Wales heads for circuit breaker lockdown: New rules on viewings and house moves
A nationwide lockdown is returning to Wales following an announcement made today by First Minister Mark Drakeford MS, with some implications for the private rented sector in relation to viewings and house moves.
The lockdown will come into force at 6pm on Friday 23 October and last until Monday 9 November. This will replace the local lockdown measures currently in place. Everyone in Wales will be required to stay at home – this means working from home wherever possible.
There will be no gatherings of people you do not live with either indoors or outdoors during the two-week period. There will continue to be an exception for adults and single parents who live alone – they will be able to form an extended household with one other household.
Mr Drakeford said the Welsh Government has created an extra Economic Resilience Fund of almost £300m and an extra £150m is being put into Phase 3 of the ERF. Every business covered by the small business rate relief will get a £1,000 payment while SME retail, leisure, hospitality and tourism businesses will receive a one-off payment of up to £5,000. Funds will open in the first week of the lockdown. All businesses required to close will also be able to access the support available through the UK Government.
The rules on house moves and viewings
In terms of further impact on the PRS, new guidance published today by the Welsh Government states that house moves already in motion will be able to continue, if the move can not be delayed until after the short lockdown period is over.
The guidance states that property viewings cannot take place during the circuit breaker period and high street estate agencies are required to close. Virtual viewings can continue.
The NRLA is in the process of seeking clarification on the implications for HMO management and possession proceedings.
The lockdown will not affect a landlord’s obligations in relation to urgent repairs and maintenance, and arrangements to fix non-essential works should be made for as soon as possible after 9 November.
- Welsh Government FAQs on the lockdown and its impact on the PRS can be found here.
- Read the Welsh Government’s announcement here.
- Welsh Government coronavirus guidance for landlords and agents can be read here.