New tightened tier system will not directly impact the property sector

England will return to a tiered system for regional coronavirus restrictions next week when lockdown ends, but the so-called ‘Covid19 Winter Plan’ does not appear to directly impact the property sector, despite the stricter rules.

The prime minister has set out a three-tier system of Covid restrictions to remain in place until the spring, warning rules in many areas will be tougher than before the lockdown, but the housing market looks set remain open for business.

Boris Johnson told MPs yesterday that there will be an easing in some areas, such as reopening shops and gyms and letting crowds return to sporting events, while there will be tougher rules on pubs and restaurants, but thankfully more stringent restrictions do not appear to directly impact the estate agency sector and wider housing market in England.

Propertymark has released a statement to let agents know that it has contacted the government seeking clarity on what impact, if any, the new tier structure will have on agents.

It states: “Propertymark is in contact with the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government to understand whether there will be any impact on any aspect of sales or lettings processes.”

Back in March, the housing market was largely closed for almost two months, leading to significant delays and in some cases, transactions falling through entirely, but thankfully it looks like, as widely anticipated, the housing market will remain open for business across England under the new tougher three-tiered system.

Consequently, unless MHCLG says otherwise, homeowners and renters across England will be able to move and removal firms, tradespeople, and estate agents can still operate by going inside homes when the four-week national lockdown across England ends on 2 December, even in areas under tier 3 lockdown restrictions.

Naturally, everybody must continue to follow the Covid safety guidance, which includes following social distancing rules, wearing PPE including masks and gloves, and to have as few people viewing the property as possible.

The Propertymark statement added: “As the country enters a new stage of restrictions, it is more important than ever that agents follow the Covid-19 guidance and apply this throughout their business. Propertymark has created overlaying best practice guidance to support our members to work safely and effectively.”

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