Covid-19 cross-industry guide to support a safe home-moving process released today (13 May)

A Covid-19 cross-industry guide to re-opening the housing market, enabling people to move safely is published today (13 May).

The collaborative industry guide sets out in detail how home moves can take place while still fully complying with social distancing measures and Public Health guidance.

“Re-Opening the Home Moving Market Safely” delivers practical advice for all involved in the home moving process and focuses on physical contact points and times when professionals would need to enter private residential properties.

The guide was developed collaboratively by the residential sector and professional organisations’ representatives.  Specifically, it is relevant to  property agents,  mortgage advisers, property managers, property lawyers/conveyancers, surveyors, energy assessors, home removal, and also associated professionals such as those contractors involved in property development, management, and the home moving processes in the UK.

The guidance is the first in a series, and will be followed by consumer guidance and further sector specific guidance for RPSA Surveyors. The contents have been shared with Government, industry regulators and Public Health authorities.  As the situation is constantly evolving, information to be updated regularly and sector specific guidance will be continuously added.

Recommendations include those for individual behaviour, client engagement and transparency, how ID checks can take place, and only allowing office attendance from clients by personal appointment.   Consideration must also be given to video viewing and checking the COVID-19 status of occupants.   It also states that ideally one professional and two adults maximum can take part in a physical viewing, and that these should take place outside of commute times.   Terms of engagement/client letters must be amended to confirm restrictions or information on the physical inspection/visit.

The guidance will also help industry professionals and firms advise clients and/ or occupiers on how to prepare for inspection visits. In accordance with public health guidance, it advises high risk category clients and occupiers, not to be present at viewings wherever possible. There will be a  separate document published later aimed at consumers wishing to buy and sell property.

Alan Milstein, RPSA Chairman, said:

“This unparalleled cooperation by all those involved in helping consumers move home will ensure that the market can become operational as quickly as possible, and with the safety of all concerned, both professionals and movers, as the paramount concern.

“RPSA Surveyors play a vital role in helping people feel secure in their new home purchase, and we are encouraged that so many industry sectors have contributed to this initiative, working in partnership, to support home movers.

“While it is inevitable that patience will be required by all parties as new working practices bed in, the health and well-being of all involved will be at the forefront of our minds as we work to help the market re-open.”

Kate Faulkner, Chair of the Home Buying & Selling Group and a consumer, said:

“The re-opening of the property market is incredibly important for those currently stuck in properties which are no longer suitable for them. However, both property professionals and consumers need to make sure they adhere to these new guidelines so everyone can move safely. The property sector has worked incredibly hard to ensure these guidelines allow buying, selling and renting a home to be done safely, which is of paramount importance.   Consumers will need to be patient while the industry gears up to move them.”


Kindly shared by Residential Property Surveyors Association (RPSA)