Update to Moving Homes in Wales guidance

Welsh Government have this lunch time updated guidance on moving homes in Wales. The main point that they have clarified is the definition of a vacant property. They have also continued to stress that occupied properties should not be viewed, and have once again spelled out the importance of virtual viewing before physical viewing, the important of social distancing, and they are keen to stress that physical viewings of any property should only happen if absolutely necessary.

The full guidance can be found here, and the main points relating to house viewings are as follows:

Property viewings

Physical viewings should only take place where the property to be viewed has been unoccupied for at least 72 hours, or has been deep cleaned. The following advice on prioritising virtual visits, hygiene measures, maintaining social distancing at all times and avoiding contact where possible should be followed. 

You should use virtual viewings before visiting vacant properties in person, in order to minimise public health risks by ensuring you are visiting only those properties that appear to be most suitable to meet your needs and desires. Physical viewings of vacant properties that have been unoccupied for 72 hours or deep cleaned should only take place where absolutely necessary. 

If you are tenant, your landlord and/or their agent cannot arrange physical viewings of your home whilst you are occupying that property. Where your tenancy agreement has come to an end, landlords and/or their agent can only arrange physical viewings once you have vacated the property with all of your possessions and 72 hours has passed or a deep clean of the property has been undertaken.

Key points to consider are:

  • you should do your property searching online in the first instance
  • initial viewings should be done virtually and property agents should help you to do this
  • all physical viewings of vacant properties should be by appointment only
  • physical viewings of vacant properties should be limited to members of the same household, and ideally, where possible, the adult members of that household only (thereby limiting the number of visitors including children, viewing a property)
  • the landlord or agent can accompany the viewing, but must maintain social distancing at all times
  • no open house viewings should take place
  • the agent must travel separately to the property from the household viewing the property, no car sharing
  • when physically viewing vacant properties you should still avoid touching surfaces, wash your hands at the earliest opportunity following the visit and bring your own hand sanitiser
  • viewings of empty rooms in houses of multiple occupation or shared accommodation should not take place
  • once the viewing has taken place, the landlord or agent responsible for accompanying the viewing should ensure surfaces, such as door handles, are cleaned with standard household cleaning products and towels disposed of safely or washed as appropriate