Changes Afoot For Landlords and Tenants

The UK housing market was one of the sectors hit hardest by Covid-19. Almost overnight, everything came to a freeze.

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Transactions were put on hold to align with new restrictions, and only essential moves in the sales and rental market were permitted. 

Social distancing measures rendered physical viewings redundant, paving the way for an increase in virtual viewings. And estate and letting agents found themselves working from. Everything changed. 

Now, with the government planning to ease the lockdown, many are asking what normal might look like in the coming weeks and months. The property industry is no exception, and the UK housing minister, Chris Pincher, has allegedly produced plans so that some form of normalcy can return to the housing market.  

But how will these new norms look? We take a look at some of the suggestions put forward and how the property landscape might look for the next few months. 

Do you wanna come to my house?

Viewings are an essential component of moving. Understandably, people like to see a home in person before deciding whether or not they should live there. Virtual viewings have helped keep things ticking along, but there’s nothing like the real thing. 

One of the suggestions put forward is “contactless” viewings. All doors and cupboards would be left open to reduce any contact a buyer might have with surfaces. Owners would also leave the property during the viewing, choosing to wait in the garden, their car or on the street of their home. 

Buyers would also be required to wear gloves and face masks during the viewing, with the number of times people can visit a property per day limited. Vendors should thoroughly clean properties, and communal areas would need to be disinfected. 

It’s good to talk

Whether people are buying, selling, renting or letting, communication will need to increase between all parties — especially where viewings are concerned. In the rental market, landlords and tenants should speak beforehand where properties are currently occupied. 

Doing so will ensure a smoother process while also helping both parties get to know each other a little better before viewing takes place. Technology will play an important role in making this happen, and platforms like our here at Mashroom connect landlords and renters directly. 

We believe tech like ours can help facilitate a smoother way for people to move home post-Covid-19, and make everyone feel more comfortable about the whole viewing experience.

More changes afoot

It’s not just viewings that will see a change. Other parts of the real estate sector that could impact landlords and tenants could also undergo a raft of potential changes. Lenders will likely become more reliant on automated valuations, reducing the need for conveyancers to go into other homes. 

Electronic signatures look like they’ll become the primary way to sign contracts, whether it’s a tenancy agreement or exchanging on a property. A stamp duty holiday has also been suggested by NAEA Propertymark, the UK’s leading body for estate agents. 

Weeks, not months

The guidelines put forward could be ratified within weeks after Public Health England reviews them. If accepted, these new viewing rules could be in place for the foreseeable future and possibly until there is a vaccine for coronavirus. 

If the changes come into effect, it might take a bit of time for everyone to get used to the new measures. With platforms like Mashroom, however, adapting should be a little easier thanks to automated processes and the ability for landlords and renters to communicate directly. 

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