Government has strongly advised that home movers in both sectors should stay put unless for contractual reasons a property rental or sale must proceed and neither side can agree to delay.

The government has confirmed that all house moves other than those which contractually cannot be paused are to stop in both the sales and private rental markets but has allowed tradespeople to continue repairing and maintaining properties as the Coronavirus lock-down intensifies.

In a statement issued late yesterday, a spokesperson from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) said: “Home buyers and renters should, as far as possible, delay moving to a new house while emergency measures are in place to fight coronavirus.

“If moving is unavoidable for contractual reasons and the parties are unable to reach an agreement to delay, people must follow advice on social distancing to minimise the spread of the virus.

“Anyone with symptoms, self-isolating or shielding from the virus, should follow medical advice and not move house for the time being.”

But landlords and letting agents worried that the lockdown might include looking after rented properties were given some relief from the lockdown.

MHCLG has revealed that work carried out on people’s homes, including maintenance and repair work on rented properties, can continue.

The ministry has urged landlords to ensure that any tradespeople visiting their properties follow Public Health England (PHE) guidelines “including maintaining a two metre distance from any household occupants, are followed to ensure everyone’s safety,” a spokesperson said.

“No work should be carried out in any household which is isolating or where an individual is being shielded, unless it is to remedy a direct risk to the safety of the household, such as emergency plumbing or repairs, and where the tradesperson is willing to do so.

“In such cases, PHE can provide advice to tradespeople and households.” Its regional helpline numbers are available online.

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