How Covid-19 could affect your property transaction
We are aware of the media attention surrounding Covid-19 and whether it will impact on your conveyancing transaction.
We are doing all that we can to ensure that we keep things moving along as smoothly as possible.
The Law Society has issued a press release following issues that have been raised amongst the profession as follows:
- Requests for properties to be decontaminated
- Refusal to vacate on completion because the Seller is in isolation
- Failure of disruption to parts of the banking system (such as CHAPS)
- Inability to obtain search results if people are not available to carry out the searches
- Reluctance on the part of the removal company employees to enter properties
- Difficulties in obtaining witnesses
- Issues in mortgage lending surveys physical valuations
The main risk in a conveyancing transaction is that you may find you are inadvertently in breach of a contract which stipulates a date for completion. Examples could include if you are forced to self-isolate or the removal company is no longer able to move you.
If you require additional wording to your contract to allow for delayed completions on the basis of Covid-19, please let us know. Although we will do everything to accommodate this, we are reliant on all parties involved and have no guarantee of success because we are in unknown territory.
Currently, all our offices are open and operating to our normal opening times. Our overall approach is to follow the guidance issued by Public Health England, which can be found using the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-list-of-guidance. The link will also take you to the guidance issued on 12 March concerning 7-day self-isolation if you have a new continuous cough and/or high temperature. This guidance is in addition to the guidance concerning 14-day self-isolation for those who have had exposure to a confirmed case of Covid-19 but have not shown symptoms themselves.
Much of our work is typically conducted by phone, email or video call. Where we might normally consider meeting in person, in the current circumstances, we may suggest alternative ways to progress matters. As we have a flexible working model, we are confident our technology can cope if we have to work from more and our service to you should continue with the minimum amount of disruption.
There are some practical steps you can take:
- Don’t agree completion dates with other parties in the chain
- Limit visits to the property.
- Follow current guidance issued by Public Health England
- Keep in touch with Estate Agents and check arrangements regarding keys
- Keep in touch with removal companies
- Be aware that things could take longer/we are in unknown territory
If you have any questions or concerns, please call us on 0117 958 9959.