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Advice for moving to a new property during the COVID lockdown

View profile for Heidi Aitken
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In this unprecedented time, the government has clarified its advice on moving home during the lockdown.  The essence of this advice is where possible to delay moving. This applies to both homebuyers and renters.

Transactions that have already exchanged contracts

If a property is vacant, or no physical ‘move’ will take place on completion, for example the purchase of a buy to let property where the tenant is remaining in occupation, then the transaction can proceed in the usual way.

If a property or properties in the chain are occupied, the government is asking all parties in the chain to delay the completion date where possible. 

UK Finance is currently working with lenders to extend mortgage offers that are due to expire during ‘lockdown’ on transactions that have exchanged for a further three months to enable completion to take place at a later date.

If it is not possible to rearrange the completion date due to contractual reasons, the government has confirmed these ‘critical home moves’ can go ahead.  All parties involved must follow Public Heath England’s guidance on social distancing.  The government has also confirmed ‘critical home moves’ will be exempt from the new emergency enforcement powers the police have been given. 

Transactions that have not yet exchanged

Parties are encouraged not to withdraw, and conveyancers are urged to continue to work on files to ensure the transactions are ready to proceed once the lockdown has been lifted.

Hughes Paddison’s Residential Conveyancing Department remains fully operational with the majority of the team working remotely from home.  If you would like to discuss your transaction the residential team can be contacted via the main office number 01242 574 244 or by sending an email to the fee earner dealing with your case. 

For new enquiries please email Heidi Aitken ha@hughes-paddison.co.uk or Simon Hodges srh@hughes-paddison.co.uk

For the current government guidance in respect of moving to a new house, please go to:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/government-advice-on-home-moving-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak

Public Health England’s guidance:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection

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