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Moving house? Estate agents and removals firms remain open in Lockdown, plus latest on financial support and mortgage holidays

If you have exchanged on your house during the Lockdown, you can still move home during the latest national Lockdown, according to the government’s website. Estate and letting agents and removals firms can continue to work and people looking to move home can continue to undertake viewings. However, Open House-style viewings are not permitted.

People outside your household or support bubble, however, should not help with moving house unless absolutely necessary.

Follow the national guidance on moving home safely, which includes advice on social distancing and wearing a face covering.

According to government guidelines and Estate Agent Today, “All physical viewings where prospective buyers or renters will be entering the property should involve no more than 2 households inside the property at any one time. This includes any agent accompanying either party. Anyone in a support bubble with either household, however, will count as part of that household.” 

“Where prospective buyers who are currently from separate households wish to view the property on the same occasion, we advise that one household leaves the property to allow the other to enter. This allows for both households to view the property and ensures social distancing.”

It is essential that you ask the removals company staff to wear masks when coming into your home. You should ask the company before moving day that all workers are on board with this for your safety and theirs. If it is not too cold, leaving windows ajar to circulate fresh air is always a good thing to do.

But hiring a removals company is not cheap, but often essential, if you are juggling work, young children, or do not have the physical stamina to be carrying mattresses up the stairs.

If you are concerned about how you will afford the move and are among the businesses being forced to close during Lockdown, here are the latest government support mechanisms in place, with potentially more coming out today by the Chancellor (5 November).

Financial support

Workers in any part of the UK can retain their job, even if their employer cannot afford to pay them, and be paid at least 80% of their salary up to £2500 a month.

The flexibility of the current CJRS will be retained to allow employees to continue to work where they can. Employers small or large, charitable or non-profit are eligible and because more businesses will need to close, they will now be asked to pay just National Insurance and Pensions contributions for their staff during the month of November – making this more generous than support currently on offer.

The Job Support Scheme will not be introduced until after Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ends in December.

Wherever you live, you may be able to get financial help through the:

Mortgage holidays?

To give homeowners peace of mind too, mortgage holidays will also no longer end in October. Borrowers who have been impacted by coronavirus and have not yet had a mortgage payment holiday will be entitled to a six month holiday, and those that have already started a mortgage payment holiday will be able to top up to six months without this being recorded on their credit file. Others will have their credit rating impacted if they go on a tailored payment plan. It is therefore wise to ask your lender directly about any reduction in payments and how it could impact your credit rating as The Freelance Informer has previously reported.

In response to the mortgage holidays and other support, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said:

Over the past eight months of this crisis we have helped millions of people to continue to provide for their families. But now – along with many other countries around the world – we face a tough winter ahead.

I have always said that we will do whatever it takes as the situation evolves. Now, as restrictions get tougher, we are taking steps to provide further financial support to protect jobs and businesses. These changes will provide a vital safety net for people across the UK.

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