Property Viewings During Covid-19

Moving home is, in most cases, a stressful experience. But the first part, where you begin your search, is supposed to be the most exciting, as you start dreaming big about your next move. And while moving home should still get your juices flowing, Covid-19 has thrown somewhat of a spanner into the works.

Viewing a property is set to take on a different guise for the foreseeable future, but how will it look for renters and landlords? Here is a breakdown on how Covid-19 will impact property viewings for the foreseeable future.

Can property viewings go ahead during Covid-19?

The UK Government has announced that property viewings can go ahead as long as you adhere to new regulations. These procedures include, but are not limited to, protecting yourself and anyone else involved with the viewing.

An initial online viewing is recommended, where renters can see your property without the need to visit physically. If they would still like to visit the property, the following steps must be taken:

  • Remain two metres apart at all times
  • Current occupants should leave all the doors and cupboards open so that you don’t need to touch anything
  • They should also vacate the property during the viewing where possible
  • Wear gloves and a mask during the viewing
  • Only the potential new tenants can view the property – no extended friends or family
  • The property should be thoroughly before and after viewings

What should I look out for before going to a property viewing during Covid-19? 

Erring on the side of caution is highly recommended. If you or anyone in your household is showing symptoms or poses a risk of transmitting the virus, you should not consider moving home until you have recovered.

To further minimise contact, communicate online or via phone where possible. Ask the landlord about the possibility of having the current tenants vacate the flat during the viewing and make sure that only your household will be attending the specified viewing, as open viewings aren’t currently permitted.

What’s the safest way for me to travel to the property I’m viewing during Covid-19?

The safest way to get to your viewing is by using your own vehicle or walking. If you choose to drive, check out the local parking provisions beforehand and ask the landlord if they can offer any advice on the best places to park so that you don’t end up driving around in circles or parking miles away.

If you don’t have access to a car and it’s too far for you to walk or cycle, ask about the possibility of having the viewing arranged outside of the peak travel times. This will minimise your exposure to using public transport during the busiest periods.

And finally, arrive on time. Being late to a viewing in normal circumstances is far from ideal. It’s even worse during a time where so many requirements need fulfilling during the viewing.

What safety measures should I follow on property viewings during Covid-19? 

Maintain a two-metre distance whenever possible and avoid touching your face and surfaces. Bring and use hand sanitiser and, of course, wash your hands regularly. Face masks and disposable gloves are not a necessity, unless you have been requested for you to wear them. However, it might be good practice wearing them during the viewing.

Are there alternatives to physical property viewings? 

Virtual viewings can be a helpful alternative to attending physical property viewings. A virtual viewing is essentially a video walkthrough where you can see each room of the property in video form on the listing’s page. For some renters, this might be enough to make an instant offer on the property. Others, however, will use video viewings to qualify their interest – at which point they will ask to arrange a physical viewing.

Can I make an offer on a property without viewing it?

There are no legal requirements to attend a viewing, and you’re completely within your right to make an offer without seeing it in person. Ultimately, it’s up to you and how comfortable you feel making an offer on a property that you’ve only seen in pictures and video. If you believe that it’s a great property, then there’s nothing to stop you from making an offer and securing your dream home.

Property viewings are currently going ahead, but make sure to follow government guidelines when attending. Check online for virtual viewings, which may give you a better idea of what the property is like and allow you to be more selective about attending viewings, helping you to safely find your dream home.

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