EYE Information Update: Unavoidable moves can go ahead says Government

The Government has said that house moves can, if absolutely unavoidable, go ahead. It has asked membership organisations to disseminate the following message:

“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.”

The statement adds:

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  1. Ric

    Ok, so basically ALL parties involved in all sales agreed will now not agree a delay and therefore move forward.

    Over to the solicitors and therefore I assume removal companies will now take new bookings.

    Odd to have left the door wide open to abuse, but hey hoe…


    1. Bless You

      And yet 4 agents have put houses on the market in my area today..

      This is why it took a pandemic to kill rightmove…

      agents are RATS . ( Iam not obvs)

  2. AgencyInsider

    What?! So the ‘view’ of the civil servant that was promulgated by Propertmark yesterday as ‘gospel’ was not in fact gospel. It was a view.

    Forgive me if just for once I say ‘Told you so’.



  3. chamber18

    More spread of Covid-19.

  4. Alan Murray

    Let’s face it with the lack of leadership at the top people will push the envelope until it can go no further. I think Boris wants some parts of the economy to work on for obvious reasons but the consequences should be obvious.
    Human nature being what it is we will see people trying to get exchanged and completed ASAP. They are probably the same clients who are panic buying at the supermarket and packing out diy stores at present.
    Check another thread for the reaction of at least two Solicitors which will explain a lot. Working from home business as usual is the attitude and we shouldn’t complain in case we hurt their feelings. As an experienced conveyancer I am ashamed at a lot of behaviour from my peers at this time. I know of one very prudent professional conveyancer who has refused to exchange a contract or fix a completion since last Monday but from what I see she is in the minority.
    Words fail me, I would be offensive if I gave my honest opinion of some of these people suffice to say they are a disgrace to the profession and I won’t forget who they are when all this is over. Name and shame them then so the public know who they can trust in the future.
    For them an urgent update. In other news there is a killer pandemic sweeping the globe everybody stay in and keep safe this is not the not the time for smugness and profiteering.

    1. whatdoiknow58

      Well said.

      An earlier report stated that mortgage lenders were refusing to release mortgage monies and whilst there maybe plenty of cash buyers about the vast majority I suspect will need a mortgage to exchange/complete so hopefully that closes part of the problem. I think this directive could relate to buyers who have already exchanged with agreed completion dates and of course some Tenants but who knows. Maybe a conveyancer/solicitor could comment further?


    2. Hillofwad71

      As deaths in the UK showed  a pause in increase  yesterday  you get the Daily Mail posing the question Is It over ?

      This sort of comment only likely  to make  people  less vigilant and relax.


      Noble sentiments Alan Murray .Human nature as  it is  I can imagine many will wish to fulfill their contractual obligations  on those exchanged and hang  their hat on that  minimising direct human contact  as a gesture towards public health  and b*****r the consequences

      Probably  seeing many cars travelling with sofas strapped on top of their roofs if they can’t get a removals van !


  5. OverHalfWay

    I am on portals for new instructions for property in a area I’m personally look to buy in the near future myself. And the only new instructions that I’m now receiving from estate agents are new instructions from purple bricks what a surprise.

  6. J1

    I am not sure you are reading this correctly

    It says for contract reasons and those that cannot agree to delay

    Not “or” cannot agree to delay

    So “I have exchanged and cannot delay or I will be sued” is my view of this announcement.

    I think it’s all but finished now for a few weeks ladies and gentlemen

    Lets hope we are all alive at the end of this – it’s seems it’s no longer just our oldies in the cross hairs……


  7. GPL

    My View…. who cares, but here it is….
    Any Agent out Listing Properties should be heavily fined. If the Public are being told to stay put or possibly be fined or jailed, then forgive me …… Agents are not a “Special Case” legally or morally!
    Which bit of “STAY HOME” do these Dumb/Selfish/Reckless Agents NOT understand?
    If there is Evidence of Agents flouting what the Nation has been TOLD TO DO …….call it out!    

  8. GPL


    When I was a Police Officer, I stopped an Off-Duty Police Inspector, breathalysed him, he failed. I charged & arrested him, despite a subtle threat as to what might happen to my career ……and here we are …..an Estate Agent! 🙂


    My point is …..there is a time for NO Exceptions! Do we need to drop dead bodies off at any offending Agents Offices …..just so they realise?


    I sincerely hope that there is No Evidence of Agents flouting what we MUST do. STAY at HOME.



  9. Thinker89

    I have two completions booked for tomorrow that exchange weeks ago for reasons that suited all parties.

    Both are for people who don’t need movers as they won’t be moving in immediately – one moving up the road with a mnth or more to do it as they are renting, the other living with parents buying a home that needs major refurb.

    We will be putting the sterilised keys through their existing home’s letterboxes. Not meeting them anywhere and without our usual  meet-you-at-the-property service.

    The contractual agreement exists, all parties are aware of the issues and no-one will meet anyone in person.

  10. #ImpressiveConveyancing

    Even when it is as clear, as explained above, people choose not to read it properly:

    ..…..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.
    1.exchanges must complete only if one party won’t delay (talk about acting in bad faith by not allwoing a delay…wouldn’t want to be that law firm)
    2. as far as possible delay moving – so no new exchanges, as not exchanging is possible to do

    As a result conveyancers:

    a. must ask to vary the contract to delay completion

    b. delay any new exchnage

    …or not just their clients are in breach of Government direction (though they can choose to take the risk) but the conveyancer is too as they are a party to a breach which they cannot be, as Solicitors are officers of the court and their overriding duty is to the rule of law. They must also to act in the best interests of the client, and Government advice is the best interests.





  11. bigvern

    If due to exchange and complete on friday 27th (3 parties in chain) does the statement issued by govt. now rule any possibility of this happening out (even if one of the parties refuses to a delay)



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