Allow some property moves

The blanket ban on non-urgent/emergency house moves should be lifted. Either discretion should be given to solicitors or criteria published that should a transaction meet, it can be completed.

For example in my own situation the only physical transaction required to complete my house move is dropping off keys to my current property and collecting the keys to my new property. This could be done safely following social distancing guidelines. Both my flat and the flat I am buying are already empty so there is no requirement for removal services, van hire or other support services to complete the transaction.

Why the contribution is important

As described in my example above there are many property transactions currently on hold that could continue safely where the move is within the same local area and little or no physical interaction is required between people.

Although there are certain scenarios where it would still not be safe to complete property transactions, there are plenty where it could be. As the law society is not allowed to complete missives there are many homeowners with offers accepted on their property with no legal protection from their purchaser withdrawing despite being committed to the transactions for many months.

Furthermore, if a blanket ban continues and then is lifted there will be a backlog of transactions to complete which could otherwise have been dealt with earlier.

by lwlcampbell on May 05, 2020 at 01:17PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.7
Based on: 72 votes


  • Posted by ProtestTheHero May 05, 2020 at 13:29

    Fully support the idea of property transactions being restarted in a gradual manner, in part to avoid the system collapsing if thousands of people all attempt to move later in the year due to redundancy/neighbour disputes during lockdown/the need for home offices.
  • Posted by MiniMum65 May 05, 2020 at 13:31

    Agreed. Our property move is on hold due to the Land Registry being closed. Otherwise, we are good to go-we can arrange the removal of furniture and belongings ourselves. The property we are moving to is ready and lying empty, currently we are in a rental so our keys could be dropped with the rental company and our new keys picked up, all with social distancing maintained.
  • Posted by JMc May 05, 2020 at 13:32

    Agreed - a phased relaxation of lockdown measures specific to property moves would allow the wheels to turn and make a significant difference to many peoples circumstances.
  • Posted by Edinproperty May 05, 2020 at 13:42

    Absolutely agree. In many cases it’s possible to restart this process following social distancing. Empty properties for example.

    Also viewing of empty properties if social distancing adhered to, wearing masks, using hand sanitizer placed in properties
  • Posted by vl3092 May 05, 2020 at 13:53

    Fully support this, and am in the exact same position - no chain involved in my sale. Begins and ends with my flat. I am already living in my partner's property, and the purchaser of my property is a FTB so no further chain. Find is ridiculous the manner in which the land registry was closed without any warning to solicitors or estate agents, such incompetence on the government's part.
  • Posted by Bob1983 May 05, 2020 at 14:09

    Fully agree. Allow moves to complete. Removal companies, individuals and solicitors can all manage social distancing and appropriate hygiene. This will generate much needed income for business and LBTT for the government.
  • Posted by yewtree May 05, 2020 at 14:57

    I would have thought that the income from LBTT is vital to the Government.
  • Posted by Cf May 05, 2020 at 14:59

    I agree that there need to be moves to reopen the property market. This is particularly relevant to agencies where there will be a lag of up to 3 months on new sales putting them under even more financial pressure
  • Posted by Claireg2807 May 05, 2020 at 15:15

    This would be a great idea for me also, my mortgage application is on hold due to payment holidays affecting the lenders ability to lend.
  • Posted by ScottM May 05, 2020 at 15:32

    Fully support this thread, I am in the same position as many of the contributors where everything is signed, just need land registry to re-open to allow sale to complete
  • Posted by AndrewAberdeen May 05, 2020 at 16:18

    Fully on board with this! I am in the same predicament as others in the section. Everything is in place ,however ,I just need land registry to re-open so I can complete the purchase. These steps can all be done following strict social distancing and hygiene and acquire ,I imagine much needed LBTT.
  • Posted by Rosier89 May 05, 2020 at 16:28

    Agreed, although our situation a little more complex as need removals.. but hope things get moving soon.
  • Posted by Amellon May 05, 2020 at 16:34

  • Posted by alexp2000 May 05, 2020 at 16:56

    Fully support this, can only imagine how stressful it must be for those caught up in the current circumstances. Many will be having to live with others where the virus would surely be more likely to spread.
  • Posted by DrT May 05, 2020 at 16:56

    The Government should ease restrictions and consider suspending LBTT to stimulate the property market to get sales moving, reducing the risk of property prices falling in the short term.
  • Posted by Jane May 05, 2020 at 17:19

    Fully support where safe to do so. This is an example were universal ban is a blunt tool - a set of criteria that need to be met and approved by the lawyer could move this on. It is another visible sign of the country moving on as well as the obvious benefits to those affected directly.
  • Posted by Sabrinam May 06, 2020 at 11:43

    I fully support this but feel it also needs to include new builds under construction. there are so many homes like my own that are over 95% complete, this means pretty much everything is done except for little touch ups and the local authority and warranty visits.
  • Posted by Colin87 May 07, 2020 at 06:00

    Agreed. Initially prioritise house moves that have just about been completed
  • Posted by HazelG2020 May 08, 2020 at 08:29

    Prioritising house moves, especially those that are empty to move into. Also, home report refreshes so transactions and missives can be completed.
  • Posted by SheShe May 08, 2020 at 10:03

    I agree very strongly as I am personally affected and it’s an additional emotional stress and financial worry. Opening up this sector could happen without risk if it is properly managed and would benefit a lot of individuals plus firms involved in the process plus the government (LBTT)
  • Posted by BeataK May 08, 2020 at 14:24

    Absolute agree. I am in a process of selling a flat which is empty. The transaction got stuck because of social distancing rules. This is unnecessary and it will only damage housing market if continued, drive the property prices down and make hardworking people loose money.
  • Posted by MrsRoss May 09, 2020 at 05:52

    If someone in the chain is in precarious accommodation or not close to work/school allow the transaction.
  • Posted by Proudsister May 09, 2020 at 18:58

    It would be good if this was one of the first things to be relaxed when safe to do so. It can be done in a fairly low risk way with a little thought.
  • Posted by ProudBIL May 09, 2020 at 20:06

    I agree this is an important issue to prioritise. Lots of jobs depend on the property market, including many which could work from home (such as the conveyancing lawyers who are currently furloughed).

    It will need to be worked out with the Land Register to make sure the new electronic system can cope and/or they can protect their staff in other ways.

    Even allowing moving for properties which are not empty would pose relatively minimal risk with appropriate measures, so long as the sale is already agreed.
  • Posted by Sedling May 10, 2020 at 12:54

    Please allow (at least some) house moves to go ahead. We were due to complete at the end of March. 2 houses involved. Both empty. No chain. Our removal company have confirmed they are ready to restart operations within social distancing guidelines.
  • Posted by elenapoulos1981 May 11, 2020 at 12:30

    We are also in the process of moving home. I think some restrictions should be lifted in relation to moves currently in process and properties currently on the market with restrictions on brand new buying and selling remaining in place. This would mean the property market could slowly ease. Also include viewing of current properties for sale with strict requirements for hand washing and mask wearing in place
  • Posted by joann44 May 11, 2020 at 18:48

    My house was for sale for sometime and an went under offer just before lockdown, my mortgage is on hold and the sell of the property.
    The lockdown has also effected the purchase of my next home.
    The stress caused by this is unbelievable. Will the buyer pull out??? Will my mortgage for the next property be turned down??
    The land registry, estate agents, surveyors, mortgage lenders etc needs to be allowed to open again.
    Selling a house is stressful enough at the best of times.
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