We have received many enquiries from clients asking questions regarding the impact of coronavirus and what they can and can't do during the lock-down.  We thought it would be a good idea to share these with you here but if you still have unanswered questions then please call one of the office numbers and we will try to help.

Q: Can you still do a valuation of my property?

A: Under the rules of the lock-down we are not able to physically come to your home, however, due to our vast experience, we are able to give you a desktop valuation.  This will involve you sending us details of the address, a description of the property including the number of bedrooms and if possible, some photographs or better still, a video of the outside and the main rooms.

Q: I know that agents can't do accompanied viewings but can I show someone around my property myself?

A: If your property is already on the market, you can continue to advertise it as being for sale but you should not allow people in to view your property.  There should not be any visitors into your home, and you should therefore not let people visit your property for viewings. We may be able to conduct virtual viewings of a vacant property so please discuss this with us if you feel this is something you would like us to do.

Q: Can I still accept an offer on my property?

A: You are free to continue to accept offers on your property, however the selling process may take longer.

Q: I already have a sale agreed - can I still exchange contracts?

A: Once you have exchanged contracts, you have entered into a legal agreement to purchase that home.

  • If the property you are purchasing is unoccupied you can continue with the transaction.
  • If the property you are purchasing is currently occupied, the government recommends that all parties should work to either delay the exchange of contracts until after the period where stay-at-home measures to fight coronavirus (COVID-19) are in place or include explicit contractual provisions to take account of the risks presented by the virus.

Q: I exchanged contracts before the lockdown and I am due to complete on the sale during the extended lock-down - can I still move?

A: The major difficulty will be finding a removal company.  Government advice to removal companies is that they should honour their existing commitments where it is clear that the move can be done safely for the client and their own staff and it is clear that the moving date cannot be moved.  This is however dependent on the individual policy of the company and you should check this with them.

Q: I have already agreed a sale and was expecting a mortgage surveyor to come.  Will that still happen?

A: Not unless the property is empty and even then it is dependent on the policy of the company employing the surveyor. 

Q: I need to urgently sell my property and wanted to do this by auction - will you still go ahead with your May auction?

A: Yes we are still planning to hold our 13th May auction however we are expecting that there will still be restrictions in place preventing large gatherings so we have made provision to hold an online auction with live eBay style bidding.  If a property is vacant we can visit it and do a 360 virtual tour so interested parties can view it in detail.  The legal packs will also be available and if the lock-down ends before the 13th May we will arrange for viewings to take place

Q: As a tenant, should I stop paying rent during the outbreak?

A: Tenants should continue to pay rent and abide by all other terms of their tenancy agreement to the best of their ability. The government has a strong package of financial support available to tenants, and where they can pay the rent as normal, they should do. Tenants who are unable to do so should speak to their landlord at the earliest opportunity.  In many if not most cases, the COVID-19 outbreak will not affect tenants’ ability to pay rent. If your ability to pay will be affected, it’s important to have an early conversation with your landlord. Rent levels agreed in your tenancy agreement remain legally due and you should discuss with your landlord if you are in difficulty.

Q:  I am a landlord with a Buy to Let mortgage - do I still have to make my mortgage payments?

A: Mortgage lenders have agreed to offer payment holidays of up to three months where this is needed due to Coronavirus-related hardship, including for buy-to-let mortgages. The sum owed remains and mortgages continue to accrue interest during this period. Where a tenant is unable to pay their rent in full the landlord – if a mortgagor – should discuss this with their lender.

Q: I need to carry out some urgent repairs to my rented property - can that work still be done?

A: Landlords remain legally obligated to ensure properties meet the required standard – urgent, essential health and safety repairs should be made. An agreement for non-urgent repairs to be done later should be made between tenants and landlords. Local authorities are also encouraged to take a pragmatic, risk-based approach to enforcement.