is likely to be very different – everyone involved in the process must adapt to ensure social distancing measures are maintained, and vulnerable people are protected.

Can I list my house on the market?
Yes.  Estate agents are now allowed to visit a home to offer market valuations and take photos. However, if any member of the household is self-isolating or showing symptoms, then no-one, including estate agents, should visit.

Can I view a house I have seen online?
It is recommended to only visit a property you are genuinely interested in purchasing, with the majority of your research done online. Agents are encouraged to offer video tours initially. When a physical viewing is needed, it must be by appointment only and just one person must go – it cannot be a family outing.

I have had an offer accepted – can the move progress?
Yes. Your legal team can undertake the usual searches, and surveyors are now free to visit homes, whilst maintain social distancing measures. Once you have exchanged contracts you have entered into a legal agreement to move. However, there is currently a greater risk that people in the chain may need to delay their move because someone is showing symptoms of coronavirus or self-isolating so understanding and flexibility is needed.

Removal firms are able to operate, although they may need to adjust usual procedures to ensure moves happen safely.  All parties should try to be as flexible as possible, prioritising the health and safety at all times.

In general, the Government advice is that house moves can progress but with caution and common sense from all involved.

At FSM Solicitors we are very much open for business and available to help you with any residential property requirements.

Your local residential property expert

Joanne Ayrton has recently joined the Frome office of FSM Solicitors.

Joanne qualified as a Legal Executive with her last firm after leaving school and has been a Chartered Legal Executive since 1999.

Joanne specialises in all areas of residential conveyancing, including the selling and buying of freehold and leasehold property and remortgaging. She has experience in newly built homes, Home Buy Schemes, Shared Ownership and transfers of equity where owners have separated.

Joanne can be contacted on or 01373 485485.


The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not constitute legal or professional advice. The law may have changed since this article was published. Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.

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