Covid-19 FAQ

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.

Here at Country & Capital Property Law, the safety of our customers and colleagues is at the very heart of what we do.  In this uncertain climate, we have been working around the clock to understand the Government guidelines and we continue to put every effort into ensuring the most critical moves, should they be required,  are able to take place during this lockdown period.

The Government has issued guidelines to both Conveyancing professionals and to individuals who are looking to physically move house during the UK lockdown period.  Further information can be found on the Government website - https://www.gov.uk/guidance/government-advice-on-home-moving-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak

In response to Government guidance, we at Country & Capital Property Law have implemented the following;

  • Mobilised a team of lawyers to securely access cases and safely work from home
  • Identified cases that have already exchanged due for completion during the lockdown period – we will contact you with advice if you are affected
  • We are working tirelessly to identify critical cases that are imminently expected to exchange and complete during the lockdown period – if you believe this affects you, please contact your Property Lawyer by e-mail
  • We are working on all other cases and progressing your transaction on your behalf

We can assure you that during these unprecedented times we are adapting as quickly as possible to this fast moving situation, you can help us by;

  • Sending any documentation to us by e-mail.
  • If you need to contact us, please e-mail your lawyer.

We know there will be many questions as a result of the Government guidance issued on house moving during lockdown, here are some FAQ’s to assist;

Country & Capital FAQs

    • Once you have exchanged contracts, you are contractually bound to complete your sale or purchase on the agreed completion date.  If you are unable to do so, whatever the reason, you will be in breach of contract. This has always been the case, irrespective of the Coronavirus implications. 
    • The implications of this can range from payment of interest under the contract for late completion, loss of the 10% deposit paid on a purchase or refund of the deposit paid on a sale, and other reasonable costs that flow from the breach of contract.  In a long chain, this could include significant costs being passed on to the defaulting party, or having to chain break and find temporary accommodation to enable a sale to go through to avoid a breach of contract. 
    • We are contacting our customers who have already exchanged with a completion date beyond 31st March to discuss their options. If you have not been contacted and you think, you can no longer complete, contact your Property Lawyer.
  • We are aware of all imminent completions, and we will have been in touch with you to discuss your options. We are still exchanging and completing cases.

    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.

    • It will be necessary for you to make all the practical arrangements in advance of the proposed completion date, some of which could incur costs in advance even though until contracts have been exchanged, you cannot be certain that the transaction will actually take place. 
    • All parties involved, particularly in a chain of transactions, will have to make the same preparations and if anyone of them cannot make those arrangements in time, or their own circumstances change, the arrangement may collapse at the last minute.
    • If a proposed simultaneous exchange of contracts and completion is not successfully achieved, then all the preparations would have to be repeated in time for an alternative date and you would inevitably incur additional costs (e.g. removals cancellation fee, interest payable on your new mortgage funds ordered in advance, etc.).
    • Mortgage lender delays  - we know that the majority of mortgage institutions are affected by this crisis, as such there could be difficulties in getting mortgage funds for the day of completion
    • Law firms with limited capacity to operate or closed – during the lockdown period we could see office closures or Law firms who are unable to operate which could affect the ability of a chain to complete
    • Removal firms – Many removal firms are simply not operating during this time, this may affect the ability of the chain to complete, it is recommended that you continually review your removal arrangements
    • Banks open for business – whilst we have not experienced any issues to date, this could be an issue during the lockdown period.  We will continually review this with our bank and liaise with other firms prior to exchanging and completing.
  • Our legal teams are now homeworking. Customers can contact their lawyer or legal assistant to discuss their situation by calling or emailing them – if they are not available immediately, we ask for your patience as they will endeavour to get back to you as quickly as they can. We should be honest with you, and say that the priority is imminent exchanges and completions and this may affect our usual  service levels

    We know already that some customers are no longer willing or able to continue in this time of uncertainty. If you do want us to continue to work on your case with no guarantee that you will be able to exchange or complete, will you please contact us to discuss what is possible for us to do.

    The health and wellbeing of our customers, colleagues and communities are of utmost importance to us and whilst these are uncertain times, we wanted to reassure you that our focus and dedication remains to keep our customers moving.

  • 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. 

If you believe you are imminently expecting to exchange and complete, and you consider this to be critical during the lockdown period, please contact your Lawyer by email, who will be able to give you further advice.