Moving house during COVID-19 restrictions: Your questions answered
Moving to a new rental property can be stressful at the best of times. Moving house during COVID-19 restrictions is a whole other ball game.
As the coronavirus crisis continues to unfold, governments and the World Health Organisation are continuously reviewing, revising, and introducing rules and guidelines around travel and social distancing. These restrictions can and will impact when and how you move house.
Whether you’ve signed a new lease and booked your removalists or just started looking, we’ve got answers to all your moving house during coronavirus questions. Let’s jump right into it.
Please note: this article was written on April 14, 2020. Check local, state, and federal government guidelines and updates for more information.
Can I move house during coronavirus?
Yes, you can move to a new house during the coronavirus outbreak. If your tenancy agreement is up and you’ve found a new rental property, you can move house during COVID-19 restrictions. Local moves are permitted, and removalists are considered an essential service.
Moving interstate is a little more challenging, as many states have implemented temporary border closures. For up-to-date information on state and territory border closures and periods mandatory self-isolation, visit the Australian Interstate Quarantine website.
Is it safe to move house during coronavirus?
Yes, it is safe to move to a new house during the pandemic as long as you follow current social distancing regulations and guidelines. With this in mind, you might have to make some changes to how you move. For example, you might choose to take the DIY route and hire a van or truck instead of contacting removalists. Or, you might opt for a minimal removalist service, packing and transporting as much as you can with your own vehicle and leaving large and heavy furniture to the pros.
Can I hire removalists amid the coronavirus outbreak?
Yes. Removalists are considered an essential service. Many removalist companies have adopted more stringent hygiene procedures and moved to a contactless service. If you are concerned, chat with your chosen removalist about their efforts to protect their workers and clients.
Can I get coronavirus from contaminated furniture?
In short, yes. You can get coronavirus from contaminated furniture. People can catch COVID-19 by touching an object or surface that contains coronavirus and then touching their nose, eyes, or mouth.
To minimise your risk of becoming infected – and to protect the well-being of your removalists – you must be diligent when cleaning your belongings and monitoring the actions of your removalists. Be sure your removalist team washes their hands, vehicles, and equipment regularly. Ask removalists if they can deliver your furniture contactless without entering your new home. Clean high-touch areas frequently.
Will I need to self-isolate after moving house?
If you have moved locally, you will not need to self-isolate after moving house. If you have moved interstate, on the other hand, you may need to self-isolate for a 14-day period. Different states and territories have introduced different rules – check your state’s guidelines before moving day.
Will packing my own belongings minimise my risk of contracting coronavirus?
If you are concerned about catching coronavirus from your removalists, packing your own belongings may be a wise choice. This could minimise the amount of contact your removalist team will have with your belongings, potentially reducing the risk of bringing a contaminated surface into your new home.
What will happen if new restrictions are put in place before my move?
The COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented and ever-changing. As the crisis unfolds, new restrictions are being introduced to reduce infection and protect Australia’s most vulnerable communities. These restrictions can be difficult to live with, but it’s critical that you follow them closely – not just to avoid penalty, but also to play your part in flattening the curve.
If new restrictions have made your scheduled move more difficult, you may have to make changes to your plans. This might mean taking on more removalist duties yourself or blocking out two weeks to self-isolate. If restrictions have forced you to reschedule your move, contact your removalists and new landlord or real estate agent as soon as possible.
What extra precautions can I take during my move?
Here are a couple of simple precautions you can take if you decide to move house during the COVID-19 outbreak:
- Pay for your removalist service with card instead of cash.
- Let your removalists know where to put your furniture in a contactless manner (such as a quick, hand-drawn map). That way, you don’t have to be at your new property when they arrive.
- Ask for photos for proof of delivery instead of supervising the removalist process in-person.
- Always maintain a minimum 1.5m distance from people that you do not reside with.
- Even if you want to show off your new pad, refrain from inviting guests over.
These little things make a huge difference.