Minister unlocks housing market in England

The Housing Minister, Robert Jenrick, has established plans to restart the housing market in England. From today (Wednesday 13th May)  Estate Agents and Letting Agents can open, viewings can be undertaken and all activities that are required in the property market such a removal firms and conveyancers can restart operations.

Mr Jenrick stated that “Our clear plan will enable people to move home safely, covering each aspect of the sales and letting process, from viewings to removals,” and that “the changes must be carried out under social distancing and safety rules.”

It is important to state that the property markets in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland remain unchanged with the devolved government’s have issued their own guidance.

Energy Assessments are very much part of the house selling process and as such, the new legislation has opened the doors for a return to work.

The Detail

The specific clause amended to the “The Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (England) (Amendment) (No2) Regulations 2020 is as follows:

“(l) to undertake any of the following activities in connection with the purchase, sale, letting or rental of a residential property—

  • visiting estate or letting agents, developer sales offices or show homes;
  • viewing residential properties to look for a property to buy or rent;
  • preparing a residential property to move in;
  • moving home;
  • visiting a residential property to undertake any activities required for the rental or sale of that property;”

Stuart Fairlie, Technical and Operations Director at Elmhurst Energy, comments: “What we are seeing are the first pieces of the government's jigsaw puzzle, where the lockdown regulations have been amended; following the Prime Minster announcement on Sunday outlining the plan for encouraging people to return to work if they cannot work from home.  

We at Elmhurst have been liaising with all the appropriate departments in the regions, and we know that at this moment the guidance on the Government websites (for England) states that energy assessment in homes should only be carried out on vacant premises. This guidance is clearly at odds with this new update, but we believe that this guidance will also be updated this week.

Ultimately the main driver for work will remain consumer confidence and the appetite for them to sell or rent homes. We continue to support our members and will keep everyone posted when all the guidance is clear and concise. It certainly looks like this is the week that the property market in England opens back up.”

Legislation Changes:

Further news

Article published: 13/05/2020

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