service personal residential 1 - The Government's Statement on Conveyancing 26th March 2020

The Government’s Statement on Conveyancing 26th March 2020

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The latest advice (published 26 March 2020) from Government in relation to how Covid-19 affects home moves says:

  • If the property you are moving to is empty, then your move can go ahead;
  • If the property you are moving to is not empty, then if at all possible all parties should agree to delay completion until after current restrictions are lifted;
  • However, if no agreement can be reached on a delay or if the move is ‘critical’, then completion can go ahead as long as everybody agrees to follow the current rules on social distancing throughout the move.

The Government is also talking with lenders to try to ensure that any mortgage offers that are due to expire be extended.

At Poole Alcock, all our staff are set up to work remotely and business continues as normal, albeit at a distance.  If you are currently in the process of selling or buying a house with us, and completion is imminent, your conveyancer will be in touch with you to discuss your specific circumstances and how you would like to proceed.

If you are able to postpone your move until a later date, rest assured that your conveyancer will complete all transactional work in the meantime so that as soon as restrictions are lifted we are in a position to exchange and complete as soon as possible.

If you are weighing up whether you are able to complete your sale and purchase over the next few weeks, these are the questions you need to consider:

  • Is the property empty?
  • If not, can all parties agree to delay completion?
  • Is the timing of the move critical?
  • Will your removal firm still be able to assist?
  • Do you need to speak to your lender about extending your mortgage offer?
  • If the move is going ahead, can you be sure that everyone involved will be able to comply with the social distancing rules?

If you decide that you do wish to proceed with your completion, in most circumstances we would very strongly advise that contracts are only exchanged on the day of completion.  This is to protect you from a situation where you find that you cannot complete (for instance, if your removals firm stops operating, or if you or a member of your household becomes ill), and might risk losing your deposit or facing claims for other damages or losses from your seller/buyer.  However, if we exchange and complete on the same day then you won’t be contractually bound to the sale/purchase until we know for certain that all parties are able to move on that day.

For more information visit the government website

If you are concerned and wish to talk about your options, please get in touch with us.  Your conveyancer will be happy to talk through your circumstances with you to find the best way forward. Call us now or contact us using our online form and we will help you through this difficult time.




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Please submit your information and a member of the Poole Alcock team will respond to you as soon as possible. If you have a quick question, please feel free to call 0800 389 7093


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