Is The Home Buying Process Essential Work?
At a time when the Prime Minister has announced a nationwide lockdown, with people working from home where possible and to only go to work “where this is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home”, the government are still debating whether conveyancing is an essential process.
In the property sector, construction workers have been told they can continue to work but they must remain two metres apart at all time.
There are stories on Twitter of employees in estate agents being ‘forced’ to go into work and asked t disguise their intentions by leaving the house unshaven and not wearing work-related clothes like a tie, so they do not appear to be travelling to a place of work that is not ‘key’.
No doubt house buyers are worried and confused if they have entered into the property buying process, with surveyors refusing to come out, solicitors no longer holding face-to-face meetings and moving companies such as Pickfords suspending operations until it is safe to resume.
Can house buying be considered ‘essential’ and those involved in the process, be classed as ‘key workers’.
The Government guidelines have a list of key workers that should continue going to work to “keep the country running” but essentially the ultimate decision on whether a business remains open is with the employer.
The Government recently announced that letting agents and estate agents will not be required to pay any business rates until next year, meaning one less worry and expense and that they are more able to close their doors, enter hibernation and attempt to weather the storm.
However, there are those that still require to buy and sell their properties at this time. To a home buyer in the middle of a purchase, they would consider all involved to be essential, but should their need be placed above the safety of all involved?
Let us know the measures you have introduced to any clients in the process of buying or selling a property. Have you suspended all new enquiries and focused on moving those who are in the process, through until the end?
Have you had difficulties with the other parties involved in the process and what steps are you undertaking in these unprecedented times?