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This week, the UK government took the decision to put the country into a second lockdown for 4 weeks, until the 2nd of December. During the first lockdown, this meant that the housing market went on a temporary hold, so do the same rules apply the second time around? Whether you’re a landlord or a tenant, here’s a rundown of the new rules and what they will mean for you.

Is the rental market still open?

Yes, under the new restrictions for the second lockdown, the property rental market is still open. The number one piece of guidance is to stay at home whenever possible, but there are some exceptions, including ‘fulfilling legal obligations’. According to the government website, legal obligations include any ‘activities related to buying, selling, letting or renting a property’.

Can people still move home?

Yes, those who want to are still able to move home. That means, if you are a tenant or a landlord looking for tenants, there is no need to wait until this lockdown is over to physically move home (unless somebody in the home has symptoms and needs to self-isolate). Letting agents can still offer viewings on properties, and removal companies and cleaning companies can still help people who are moving house. However, under the new rules, you cannot get your friends or family to help you move unless you already live together or have formed an exclusive support bubble.

What is happening with viewings?

During the first lockdown, virtual viewings became a viable alternative for people interested in renting a property; this will continue to be a good option throughout November. This time around in-person viewings will also be allowed, provided they are COVID-safe: that means as few people as possible must enter the property at once, and everybody should sanitise their hands, wear masks and keep their distance from anybody they don’t live with or are not bubbled with.

What about maintenance of rental properties?

Like viewings, property repairs and inspections are still permitted to go ahead, provided all the COVID-safe guidelines are followed. Of course, if you are a landlord and someone in your property is vulnerable and needs to shield, or they have symptoms and are self-isolating, all visits from people outside the home should stop until the danger has passed. As with the previous lockdown, the important thing is for landlords and tenants to communicate with each other and be as flexible and compassionate as possible, in order to keep everybody safe.

If you have a property to rent in Bristol, Gough Quarters can help you navigate the new guidelines and find tenants for your rental. Contact us today to find out more.

Cover image by Paweł Czerwiński on Unsplash

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