Moving Home During The COVID-19 Pandemic

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Home moving plans have been completely upended by the coronavirus outbreak. People who are in the middle of buying a home are not sure if it will be possible to transfer the property under their names as planned. Moving and cleaning businesses that are still operational need to completely reassess how they do their work around new hygiene and physical distancing requirements. Normal steps of home buying and moving are delayed or  completely halted. You need a special permit for moving home from Dubai Police, which you can obtain online.

To reduce stress, here are a few components of the moving process for which you may want to reconsider your approach — even if you had things planned to the last detail only a month ago.

Movers

While most moving companies and independent movers want to keep business going as usual, this industry has needed to make major changes across its business model. First of all, most companies are allowing clients to reschedule or postpone even if the state hasn’t mandated a shelter-in-place. So if you can keep your belongings in your old home for a bit, you may want to discuss it with your mover.

If you decide to proceed with moving belongings, be aware that everyone is paranoid about germs on surfaces, and everyone wants to minimize close-quarters interaction. Because of this, you may want to do a lot more of the packing and wrapping than you normally would, rather than supervising a crew as they handle all the contents of your home.

Cleaners

While cleaners also need to adjust the way they come into contact with clients, their services are hard to hire this days, so be prepared to hear that there’s a wait for their service. It has also become pretty standard for clients to allow their cleaners more space in the room to do work rather than coming in to greet them face to face and give instructions.

Nonessential furniture orders

Rethink what you really need to order for your home, because there’s a good chance you will have to wait for new furniture to arrive. Stores are closed and only some operate online, and deliveries are subject to the capabilities of shipping services, which are delayed.

The other big consideration is, once the furniture arrives, how will it get set up in your house? Delivery people are wearing gloves and masks, but some residents need even more in terms of social distancing. If you upgrade to have in-house delivery and setup, you may want to specify that you won’t greet them at the door but need the piece to be set up in the room where it belongs.

The list of repairs

The protocol we are all used to is to have a list of needed repairs that you share with former owners or your landlord and then attempt to fix prior to or upon move-in. However, that may need to be rethought. Some types of service techs are highly backed up right now, and others like painters, you may just not want doing their typical work at this time. It may be the smartest thing to break up your list into priority items and things that can wait.

If you’re buying a home, rather than negotiate to have the seller make the fixes, it’s probably easier to just negotiate a closing cost credit. If you’re renting, give the landlord your list and let them know that these are the things that you’re allowing a delay on but that were all in need of repair at move-in and will need to be made whole when possible.

Regular landscape services

Pool service and outdoor landscaping services are still happening on a reduced schedule in some places, but even in emirates with more relaxed rules, managed developments are beginning to restrict nonessential service appointments.

Pest control 

In certain parts of the country, this is more of a necessity than an elective, and pest control companies remain open accordingly. Remember, many options don’t even require service people to come inside. And some pest control companies are looking at a combination of traditional methods like exterior-only service and new ones — like no-contact service using specialized handheld devices — to help people achieve necessary hygiene standards on this front without having to wonder whether they’re compromising themselves in other ways.

New protocols for a new time

Moving home is never easy, and this health crisis makes it more complicated than ever, so be flexible with yourself and others around you. Recognize that even if you had certain goals (e.g., organize all your books and color coordinate your living room furniture), it’s more important that everyone be together and be safe. And be kind to the workers who brave other people’s homes every day.

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