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Diary of a Conveyancer (in these challenging times…) Part Seven

Posted on 7 May 2020 by Laura Godfrey

Diary of a Conveyancer (in these challenging times…) Part Seven

This week we have a bank holiday (on a Friday which has thrown me off)! In the run up to a bank holiday weekend as a conveyancer I usually find myself extra busy – with clients who want to move and have an “extra” day to do so. But not this year, which is probably why I have been thrown.

I still have clients who are very keen to move and together we are pushing their transactions along (with the assistance of the estate agents in the chain too). Many transactions are getting into a position where we can exchange contracts and complete but either one party does not wish to move at these strange times or one thing remains outstanding.

The whole industry has been experiencing delays with:

  • Mortgage Offers since lender’s are unable to send valuers to properties to do valuations;
  • Obtaining Energy Performance Certificates/Building Surveys as assessors/surveyors are unable to enter properties;
  • Getting replies to queries raised with:
  1. Lenders since many are working with reduced staff and/or have staff working from home (this is also affecting receiving redemption statements);
  2. The Land Registry as they have closed their telephone lines and are only dealing with emails received;
  3. The Local Authority and Local Water/Drainage Companies since they are working with reduced staff and/or have redirected their staff to other areas of their businesses
  • Getting some search results due to the reasons noted above;
  • Getting Leasehold and Management Company information packs;
  • Booking removal companies as it proves difficult to “socially distance” whilst clearing a property and moving into a property.

My aim, and the aim of the team around me, is to get as many transactions into a position that when stay-at-home measures are eased they can be progressed quickly to a point where they can exchange contracts and complete.

I am hopeful that once stay-at-home measures are eased some of the above delays will be reduced and we will return to a sort of “normalcy”, although I expect there will be a new “normal”.

Many of the parties involved in the conveyancing industries have had to adapt to be able to keep working during this period of time. Personally I hope that some of the changes, particularly with regards to adopting technology and working in a more paper-light way, will become part of the new normal.

Just this week the Land Registry changed their position regarding verifying ID and produced Forms allowing non-lawyers (but still regulated professionals) to verify ID and also to verify ID via video call. This is proving very helpful at the moment and I hope that it continues.

I have said it before and I’ll say it again, to those who can… stay home and stay safe and enjoy the bank holiday weekend!

Posted in: Buying & Selling Your Home