Can I still move house during lockdown?

Empty Central Station Sydney Can I move during lockdown

Can you still move during lockdown? Yes! But there may be a few catches depending on which state you live in, Foxie explains.

For some Australians, the mid-2021 wave of lockdowns and travel restrictions were a shocking and unwelcome novelty. For others, Victorians for example, well it’s just about become second nature. Nevertheless, even experienced COVID hibernators run into technical questions about the rules, such as: am I allowed to move house during lockdown?

The answer is yes, but only if you signed your rental agreement prior to the start of lockdown. If this is the case, real estate agents are allowed to arrange a contactless meeting for you to pick up your new keys and sign any remaining paperwork.

If you don’t have a signed rental agreement, but still need to move due to a ‘legitimate’ or ‘urgent’ reason like an end of lease, or settlement issue etc, you can still move to a new location. To find out if your specific circumstances meet the criteria, you also may need to get special permission by calling your state COVID services.

Who can help me move?

mother moving into house

Unfortunately, inviting extended family and friends for a moving working bee isn’t an option during lockdown in any state. The only people permitted to help you move are the other people within your household who are also relocating to the new location. You are allowed to hire professional removalists during lockdown, as they are considered an essential service. There will of course be additional precautions applied to the interaction – for example if anyone in your household is presenting with cold-like symptoms, or if anyone in the household is a close contact of a positive COVID19 case, you may be unable to engage with a removalist until your circumstances change. If you’re unclear about how your specific situation is impacted by lockdown restrictions, speak to a removalist company so they can advise you on your options.

The lockdown rules do make some exceptions for special circumstances – for example, if the person moving house is unable to carry out the task themselves due to age, disability etc; and must relocate soon (e.g. due to financial pressures or domestic issues), the State Government may grant an exemption. These exemptions are deliberated over on a case-by-case basis however.

Can I move interstate during lockdown?

The answer to this one will depend heavily on the state you’re locked down in, the state you’re moving to and the specific restrictions that apply there. Victoria, NSW and South Australia have different versions of border requirements. However, across the board you should still be able to move interstate if you’re able to acquire a proof of residence, an approved exemption and approved border passes (for every member of the household).

In Victoria, for example, Red Zone permits (for Victorian residents travelling from NSW or ACT) have been temporarily paused by the State Government, meaning the only people who can cross the State border are those with an explicit exemption. In NSW, however, you should still be able to cross the border so long as you’re able to produce a proof of residence (at press time: 22-07-2021).

These rules will change on a regular basis depending on the severity of COVID restrictions in your state, so make sure to stay abreast of the latest news:

Further Reading:

Image credit: Benjamin Sow on Unsplash

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