Aldermore and Paragon have both resumed physical property valuations in England following changes to government guidelines.
Aldermore Bank is resuming physical mortgage valuations on properties for house purchase and remortgage in England, where strict social distancing and safety measures are met.
The Government published on 10th May updated guidance confirming that physical mortgage valuations can restart in England. Aldermore says it will ensure a detailed risk assessment is undertaken ahead of a valuation appointment so that the safety of surveyors and residents is prioritised in line with Government guidance.
Remote valuations will continue to take place when possible in Scotland and Wales, and applications in these countries that require a physical property valuation will be put on hold until social distancing restrictions have been eased.
Physical valuations on buy-to-let properties in England are anticipated to recommence shortly, and Aldermore will in the meantime continue to conduct remote valuations when possible. Larger rental properties such as HMOs will not be suitable for a physical mortgage valuation until social distancing restrictions have further eased.
Paragon also announced that it is implementing a range of measures that will minimise any risks posed by Covid-19 during property inspections. This will include undertaking full pre-valuation safety assessments, with surveyors also maintaining a distance of at least two metres from those inside properties. In addition, protective equipment, such as face masks, gloves and shoe covers, will be available to surveyors.
The specialist buy-to-let lender has begun contacting landlords, brokers and managing agents to ensure they are aware and comfortable with the enhanced inspection processes. Paragon will initially focus on rescheduling visits that were arranged before Government restrictions were put in place and backlog cases.
Jon Cooper, head of mortgage distribution at Aldermore, said: “We are keen to help the many customers in the UK looking to get going on their home buying and selling plans, but we must be cautious and responsible in how we open up. The new Government guidance is encouraging in allowing the housing market to get moving again, and ensuring safety is a priority will help build confidence in the long term.
“The protection of our customers and surveyors is our primary consideration so we are committed to adhering to meticulous social distancing procedures. We are working towards physical valuations for buy to let properties and will have an update on this shortly.”
Richard Rowntree, managing director of mortgages at Paragon, added: “Paragon acted swiftly and efficiently to lockdown, adapting to restrictions by implementing revised processes such as desktop valuations. However, we’re really pleased to resume physical property valuations where it is safe for us to do so.
“We benefit from our own team of experienced surveyors so are well-positioned to resume our operations to pre-lockdown levels quickly. This means we’ll have a key role in jump-starting the property market and wider economy following the lifting of restrictions by the Government.”