Aston Brooke Solicitors is a reputable law firm based in Harrow, Middlesex. We have been serving our valued customers for over a decade by providing high quality, bespoke legal services such as Conveyancing, Litigation, Immigration and Wills & Probate and more. In light of the current COVID-19 outbreak, we are proud to be at the forefront of providing our customers with up to date news and advice on regulations regarding COVID-19. We will update our information regularly as per instructions from the Government.
Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, there has been a lot of uncertainty in respect of whether exchanges and completions should take place. The United Kingdom is currently on a lockdown and you will have seen many recent articles regarding these concerns. We have put together FAQ’s to any immediate questions you may have when deciding whether or not to move during Covid-19:
Once you exchange contracts in respect of a sale or a purchase you become legally bound. Therefore, if for any reason, you cannot complete after exchange you may be in breach of contract. Aston Brooke Solicitors therefore advises that you only exchange on the basis that you know you can complete, and during the uncertainty of a lockdown we emphasise the benefits of a simultaneous exchange and completion. Examples of low risk transactions would include where moving is not required, for example the sale/purchase of a buy to let where tenants are already in the property and will remain in the property.
The Government has emphasised the need for social-distancing to minimise the risk of spreading the virus. The guidance has further stated that anyone with symptoms, self-isolating or shielding from the virus, should follow medical advice and not move house for the time being. You are advised to ensure that you read the following guidance carefully before deciding to exchange so that you know that you are complying with the Government’s guidelines- https://www.gov.uk/guidance/government-ad-vice-on-home-moving-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak.
If you wish to exchange contracts, it is at your discretion alongside agreement with the other side, however you are strongly advised to ensure that you can comply with the Government guidance and that you are satisfied that the risk will not affect you.
You are advised to ask your solicitor to liaise with the other side and check whether both parties can agree an extended completion date without the risk of litigation.
The risks, other than breach of contract, includes a removal company stating that they are not able to attend last minute, a lender withdrawing their mortgage offer and an agent not being able to release keys on completion. Aston Brooke Solicitors experienced conveyancer’s are fully aware of the risks, and advise that third parties are constantly kept in touch with to ensure that they are still able to assist with completion, and also the least amount of time is kept between exchange and completion to avoid any drastic changes in the regulations and/or third parties. You are also advised to have the relevant Personal protective Equipment ‘PPE’ if the completion takes place during the lockdown. If you have any queries regarding the above, please contact the conveyancing team on 02034754321.