The Guernsey Contracts Court is now again dealing with the completion of non-essential property matters subject to ongoing strict policies and requirements concerning the completion process (to continue to minimise footfall, ensure social-distancing, and reduce as far as possible the risk to the parties, their legal advisors, the members of the Court and staff of the Greffe). Following on from this and the commencement of Phase 2 on Saturday 25 April, the States of Guernsey have now issued guidance for removal firms in order to allow them to operate.
To book with a removal company, the property occupier must first confirm that the property was not occupied by anyone with coronavirus or its symptoms in the preceding 14 days and that the occupants were not in a state of isolation.
In preparing the property, occupants should ensure that all internal doors are left open to minimise the need to touch door handles. Where possible, the property owner should pack their belongings to reduce the contact between employees of the removal company and personal belongings.
The occupier should not be present unless absolutely necessary in which case they must maintain social distance. A maximum of five people should be present at the property (and this includes the property occupiers if their presence is deemed essential).
The time spent at a property should be kept to a minimum, while maintaining safe working practices and social distancing at all times.
Where lifting and moving operations cannot be safely undertaken by one person and it is not possible to use alternative lifting methods, multiple employees of the removal firm can help lift the item. The number of people used to do this should be kept to a safe minimum.
These very welcome guidelines will no doubt see an increase in residential property transactions and will allow the market to gradually start returning to some form of normality.