Government releases guidance on accompanied viewings for estate agents

May 13, 2020

The government has this morning published more detailed guidance on the health and safety aspects of the property market re-opening today, which it says will not be a ‘return to normality’.

“The process of finding and moving into a new home will need to be different given those involved in the process will have to adapt practices and procedures to ensure that the risk of spread of coronavirus is reduced as far as possible,” the guidance says.

It has also been confirmed that virtual viewings are to be encouraged as a key way for buyers to find their ideal home to rent or buy prior to nailing down a final list to view.

The government wants agents to request that members of the public conduct virtual viewings as much as possible and that open house events are still not permitted.

Agents are to be allowed to accompany viewings as per normal but must observe strict two-metre social distancing procedures where possible, ensure all doors in the property are opened, windows are opened too and that wash basins are made available for hand cleaning.

But agents should not drive clients to viewings and are urged to offer clean paper towels for vendors, buyers and tenants to use during viewings to wash their hands. Keys must also be washed in between viewings.

The guidance also reveals that all ancillary activities within the property rental and sales process may resume including surveys, EPC assessments, removals, conveyancing, and the preparation of homes for sale – including the use of tradespeople to complete this – as well as visits to future homes to measure up or have building work done prior to moving in.

See full guidance here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/government-advice-on-home-moving-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak