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Covid-19 – Can you still move house?  Practical implications and solutions Image

Since the precautionary lockdown measures were announced by Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar recently, many clients have asked what this will mean in relation to their property matters.

Although movement and travel are restricted and should be as limited as possible, there have been no official restrictions on property completions. There are ways to continue property transactions within the new guidelines, to provide solutions for our valued clients at this time. These are set out below: 

  1. If you live abroad or live in Gibraltar but are in the high-risk category, you may want to consider putting a Power of Attorney in place with your lawyer. This document allows someone in Gibraltar or your lawyer to be able to sign the relevant documentation on your behalf; 
  1. If you are purchasing an off-plan project in the early stages, the timing of building works may not necessarily be affected at this time. Many developments are being allowed to continue for the moment, on the basis that the workers on site are based in Gibraltar (i.e., do not need to cross the border to work) and exercise adequate social distancing when at work; 
  1. If you are purchasing a resale or an off-plan project in the late stages, as things stand at the date of this article, completions are still proceeding as usual; 
  1. Although certain sectors (such as retail, bars, restaurants) are now closed or quite limited in their trade, law firms are continuing almost as normal, with most employees working remotely either from home or at work with appropriate social distancing; 
  1. Bank valuations should not be interrupted, especially where the property to be valued is vacant. The surveyor can collect the keys from the relevant estate agent, view the property and drop back the keys once finished. The report to the bank will then follow by email; 
  1. Banks are now aware that most customers cannot attend their branch in order to effect completion transfers, so they are allowing online forms to be completed at home and sent to their relationship managers; 
  1. On completion, keys can still be collected from our offices at ISOLAS LLP, where we have a designated collection and drop-off area with sanitiser; and 
  1. Post-completion water and electricity connections are now handled online with AquaGib and Gibelec. 

If you would like any more information in relation to the above, please contact Sarah Miles at sarah.miles@isolas.gi  or the ISOLAS LLP property team on info@isolas.gi . Please note the above is subject to change following further precautionary measures which may be implemented in future and/or further guidance by HM’s Government of Gibraltar.

03-04-2020

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