Guide to Coronavirus (Covid-19) and Conveyancing
All areas of England* will enter a new lockdown from November 5 to deal with the rising number of coronavirus (Covid-19) cases with new, stricter regulations in place until December 2.
This time, unlike in the first national lockdown introduced in March, buying and selling of property will continue within tight public health guidelines.
That means if you are ready to move home, remortgage or embark on a transfer of equity, you can still instruct a conveyancing solicitor quickly and cost-effectively with one call to In-Deed.
Property professionals such as conveyancing law firms and estate agents will continue to operate, ensuring home buyers and sellers can still make their move.
Looking after our customers and our employees remains our No.1 priority in these uncertain times. Here’s how we can help.
Can I put my house on the market?
Yes, you can. Estate agents are available to market your property with many now working remotely in line with public health advice. Virtual viewings online have become the norm, but where a viewer wants to see the property in person, strict rules apply:
- All viewings limited to members of the same household;
- All viewing by appointment only;
- No open-house viewings;
- Open all internal doors and ensure surfaces such as door handles are cleaned after every viewing;
- Viewers and estate agents should practise social distancing;
- Vacate your home while viewings are taking place.
Anyone who is self-isolating or has tested positive for covid-19 should consider delaying putting their home on the market until they and all members of their household have recovered fully. Estate agents should not personally visit any property where an individual is self-isolating or is in a vulnerable group.
Can I make or accept an offer on a property?
Yes, you are free to make or accept an offer on a property or to reserve a new-build home. Now is the ideal time to instruct a conveyancing solicitor to act on your behalf in the transaction.
Will I have to visit an office?
In-Deed are proud pioneers of online conveyancing, working with law firms across England and Wales to deliver property transactions that don’t require face-to-face meetings.
In fact, digital processes now mean much of the paperwork involved in buying and selling property can be done online or by phone. That makes life easier for you and often helps speed up the process.
Are conveyancing solicitors at work?
Yes, law firms remain open for business. Many conveyancing solicitors are working from home in line with Government guidelines with greater use of technology allowing them to complete conveyancing transactions, although the process may take a little longer.
Where client meetings are unavoidable, appropriate social distancing and hygiene measures must be in place.
Your solicitor will offer practical advice on how to mitigate the risks of coronavirus in your property transaction; for example, delaying the exchange of contracts where a buyer or seller is at risk of contracting covid-19, is self-isolating or is in a vulnerable group.
Your solicitor will negotiate completion and moving dates with the other party’s solicitor as usual, but the Government has asked all law firms to be flexible on contract exchanges during this time.
When will I be able to move home?
Your solicitor will agree a completion date and moving day with the other side’s solicitor. Once contracts are exchanged, the usual rules on conveyancing will apply, which means neither party can back out.
However, the Government message is for flexibility on all sides in a conveyancing transaction to allow a moving date to be changed if someone becomes ill or has to self-isolate at this time.
You may be asked to delay your move in those circumstances. Your In-Deed conveyancing solicitor will take time to discuss the options for completion and a moving date.
What happens if my conveyancing solicitor becomes ill?
Your transaction with In-Deed is fully protected if your chosen solicitor should unfortunately become ill and unable to work.
We work with a nationwide talent pool of experienced conveyancing solicitors and can call on another professional to pick up your file seamlessly. This will keep your transaction on track with no delays.
What if my transaction falls through?
Our offer of no-completion protection protects your fixed-fee quote in the event that your property transaction falls through.
Should your transaction fail to complete, for whatever reason, you will pay no further fees on that transaction. Your initial payment will rollover to your next instruction with us and will be used against the balance of your legal fees on your completion statement, meaning your money is protected.
Got any more questions?
If you have any other queries or questions, call the In-Deed team on 0800 038 6886. We are open 7 days a week, 9am-8pm Mon-Thu, 9am-6pm Fri and 10am-4pm Sat-Sun.
We look forward to supporting you through these challenging times. Take care and stay safe.
*Separate public health guidelines are in place in Wales where estate agents have been closed during the “fire break lockdown” imposed by the Welsh Government. These regulations will be lifted on November 9 and reviewed on a fortnightly basis.