Our conveyancing team is still open for business!
Government advice states the following;
“Given the situation in the UK with regard to the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19), we urge parties involved in home moving to adapt and be flexible to alter their usual processes.
There is no need to pull out of transactions…”
Our Residential Conveyancing team has continued to work on transactions since the lockdown last month was announced, not only on existing cases but new cases as well.
Government advice discourages people from physically moving home at this time however there is no need to pull out of transactions, and our team can progress your file to the point of exchange at this time, ready to move home when it is safe to do so.
Julie Atkinson Head of our Residential team answers some key questions that we have had from existing and prospective clients on moving home.
Can I move to a new house during lockdown?
Government guidance published in the last few days continues to state “Where the property being moved into is vacant, then you can continue with this transaction although you should follow the guidance in this document on home removals.
“Where the property is currently occupied, we encourage all parties to do all they can to amicably agree alternative dates to move, for a time when it is likely that stay-at-home measures against coronavirus (COVID-19) will no longer be in place.
“In the new emergency enforcement powers that the police have been given to respond to coronavirus, there is an exemption for critical home moves, in the event that a new date is unable to be agreed.”
If moving is unavoidable for contractual reasons, then people must follow advice on social distancing to minimise the spread of the virus.
We want to go and view a new home, can we?
It is important to remember that self-isolation rules do still apply as the Country enters its next 3 weeks of Lockdown, therefore viewing properties is not classed as essential. However, most estate agents have responded to this by setting up virtual and online viewing. Websites such as RightMove provide great descriptions and details on properties. You can continue to do your online research.
We accepted an offer on our property before Lockdown, can we still progress this transaction?
Yes, you certainly can. If you have already instructed a Solicitor then they can continue to progress your transaction, provided all parties continue to remain in the chain. If you hadn’t instructed a Solicitor then you still can, and the process can still begin. Solicitors can still request search reports and prepare documents ready for exchange and completion of the property.
What do I do about ID?
If you haven’t yet been able to provide ID to your Solicitor and other relevant parties then do not worry. We can take instructions via the phone, video conference, skype etc and begin working on your housing transaction. At the point at which the file is ready to exchange we will then need ID. Typically it takes 8-10 weeks to move home, so by the time we are ready for exchange we will hopefully be ready to able to safely take your ID.
Can I still get a Mortgage during lockdown?
Whilst this is not our area of expertise, we are still working with mortgage lenders and you can still borrow. It is strongly advisable to contact a mortgage lender (whether you have a mortgage in place or not) to discuss your personal circumstances with your lender, as these may change over the coming weeks.
We want to put our house on the market, can we?
You need to talk to your choice of Estate Agent, but yes it is possible.
We were ready to move to a new house just before lockdown, will it still happen?
Every case is different and whilst we can not say yes for sure we can advise on a case by case basis. Assuming all parties are still in the chain and all factors remain the same there is no reason why you will not be able to move to a new house. We are working together with our existing clients to progress files as far as we can before we ‘park’ the file ready to exchange after social distancing measures have been removed.
My property is a new build and I am a first time buyer, can I still move?
Again each property transaction is different, the best thing to do is to speak to us for advice. There is still the issue of finding a removal firm to assist. If your personal situation has changed this may have an impact on your mortgage offer.
We can help
If you have any questions Julie and her team are here to help. The team are still working from home and can advise on moving home, re-mortgages, equity release and any other issues surrounding residential and commercial property.
Contact Julie and the team on 03333 580393 or email email@example.com