We recently advised you to avoid signing new contracts, and that advice hasn’t changed. However, it has been announced that estate agents and landlords can resume house moves and viewings in England from today, so you might soon be contacted by them about this.
The government has now released information on tenants’ rights under this new phase and our Advice Centre Advisors have added some further guidance for you.
People should use virtual viewings before visiting properties in person where possible, in order to minimise public health risks. If any member of either the household being viewed, or the household undertaking a viewing is showing symptoms of coronavirus or is self-isolating, then a physical viewing should be delayed. All viewings should take place by appointment and only involve members of a single household.
You can read the full government guidance on home moving during the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak here.
You do not have to allow viewings if:
If you know that you have to move (check with the Advice Centre if you’re not sure) then you can allow viewings to go ahead, ensuring social distancing and the guidance above is followed.
If your agent/landlord is pressuring you to have viewings, then we recommend you get legal advice about your rights under your contract and what action you can take. If you let the landlord/agent know you’re getting legal advice, they will have to wait until you have had your appointment.
You can get free legal advice from University of London Housing Services by asking them for an appointment. You can also email them (make sure you use your University email) with your query or call 0207 862 8880.
Most students should stay put; only people in exceptional circumstances should move. If you believe you have no choice but to move, please contact the Advice Centre so we can guide you and share useful information with you.
Ideally, no-one should be moving into a new student house share at this time. Doing this would bring multiple people from different households together and risk accelerating the spread of the Covid-19 virus. The Advice Centre might be able to help you find alternative options, so ask for help if you need to move.
If you are moving, then use our Private Housing Leaving Guide to ensure you know what to do before and after leaving and that you get your deposit back.
For further updates regarding the latest guidance, check out our Coronavirus Hub.
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