Keeping you moving safely is our top priority at Viola Homes. Government guidance continues to recommend precautions to ensure all aspects of buying your home are carried out safely, from your first meeting right through to getting your keys.

This guidance has been built into our appointment and viewing processes, so you can enjoy the experience of buying your new home with peace of mind everything is carried out in the safest possible way.

You can also be assured that if any timings of your move are impacted by COVID-19, we will work flexibly with you make rearrangements.

COVID-secure appointments at our sales and marketing suite

Searching for your perfect home is an exciting time. Whether you’re a first-time buyer, looking for more space for your growing family, or downsizing for retirement, you’ll find all the support and guidance you need at our marketing suites, with a dedicated sales consultant on hand to help make your dream home a reality.

Our colleagues have been equipped with PPE for everyone’s safety, including masks and gloves. Whilst attending your appointment, we kindly ask you to:

  • Limit numbers to two people from the same household (we ask you to avoid bringing small children along wherever possible)
  • Wear a face covering (if you are unable to do so, please contact us to make alternative arrangements)
  • Sanitise your hands when entering the marketing suite
  • Follow social distancing by staying two metres apart from other people wherever possible.

As an extra precaution, we advise you wash or sanitise your hands again when you leave.

Our marketing suites are currently closed for the festive period, reopening in January 2022. Please submit an enquiry through our website for the scheme you are interested in and one of our sales consultants will be in touch in the new year to arrange an appointment with you.

We know you will be keen to view your future home once you’re ready to reserve, so our COVID-secure viewings process has been designed to allow you and your loved ones this special experience, with precautions in place to keep both you and our colleagues safe.

If you are purchasing through shared ownership, we ask you to first complete your application to ensure your eligibility before booking a viewing. Once your application has been processed, we can confirm the share you can purchase and that a mortgage would be available to you, and will arrange a viewing following social distancing measures. This will limit the number of people entering the properties to make it safer for everyone. You are under no obligation to purchase the property at this stage.

When arranging the viewing, you will be advised about the social distancing measures we’ll need you to follow. You won’t be able to touch anything inside the property and only two people should come to the viewing; we ask you to avoid bringing small children along wherever possible. You will need to bring your own hand sanitiser and wear a face covering inside the property if possible.

When you arrive for the viewing, please wait outside until you are advised it is safe to enter. We will arrive at the property 15 minutes prior to the viewing time to get things ready. We will open all kitchen unit doors, store cupboard doors, internal and external doors and then wait outside, leaving the front door open for you to go in.

We will stand outside at a safe distance from you and ask the following:

  1. Use hand sanitiser before you enter the property and look around, but you must not touch anything
  2. When you’re all done viewing the property, please come back outside and ask any questions you may have
  3. As an extra precaution, we advise you wash and sanitise your hands again when you get home.

Once you have left, we will sanitise our hands and enter the property to close all the doors and make the property secure.

The process for reserving the property will be explained at the viewing and all documentation will be completed by email after the viewing. The reservation fee will be taken by card payment over the phone.

The mortgage lender will need to carry out a survey of the property, and in some cases this can be done without a physical inspection. Where the surveyor does need to visit the property, we will provide access using the same social distancing measures as used for a viewing.

Once the sale has been agreed and you have your offer of mortgage in place, you might want to visit your new home again to measure up where you’ll put your couch. We are happy to schedule this for you, with the same social distancing and hygiene measures applied from your first viewing.

You may also want to arrange for tradespeople to carry out inspections. Where possible this should be scheduled with us and only one person should visit the property at a time. Where a trades person is visiting the property, they should also maintain social distancing measures and follow the same instructions as for viewings.

A mutually convenient day for legal completion will be arranged between you, us and the solicitors. We will do whatever we can to ensure contracts take account of the risks posed by coronavirus, including building in flexibility in case dates need to change.

Socially distanced handover of your new home

It’s all yours! Once legal completion has taken place, we will arrange a mutually convenient time with you to meet at your new home.

When we arrive, we’ll sanitise our hands before unlocking the door and will record the gas, electric and water meter readings and send these back to you by email. The keys will be disinfected and placed on the kitchen worktop for you. We’ll leave your home, wiping any handles that have been touched and leave the door open. Outside, at a safe two metre distance, we’ll advise you:

  1. The handover information pack is in the kitchen for you, please read the Home User Guide which contains the contact numbers you need and general information on your home
  2. The instructions for your heating system are in this folder
  3. If you are purchasing your home with the help of a scheme such as shared ownership or rent to buy, our rent team will call you to set up the direct debit for your rent, saving the need for signing forms
  4. Enjoy your new home!

One of the simplest steps you can take when moving home is to wash your hands frequently and wherever possible stay at least 2 metres apart from people who are not members of your household. You should also wear face coverings in instances where social distancing is more difficult.

If these times have taught us anything, it’s to be flexible! Be prepared to postpone moves, if for example someone becomes ill during the moving process and has to self-isolate. If the government changes its guidance and pauses home moves again to help manage the spread of the virus, we will keep you updated and support you with any rearrangements that need to be made.

Moving home unfortunately won’t be possible if you pose a direct risk of transmitting coronavirus. People who have coronavirus or are self-isolating should not leave their home to either move home or undertake property viewings.

We will help you postpone your move until all members of your household have come to the end of their self-isolation period. We will look at each individual case and agree amicable arrangements to change move dates for you, including where someone in your chain is self-isolating or has tested positive for coronavirus.