Legal industry experts in England and Wales have worked tirelessly over the weekend to produce guidance on how conveyancing/legal firms advise buyers and sellers to delay their move during the crisis.
The guidance has been prepared by a group which includes the Law Society, the Society of Licensed Conveyancers (SLC), the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives, Bold Legal Group and the Conveyancing Association (CA), and has the support of Government departments including HM Land Registry.
The guidance is to help legal people advise buyers and sellers to meet the latest Government Regulations and Guidance on home moving, in particular:
Please note that if there is someone in the chain that is particularly vulnerable and has been asked to self-isolate for 12 weeks or are suffering from Coronavirus, buyers, sellers and legal people should be kind and whatever the contractual obligations do everything they can to delay the move.
This additional Guidance covers four key areas:
In terms of amending existing contracts, the stakeholder group has worked together and agreed a draft clause and the process for firms to follow when varying a completion date.
The guidance sets out the need for conveyancers to exchange a written agreement to alter the existing contract, to e-sign or authorise the conveyancer to sign on the client’s behalf, to formally exchange documents and to ensure clients are fully advised in accordance with their own circumstances. It also outlines how firms might wish to consider issues that may arise around the client’s mortgage, searches and any additional costs that might be involved.
It also urges firms to treat every case on an individual basis and any clauses or processes recommended by the firm should be amended according to the individual needs of the client.
Within the document there is also specific advice that conveyancing firms can offer to clients who have exchanged, have not exchanged, or for those who have to move during the current restrictive period.
We have published 'Industry guidance to conveyancers on Coronavirus' and 'Information when using the Variation Agreement' for anyone to download.
Kate Faulkner, MD and property analyst says “over the last few weeks the property industry has done an incredible job at putting people and not profits first to work together, along with MHCLG, to provide advice for consumers during the Coronavirus”. Kate continues, “the efforts that the different legal organisations and individuals over the weekend to meet government guidelines in a consistent way is exceptional.”
“It is an incredible ask for people to put their lives and moves on hold, but I know that agents, developers, legal companies, surveyors, the search industry, removal companies and others have put people before profit which should be commended. For any buyers, sellers and renters considering moving, please, if at all possible don’t. I know it’s difficult but take advice from the professionals and if you have any queries, contact me via Propertychecklists.co.uk and I will do my best to answer your individual questions over the coming weeks and months.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
For media professionals
If you need Kate to appear on TV, radio or for general comment, please contact directly:
Kate Faulkner, Property Market Analyst and Commentator
Websites: Kate Faulkner and Propertychecklists.co.uk
Email: Kate Faulkner
Telephone: 07974 750562
About Kate Faulkner
Kate has written eleven property books including four for the consumer organisation Which? Kate is one of the most prolific property market analysts in the country, constantly reviewing property trends, prices, rents and the investment market. She presents at seminars, chairs debates and hosts property events across the country From a media perspective, Kate’s appearances include BBC Breakfast, BBC News, R4’s Money Box and You and Yours, ITV’s This Morning, co-host of LBC’s property hour and regularly contributes to newspapers and magazines.
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The Society of Licensed Conveyancers