On 4 January 2021, the Prime Minister and Scottish First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon announced the introduction of lockdown measures from midnight across England and Scotland, respectively.
These tightened restrictions include the closure of all schools and the legal requirement for everyone stay at home, except for essential purposes.
However, an initial review of available guidance, suggests there is a clear determination to keep the property and lending sectors ‘open’.
The Government guidance on moving home during the COVID-19 outbreak can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/government-advice-on-home-moving-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak
This sentiment reflects the approach e.surv has taken – and will continue to take – since the UK-wide lockdown restrictions were lifted on Saturday 4 July 2020. At this point, the industry and the RICS deemed it safe to resume physical property inspections across England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland for as long as guidance permitted and with the requisite safety, PPE, and distancing protocols in place.
Wales and Northern Ireland
We are currently awaiting further updates from the devolved administrations in Wales and Northern Ireland. If announcements require us to further tailor our approach in these areas, we will provide an update as quickly as possible.
The safety and wellbeing of our customers, colleagues and clients is paramount.
Unless an appointment is cancelled at the request of a lender or the householder / owner, we will continue to undertake booked physical inspections, provided the following conditions are met:
- Both parties are well and do not have any symptoms of COVID-19
- The householder / owner has not expressed any safety concerns regarding the inspection and has agreed to our safety protocols, particularly vacating the property during the inspection.
A comprehensive breakdown of safety precautions can be found in our Safety and Wellbeing Charter
Our Booking Team will confirm the information outlined above with householders / owners during the booking process.
Finally, our surveyors will conduct a dynamic risk assessment on arrival at the property and if they have any concerns regarding the safety of any party, they have discretion to abandon the inspection and rebook.
Should a householder / owner raise concerns at any point and wish to cancel a property inspection, the instruction will be re-booked to take place as restrictions ease, and we will advise you accordingly.
Please ensure you have read all of the information available on our Coronavirus Information Hub.
If you have any questions about any of this, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
An evolving situation
Clearly, this is a rapidly evolving situation. We will continue to monitor the guidance in the coming days, and we will update our Coronavirus Information Hub, as necessary.
Your mortgage application
Finally, we understand how frustrating it is to be stuck in the mortgage application process during this period of uncertainty. If you’re wondering what will happen with your mortgage application, please speak to your mortgage lender or broker as each case will be different.