Can I move house during the Covid-19 circuit breaker period?

6 min read

Moving house is already a headache for new homeowners and tenants in normal circumstances, but with Covid-19 it has become downright confusing ever since the Singapore government’s ‘circuit breaker‘ measures were announced. The measures include closing down all workplaces classified as non-essential and banning all public and private social gatherings—from 7 April to 1 June inclusive—to minimise the risk of spread of Covid-19.

It is the definition of the terms “essential” versus “non-essential” services that has caused much confusion. In fact, depending on who you ask about moving house, you’ll likely get a different answer. Some say it’s confirm-plus-chop essential, while others say you’d be thrown in jail for breaking the law. We are even hearing cases of landlords not letting new tenants move in, citing the circuit breaker.

So we hope to clear the air once and for all.

What the law now says about moving house

On 7 April, Singapore passed the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations 2020 Bill. We picked out the relevant section and highlighted the key phrases in light blue:

covid-19 temporary measures control order moving house circuit breaker
Source: Singapore Statues website, Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC)

 

Simply put, it’s totally legal to move house during this period. So, for instance, a landlord cannot stop his/her tenant from moving in/out of a house during the Covid-19 circuit breaker period.

We contacted the Ministry of Trade and Industry Singapore (MTI) to find out whether house movers are considered an essential service during Covid-19 circuit breaker period, and the answer was:

Yes, house movers can continue to operate (but they must get approval)

A check with the MTI confirmed that that house movers are categorised under “essential” as of 7 April, but if you’re moving house you might still not be able to engage the mover of your choice, here’s why:

The MTI told us that, although home relocation is considered a essential service, all licensed house movers must pause operations until they receive an official exemption. To continue operations, the licensed house movers must apply for a general exemption to continue operations on the government-run Go Business Covid website. Once approved, the mover may continue operating.

MTI also stated that the moving companies “must also follow the logistic sector rules for Covid-19”. Staff should wear gloves and masks, and practice the one-metre safe distancing guideline to minimise risk to homeowners.

Lastly, we got in touch with some movers…

A few have told us that they’re taking additional measures.

Auntie, one metre please.

TRIO MOVERS
www.thetriomovers.com.sg
Tel: 8321-5709

MTI approval: Yes

As part of their Covid-19 precautionary measures, the spokesperson says his movers will try their best to avoid close contact, although oversized items may need to be carried by at least two persons. Masks will be worn when needed, as it could obstruct breathing during the move.

Trio Movers’ services include packing, disposal and installation.

GOGOVAN
www.gogovan.sg
[email protected]
Tel: 6836-1110

MTI approval: Yes

Gogogvan’s movers are available for hire. As part of their Covid-19 precautionary measures, drivers are encouraged to wear masks. Gloves will be worn if items are not slippery in nature.

Apart from moving services, Gogovan offers delivery and courier of small goods as well as the transportation of large and bulky goods.

SHALOM MOVERS
www.shalom.com.sg
[email protected]
Tel: 6287-6117

MTI approval: Yes

As part of their Covid-19 precautionary measures, Shalom Movers are offering quotations via a video call site assessment. Homeowners may send in photos, too.

Shalom Movers offer residential, commercial, and international moving. They also have vehicles for hire.

RED SUN MOVERS
www.redsunmovers.com.sg
[email protected]
Tel: 6366-1548

MTI approval: Yes

As part of their Covid-19 precautionary measures, Red Sun Movers are offering quotations via video call instead. You may also send in videos or photos as well.

Red Sun Movers provids a range of delivery and relocation services. All crew adhere to a strict hygiene regimen including the wearing of mask at all times and the regular usage of hand sanitiser. Vehicles are also regularly disinfected.

VIMBOX
www.vimboxmovers.sg
[email protected]
Tel: 6339-4439

MTI approval: Yes

Vimbox has indicated that its movers will take precautions such as wearing masks and using hand sanitisers during jobs. “Unless they have special items or requests, we suggest homeowners let the movers plan the move. Our supervisors will follow through. This is so homeowners need not remain in the house during the move,” according to Vimbox.

Vimbox offers residential, commercial and event moves.

AE LOGISTICS
www.aelogistics.com.sg
[email protected]
Tel: 9813-6914 | 9853-2124

MTI approval: Pending as of 8 April

At the time of publication, they are waiting for a confirmation regarding their exemption. The spokesperson hopes to receive a response by this week so they can resume operations.

