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Nicola Laver

Editor, Solicitors Journal

Guide to post-lockdown conveyancing unveiled

Guide to post-lockdown conveyancing unveiled


New guidance for conveyancers has been launched by the Law Society today as the sector resumes its work

New guidance for conveyancers has been launched by the Law Society today as the sector resumes its work.  

The guidance should help kickstart the housing market after a pause of many weeks because of the pandemic.

Buyers and sellers will, warns the guidance, find the process very different from what it was before the government took steps to restrict transactions.

As part of the incremental easing of lockdown restrictions, government announced plans on 13 May to reopen the housing market and issued cross-industry guidance.

Government said anyone can move house if they follow the guidance on moving home during the covid-19 outbreak.

This latest guidance, published today, is specifically for conveyancers and aims to help them ensure their clients can move home safely while still complying with social distancing measures and public health guidance.

The guide was prepared by the Law Society, the Society of Licensed Conveyancers, CILEx, the Bold Legal Group and the Conveyancing Association and covers issues ranging from electronic and wet ink signatures, ID verification and witnessing and simultaneous exchange and completion, all in light of the social distancing requirements.

It also covers amending undertakings, dealing with lenders, matters relating to the Code for Completion and completion dates – but the guidance does not apply to newbuilds.

Law Society President Simon Davis said it is important for conveyancers to work together to ensure home moves can take place safely and that buyers and sellers can understand how the new process is different.

He added: “It will be important for conveyancers and buyers and sellers to remain flexible as the position may change suddenly.”

Local lockdowns might be imposed that could, he warned, affect some transactions.

“This sector-specific guidance will help conveyancing solicitors to get the market back on its feet safely, securely and as expediently as is possible”, said Davis.