As you are no doubt aware after the weekend’s announcement, a 4 week lockdown is due to commence from Thursday 5th November 2020 to try and reduce the continued impact of the pandemic, relieve stress on the NHS and reduce the rising infection rates. However, notwithstanding this the housing minister has advised that the property market is to remain open and will to continue to operate as normal as possible.
During the first lockdown there were delays whilst legal practices transitioned to be able to work from home. In the main most firms are now adequately prepared and this should prevent delays in property matters progressing. It is our understanding that issues and delays will be inevitable where a party in the chain has to self-isolate or is shielding.
We as a firm, much in the same way as the first lock down will continue to work all the way through to ensure that our clients requirements and needs are safely met.
We are not able to comment if general services from local authorities, mortgage lenders and surveyors will be more affected than they have been to date and of course we have no control over such third parties, but will continue to liaise with them as we have always done.
Whilst we can continue to operate, we will be able to exchange on matters without issue. Any proposed completion date should be fixed for a date post the lock down (currently after 2 December 2020), however if this is not possible you should take steps to ensure that you can move in line with Covid 19 safety guidance and removals have been booked in good time. Please note that speculation is that the one month lockdown may well be extended into the new year.
As a firm we are not advising clients to consider and or accept a COVID19 clause in the contract as this leaves contracts open for dispute, and moreover, in a position where you could be left waiting for completion to take place with significant costs and delays.
Curwens Property team served our clients all through the first lockdown and we will serve throughout this and any subsequent lockdown.