Petition calls for all estate agency branches to close during lockdown

A petition calling for the government to close all estate agents during the current lockdown has attracted more than 1,400 signatures so far.

The petition, which was started by an individual concerned that agents are allowed to carry on working despite not being “essential workers”, wants the government to reconsider their decision to keep the housing market open.

Vikram Shah’s petition is likely to prove popular with concerned agents, many of which have expressed a desire to see the property market closed with agency branches shut and a ban on physical viewings, valuations and meetings.

Shah said: “The most valid reason to action this is to protect and save lives. Keeping estate agents open, which allows several households to mix during viewings is going against guidelines and is neither safe or sensible.

“Agents are feeling forced and pressured into conducting viewings whilst this should be the last of their worries especially as there is now a new variant of the virus.

“Agents should work from home and do virtual viewings and only do physical viewings where absolutely safe to do so.”

Petitions posted on Westminster’s official petition.parliament.uk site are guaranteed a government response if they accrue more than 10,000 signatures.

If a petition gets more than 100,000 signatures on that site it will be considered for a debate in parliament.

One commentator on EYE yesterday, posting under the name Neg01, expressed a desire to see the petition “finally get some traction and stop unscrupulous companies forcing people to work in overstaffed offices during a global pandemic”. Others will disagree.

You can view the petition here.

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8 Comments

  1. AlwaysAnAgent

    Agents can close if they wish. I’m sure there will be a “rush for redundancy” as employees sign up for a free, paid holiday.

    It’s hard to believe Shah is an agent and I wonder if anyone has checked.

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  2. Typhoon

    Turkeys voting for Christmas comes to mind

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  3. skipdale

    “Agents should work from home and do virtual viewings and only do physical viewings where absolutely safe to do so.”  That is what we are doing, surely. I am in every day but just me. My team are working from home. All my properties has a Matterport tour. If a buyer is not proceedable, they don’t get a physical viewing. 2 adults only taking turns inside, no children, hands in pockets, mask, gel,  15 mins max.Simple enough.

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  4. Blogster

    You shut your branch Mr Shah …we will carry on complying with the government guidelines!

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  5. Herb

    Crazy, how about families stop mixing first. Enforce current laws.

     

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  6. Eyereaderturnedposter12

    I can’t see any reference to Mr Shah being an agent (unless in my disbelief, I’ve missed something)…
     
    I suspect, like my firm…the vast majority are closed in the literal sense.
     
    Perhaps Mr Shah is PurpleBricks’ new marketing director?
     
    On a separate note, I think it’s about time some credit was given to Agents, who are playing a part in keeping the economy ticking over, in a pretty dire economic situation.

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  7. JustSaying

    Believe it or not, there are sensible and responsible people out there, what’s being forgotten is the simple fact that tenancies do eventually come to an end and people’s circumstances change, if the appropriate precautions are in place (hands, face and space), why shouldn’t we be allowed to move house?

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  8. LettingAgent

    The reason Estate Agents have been allowed to continue is that we do have guidelines and a framework in place, which in theory should keep the agent accompanying the viewing, the viewer and the occupier safe and as an industry, our contribution to the economy is huge (and vital right now).

    The reason so many agents are calling for physical viewings to stop is simply – other people. Don’t get me wrong, most do read the pre-viewing email that is sent out and adhere to it, but there are some individuals that ignore (or forget within the space of a few seconds) and start touching everything, coming closer, pull down their masks to have a proper conversation etc. Particularly in lettings too, we’re also reliant on viewers honesty when it comes to whether they are proceedable or not (to a degree, with sales too, but at least in some cases you can check if they are under offer), and, (especially as house viewings are one of the few legitimate reasons to leave your home) not everyone is completely honest.

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