AE Logistics offers relocation services in Singapore and West Malaysia, as well as provides warehouse storage.

WHEEL ON WHEELS
www.wheelonwheels.com
[email protected]
Tel: 8138-0543

MTI approval: Pending as of 8 April

At the time of publication, they are waiting for a confirmation regarding their exemption. Wheel on Wheels offer relocation and disposal services.

We predict that by Thursday 9 April, most movers would have gotten their exemption from MTI, hence allowing them to operate during the service breaker period (although we hear that some movers have decided to close for the duration of the circuit breaker period, citing a lack of manpower).

So, should I move house during the circuit breaker period? 

When planning a move, it is often necessary for house mover personnel to drop by your home to provide an accurate quotation. However, to minimise contact with homeowners, some movers have told us they now provide quotations via video calls.

Coupled with existing precautionary measures such as daily temperature screening for personnel, we feel there are sufficient safeguards in place to ensure the safey of the homeowner or tenant moving house during the circuit breaker period.

Meanwhile, if you need additional furniture for your new home, you’ll have to get it from online retailers as physical stores such as Ikea are closed while we fight the spread of Covid-19!

 

Will you move house during the Covid-19 circuit breaker period? Voice your thoughts in our comments section or on our Facebook community page.

If you liked this article, check out These SG condos are shutting down their facilities due to Covid-19 and How to Minimise Inconvenience When Moving to a New House

Looking for a property? Find the home of your dreams today on Singapore’s largest property portal 99.co! You can also access a wide range of tools to calculate your down payments and loan repayments, to make an informed purchase.

 

Looking for a property?

Find the home of your dreams today on Singapore’s fastest-growing property portal 99.co! If you would like to estimate the potential value of your property, check out 99.co’s Property Value Tool for free. Also, don’t forget to join our Facebook community page or Telegram chat group! Meanwhile, if you have an interesting property-related story to share with us, drop us a message here — and we’ll review it and get back to you.

Reader Interactions

Comments

    • Great article for those in need and feeling loss not know what to do. Thanks for the information.

    • TT

      How about the viewing new flat.thanks

      • Kyle Leung

        Hi TT, under current circuit breaker regulations, in-person viewing of new flat is allowed only from 2nd June onwards. You may arrange for a video viewing as an alternative.

    • YC

      Great information, thank you. Unfortunately, the landlord whom my daughter was renting the room from was not cooperative despite we listed out safety parameters to ensure she is not at risk. We also mentioned to the landlady that we have assigned to allow only 1 person to enter her unit to pack my daughter belongings while the other will be standing outside the door considering only a few items to move. She still refused so instead she dumped my daughter’s belongings outside her flat & denied our calls & text. On top of that, she missed a few items from the packing list we sent her through another number. We have given her 30 days notice with last day of tenancy on 15 May yet such a treatment. A very distressing experience.

      • Kyle Leung

        Hi YC, we’re sorry to hear of your bad experience with the landlady, and apologies for the late reply on this. May I know if your daughter’s situation is resolved now?

    • Vinay

      Does this still apply with the extension and new measures?

      • Kyle Leung

        Hi Vinay, yes this applies up till 1st June.

    • steph

      say your lease expire or you start lease on new accommodation…how to do handover with landlord and/or agent and tenant

      • Kyle Leung

        Hi Steph, under current circuit breaker regulations landlord and tenant can meet to handover as long as masks are worn and safe distancing kept. Agents cannot be present.

    • Catherine

      I will move out from my current place by end of May 2020. Can I check if my relative help me move my things to new place, isn’t ok?

      • Kyle Leung

        Hi Catherine, under current circuit breaker regulations, your relative is only allowed to help if he/she lives in the same household as you.

    • Gupta arun

      If tenant is not desire to change or shift in their own apartment in Singapore due to COVID 19 and lockout
      Can landlord told to us vacant if lease deed is expired still we are ready to pay rent as agreed for COVID period asked by landlord
      Landlord has not signed any new tenant agreement to any one till now
      Please advice on such situation and as tenant at this moment we are in India complete lockout no flight even keys are with us no courier service

    • Prasanta

      Looks like it’s impossible to relocate your fibre broadband during this period.

      “Hey, sorry. We’re unable to accept any home broadband relocation request at the moment.

      In line with IMDA’s directive based on the Government’s measures to curb the spread of Covid-19, NetLink Trust’s capacity to complete fibre broadband services, including relocation service, is affected.” … says M1.

    • Thanks for the information.

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