Coronavirus (COVID-19) sector-specific guidance: Conveyancers

The impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) is causing significant uncertainty not only for buyers and sellers but also for conveyancers.

This sector-specific guidance provides conveyancers with information to enable sales and purchases to be carried out while maintaining safety as social distancing measures are eased or increased in line with government guidance.

This accompanies the pan-industry guidance: Re-opening the Home Moving Market Safely and the related government guidance.

This document has been developed collaboratively by the residential conveyancing sector and their professional and membership organisations.

This guidance is applicable to both England and Wales, but the regulations and guidance relating to the re-opening of the market issued by the UK government and referred to in this guidance apply only in England.

The regulations and guidance currently applicable to Wales relating to the housing market are set out in section 10.

This guidance applies to owner-occupied homes and to second hand, rather than new-build, homes.

A working group of the Home Buying and Selling Group has also drafted a clause to help firms agree contract terms with the aim of enabling completion dates to be deferred more easily if completion needs to be delayed.

The aim is to enable exchange of contracts with a short period to completion to enable consumer and their removers more certainty to plan the move safely, whilst at the same time dealing with the potential issues should a party be impacted by the virus or be notified through the NHS test and trace service.