14th May 2020

As Estate Agents Reopen, Can Separating Couples Move At Last?

Does the reopening of estate agents mean that separating couples can move at last?

The lockdown caused by the Covid-19 pandemic led to many separating and divorcing couples putting their plans to move out of the family home on hold. The enforced closure of estate agents left the plans of many in limbo. But following the news that estate agents can now open, separating and divorcing couples will be able to proceed with physical viewings of properties available to buy or rent once again.

Simon Benfield, Director of Oxfordshire-based estate agent Hamnett Hayward has provided some helpful insights into how viewings are now operating and what measures are in place to protect clients.

“We have permission to show both empty and occupied property.

For the purchaser:

We are briefing applicants prior to the appointment on procedures. We request they wear masks (but not essential) and have hand gel. At the property we ask them to wait outside whilst we open up. We then allow them access asking them not to touch anything. We keep a safe distance behind so we can monitor and answer questions. We recommend adults only as children are susceptible to touching. Windows and doors will remain open to maintain airflow. 

For the vendor:

We are first checking they are happy with access and have no high risk family members. We then arrange for them to vacate the property for the viewing. We are recommending they wipe down key surfaces on return.

Virtual tours:

We do offer clients virtual tours which now include a very detailed view of the house & garden. However, this is new technology which has yet to be used on existing stock”

It is challenging at the best of times for separating and divorcing couples to live together when, in an ideal world, one partner would have moved out. You might want to read our tips for separating couples on how to stay sane while still cohabiting here. Hopefully the reopening of estate agents will allow separating couples to move on with their lives at last.

If you are considering moving out of your family home following a breakdown in your relationship, it is important that you understand your rights under the law. Please contact any of our top London divorce and family lawyers on E: hello@flip.co.uk or T: 020 7420 5000 for advice.