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Housing market to reopen from Monday

By Lorna Thompson

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ALL home moves will be permitted in Scotland from next week as long as new safety guidance is followed.

The relaxation of restrictions affecting the housing market follows the move to phase two of the Scottish Government’s route map out of coronavirus lockdown.

From Monday, June 27, people will be able to visit estate or letting agents, sales offices or show homes; view a residential property with the intention of buying or renting; move home or prepare a residential property for a move; or visit a residential property for activities required for rental or sale.

The government has issued guidance for the public and the sector, which reinforces key health messages such as following social distancing rules, hand washing and respiratory hygiene.

It also advises that more of the process of buying and selling a home should be done online – including virtual viewings.

The number of people attending a viewing at one time will be restricted and surfaces such as door handles should be cleaned before and after each viewing.

Under previous guidance on moving home issued on March 31 home moves had to be "reasonably necessary".

Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: "I know that the restrictions on the housing market have been causing difficulties for many people who want to buy, sell, rent or move home. The easing of these restrictions will therefore be welcome news to the public and to the many businesses involved in the housing market."

John Sinclair, convener of the Law Society of Scotland Property Law Committee, said: "This has been an extremely challenging time for solicitors, as they strive to protect their clients’ interests and health and safety – while managing real concerns for the future of their businesses.

"While this guidance does not signal a return to business as usual, it is a measured but very positive development for the profession, the clients they serve and the Scottish economy."

Restrictions affecting the housing market in Scotland will be relaxed from Monday, June 27.
Restrictions affecting the housing market in Scotland will be relaxed from Monday, June 27.

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