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Surveyors to provide ‘normal’ service during second lockdown

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  • 02/11/2020
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Surveyors to provide ‘normal’ service during second lockdown
Surveyors have confirmed they will be able to continue operating during the second lockdown.

 

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) said valuers will be able to carry out physical valuations during the month-long shutdown which starts on Thursday 5 November.

Countrywide Surveying Services said in a statement: “The residential property surveying industry has received confirmation from the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government that physical property inspections can continue to be provided as RICS has worked closely with all the major valuation firms and the government over the weekend to secure this much needed clarification.

“Our service provision will continue to be provided under existing stringent Covid-19 Secure safety protocols that we have been using for the last few months to ensure we protect everyone (customers and our people).

“Obviously, we will continue to review and react to any subsequent government guidance as it is published, and release any updates as and when necessary.”

During the first lockdown in March, the property market closed and physical valuations were unable to go ahead.

Lenders used desk modelling and automatic valuations where possible, however, there was still a backlog of several weeks for surveyors to work through when the market reopened.

In recent weeks, backlogs have built up due to the sheer volume of transactions taking place as buyers rush to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday which is in place until the end of March.

It is now feared many buyers could miss out on the tax saving due to the longer transaction times.

Jeremy Raj, national head of residential property at solicitors Irwin Mitchell, said: “Due to the difficulties of home working and the economic backdrop, as well as the earlier total shutdown of the market and subsequent bottle-neck, several parts of the industry have really struggled to keep up.

“Transaction timescales have increased across the board accordingly. Anything that brings a measure of certainty to the new regime is to be welcomed.

“Subject to public health requirements, developers need to be able to keep building and people need to be able to move on with their lives or adjust to their new circumstances, as quickly as possible.

“We would also reinforce our call that the government should row back from the end-of-the-SDLT-holiday cliff edge at the end of next March, given it already appears set to cause considerable unnecessary chaos and anxiety.”

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