Latest News

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28 September 2020

Made Snappy, a Propertymark Industry Supplier, discuss the benefits of agents using virtual tours and how agents can be more efficient whilst saving money and winning instructions in a challenging climate. Read More...

New Job Support Scheme announced by the Chancellor

24 September 2020

In a speech in the House of Commons today, 24 September, Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP, outlined the UK Government’s next stage of the economic plan to protect jobs over the winter period with the announcement of a new Job Support Scheme. Read More...

New Chief Executive Officer of Propertymark appointed

24 September 2020

Tim Balcon joins Propertymark today, 24 September, as Chief Executive Officer, which is a newly created role, bringing over 20 years’ experience in membership and sector organisations. Read More...

More must be done to get empty homes back into use

14 September 2020

In a letter to Rt Hon Christopher Pincher MP, Minister of State for Housing, Propertymark campaigns for action on empty homes, asking what measures the UK Government is taking to improve the situation and get more empty homes back into use. Read More...

Updated advice on conveyancing and amending existing contracts

Tuesday 31 March 2020

The Law Society has published updated guidance for conveyancers in England, reinforcing that home moves into occupied properties should only take place in situations where contracts have been exchanged and deferral is impossible.

Moves into unoccupied properties may continue, with conveyancers helping clients to consider the current Public Health England advice. Plus, after looking at the deferring transaction advice and the wishes of the client are that a move must take place, they must provide this in writing. Agents must advise their clients that police emergency powers do not apply for critical home moves.

Decontamination

If it is known or suspected that previous occupants or someone they have been in contact with has Coronavirus it is advised a deep clean should be undertaken. 

Deep clean advice

Amending existing contracts

The Law Society, Society of Licensed Conveyancers, Conveyancing Association, CILEx, and Bold Legal Group, have agreed on the outline of a process for deferring a completion date where an existing contract is in place, allowing for tailoring to individual needs.

A two-step process is recommended allowing for a delayed move at the end of the current stay-at-home period but also for an extension to this period if the Government restrictions are extended.


The Law Society has identified a range of scenarios that may arise for clients, such as:

  • Mortgages - Where the lender has agreed to extend the mortgage instructions for three months, conveyancers should ascertain whether any formal confirmation is necessary and ask the lender to provide it.
  • Searches and costs - The usual obligations apply to the client and lender client and consideration prior to the eventual completion should be given as to whether searches will need refreshing. The duty to advise clients of the potential for additional costs involved in managing their transactions remains as always.

Further considerations are in the Law Society Guidance.

Contracts not yet exchanged

Transactions can continue in the stay-at-home period and the Law Society advises careful consideration before instructing a conveyancer to exchange contracts. Where the instruction is given to exchange, conveyancers should incorporate a suitable clause in the contract to cover any ongoing risks caused by the virus.

Home moving advice

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has issued guidance on buying and selling homes during the stay-at-home period, urging all parties involved in home moving to adapt and be flexible to alter their usual processes. 

Moving house