No-one was allowed to relocate to a new house during the initial lockdown period that started on 27 March 2020. As we entered Level 4 lockdown on 1 May 2020, the strict lockdown regulations were relaxed in certain instances, however, new homeowners or tenants having to relocate were still not sure whether they are allowed to do so. In some instances, the new house was already transferred or the lease was already signed – it was just the actual moving that was supposed to happen.

Regulations were published on 7 May 2020 to allow for a once-off movement of persons to relocate to their new house and will only apply until 7 June 2020. However, this does not mean that anyone can now decide to move house during Level 4 lockdown. This once-off movement will only be allowed in the following circumstances:

  • New lease agreements that were entered into before or during the initial lockdown period. This means that the lease agreement must have been entered into before 30 April 2020.
  • Transfer of houses that occurred before the initial lockdown period. This means that the house purchased by the new owner must have been transferred into his/her name before 27 March 2020.

If moving house is allowed under the above circumstances, the following extra requirements must be complied with:

  • Only “household furniture and effects” are allowed to be transported when moving house.
  • A permit must be obtained to travel across provincial, metropolitan or district boundaries from the station commander at the police station.
  • The person applying for the permit must also indicate the persons who are part of the household who will also be required to be allowed to move on that said date. In addition to this, the person applying for the permit must ensure that the following information is also available when applying for the permit: personal details of the person who applies for the permit, the date when the move will occur, the current address and new address the person is moving to, the number of people that will be traveling, the registration numbers of the vehicles being used and so on.
  • The person applying for the permit must also have in his/her possession the relevant lease agreements that will indicate the expiry of the old lease and the commencement of the new lease, or the transfer documents that will confirm change of ownership.

There seems to be some confusion whether moving companies are allowed to reopen for the purposes of assisting with the transportation of household furniture and effects. The Regulations are not direct in providing an answer, however, it does mention that transport of goods are allowed under regulation 22(1)(f) of the Regulations dealing with the Level 4 lockdown. When looking at Table 1, which sets out what industries and activities will be allowed during the Level 4 lockdown, Part J specifically refers to “Ocean, rail, road and air transport of goods permitted only for activities set out in regulation 22(1).” Seeing as the Regulations dealing with the transportation of household furniture and effects allows it under regulation 22(1)(f), it would appear that moving companies will be allowed to reopen in order to assist with permitted and allowed relocations of houses, provided that they comply with other applicable regulations and obtain the relevant permits where necessary.

In light of the above, there are strict requirements that must be followed before a person can make use of the once-off movement to move house during 7 May 2020 and 7 June 2020. Apart from these requirements, all other applicable measures that were put in place during the Level 4 lockdown must still be complied with, for example, measures relating to the amount of people allowed in a vehicle and so on.

Date updated: 12 May 2020