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For added peace of mind, we thought we’d put together some FAQs which might help to answer your queries or concerns at this difficult time.
We are still exchanging and completing cases, and minimising the risks by advising that the safest option is to proceed by completing on the same day as exchange of contracts (this is known as a Simultaneous exchange and completion).
Ordinarily, there is a period of time between exchange of contracts and legal completion. However in these uncertain times, there are a number of additional risks which may restrict your ability to move on a predetermined and contractually bound moving date. For example, you or someone in the chain could contract COVID-19 between exchange and completion which will restrict your ability to move. This could lead to hefty financial penalties under the contract.
Some Law Firms are suggesting additional clauses to be inserted into contracts to potentially mitigate these risks. Prior to exchange of contracts, your Lawyer will be able to provide you with advice on the options available to you, allowing you to make a decision that’s right for you.
Our best advice is for you to exchange and complete on the same day. Whilst not ideal as you will not have 100% guarantee that you are moving until the day, we think this is, on balance, the right approach during these extraordinary times.
If you think your case is nearly ready to exchange and complete, please keep in regular contact with your property lawyer, as we will be working for you. Please keep your personal and removal arrangements under constant review.
We are quite used to dealing with simultaneous exchanges and completions but it does require the co-operation of all parties involved in the transaction and there are risks.
Whilst we have highlighted the main risks, we believe that in the current climate, this is the right approach which will limit some risks which are more prevalent during this lockdown period, such as;
In common with other Law firms, we are operating remotely and at a reduced capacity. You can contact us by e-mail, and the auto response will direct you to respond to a mailbox which will be monitored. We do ask for your patience as we try to manage the unique challenges posed by COVID-19 in the best interests of everyone. We continue to work hard to keep our customers moving and are also focussed on progressing legal work for clients who are expecting to move in the future. We are also aware that mortgage lenders are reducing their ability to service requests, and an increasing number of Law firms have told us of temporary closure or reduced staffing levels, all of which will have an impact on how much we are able to do.
During these are uncertain times, we wanted to reassure you that the health and wellbeing of our customers, colleagues and communities remain the utmost importance to us. Please be assured that we are working through all queries and we will deal with your case, although we may not be able to respond as quickly as we would like.
Although we cannot make decisions for you, we will let you know the possible options and the risks of those options. Then you can consider what would be best for you and the chain of transactions in which you may be involved. These are extraordinary times, but we are here to support you in your move in any way we can.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank you once again for your patience during this time.