How Covid-19 Could Affect Your Property Transaction

You will no doubt have heard and read in the national media about the impact the Coronavirus/Covid-19 outbreak is having on the housing market and the conveyancing process in general. This is impacting upon the housing market across the country including here in Ormskirk, Southport and throughout the wider Lancashire region.

Our conveyancing services during Covid-19

We at Dickinson Parker Hill are doing all we can to ensure that transactions progress and continue to move forward, on the basis of the appropriate government advice.

We are open for business and will continue to be so. Most of our staff are now working from home and in keeping with the appropriate guidance issued by HM Government and to ensure the safety and wellbeing of staff and clients, our offices are not open to the public.

What are the key impacts of Covid-19 on conveyancing?

The Law Society has recently issued a press release to address some of the issues that have been raised amongst the profession as follows:

  • Requests for properties to be decontaminated/deep cleaned
  • Refusal to vacate on completion because the Seller is in isolation in accordance with government guidelines
  • Failure or 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 to sign deeds
  • 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.

Additional conveyancing help we can offer during lockdown

If you require additional wording to your contract to allow for delayed completions on the basis of Coronavirus/Covid-19, please contact our offices. 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.

Appointments can be still be held by phone or video conferencing facilities. In normal times, a significant amount of our work is conducted by phone, email and post. Nonetheless, we pride ourselves on the personal service we provide our clients and no amount of technology and IT infrastructure will ever replace meeting face to face. However, we must ensure that safety of our staff and clients which is why the office is not currently open to the public.

We have invested in our technology infrastructure and are fully equipped to continue advising all of our current clients and future clients on all types of conveyancing matters.

Top tips on safeguarding your conveyancing process during lockdown

To assist, in general terms, we have listed below some practical tips if you are involved in a conveyancing transaction that has been impacted by the lockdown provisions:

  • 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

Get in touch with our conveyancing team

Whether you’re a first-time buyer, a landlord, looking to re-mortgage or interested in any other property matter, we’re here to help. If you need any advice about a conveyancing transaction or would like to speak to one of our solicitors about a future transaction please get in touch.

To speak to our conveyancing team, you can call our offices on 01695 574 201 (Ormskirk) or 01704 504 381 (Southport) or you can email our offices by clicking here.