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We have now entered our second national lockdown across England and whilst there is a lot of uncertainty, we wanted to assure our clients that Grant Saw remains open for business and we are on hand to assist you in each of the areas in which we operate.

Whilst we are encouraging most of our staff to work from home and to conduct client meetings via video conferencing facilities such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom and WhatsApp, we are aware that some clients require face-to-face meetings at one of our offices. If you do require a face-to-face meeting, we ask that you liaise with your lawyer who will book in a meeting in advance and send you information about our arrangements for your visit.

Our offices in Greenwich and Blackheath are COVID-secure. We have screens in place and will be wearing face coverings. We politely request that visitors wear a face covering unless exempt. We are following social distancing guidance and limiting the number of people in our offices at a given opportunity. Hand sanitiser is available when entering the office and upon arrival, your temperature may be taken via a digital, non-contact thermometer.

The housing market

In the aftermath of the first lockdown, the housing market has seen an unprecedented boom and this has been further strengthened by the Stamp Duty holiday. The housing market will remain open during this second lockdown. Virtual viewings will be recommended but physical viewings are still permitted provided they are carried out in line with Government guidance – no more than two households will be allowed within a property at the same time and social distancing requirements will need to be adhered to.

House moves can take place. However, anyone self-isolating or experiencing COVID symptoms should not be moving and must abide by the Government regulations. For clients that are intending to move, we are encouraging shorter time frames between exchange and completion. Please discuss your transaction with your lawyer to decide whether additional special conditions should be added to your contract to allow for the completion date to be changed in the event that someone in the household has COVID or relevant symptoms.

Estate agents will operate as usual during the second lockdown. Construction sites can also continue and removal firms will function in the usual manner. Tradespeople may enter homes provided they adhere to social distancing measures and mortgage holidays can still be applied for by those facing financial difficult during this difficult time.

Courts

Courts will continue to operate during the next four weeks and the HM Courts and Tribunals Service are keen to avoid any substantial further delays given the backlog of cases that has significantly increased over the past six months.

On behalf of the team at Grant Saw, we hope you and your families stay safe and well during this period of uncertainty and should you require any help or assistance, please let us know.