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With the current uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 and how the same may be set to affect us all, our solicitors in Preston have also questioned how the virus could affect our conveyancing transactions. 

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What is COVID-19? 

COVID-19, also known as the Corona Virus, is a newly developed virus which is taking affect worldwide. The virus, which is still being investigated, is said to affect the lungs and airways of those affected which is, in some cases, leading to deaths. For more information on the virus, and advice on how to keep yourself safe, check out the NHS website, here

What does this have to do with my Property Conveyance? 

Whilst our health should always be of the utmost importance, MG Legal’s Preston solicitors have also been considering how the virus could be set to affect conveyancing transactions, particularly with the current uncertainty we are all facing. 

Concerns have been brought about in respect of the following, as a handful of examples: 

- The Contract for Sale: The Contract is the document that is signed by the parties to the conveyance and, upon Exchange between the Preston solicitors, makes the transaction legally binding. See our blog where our solicitors in Preston discuss the Contract for Sale and its importance, here. The Contract for Sale may now be scrutinised even further, particularly where there may be a need to make certain provisions for the virus, and parties being affected. This would, of course, be assessed on a case-by-case by your Preston solicitors. 
- Property Contamination: As we know, the virus can set on hard surfaces, which is where the risk of the same spreading arises. There are, therefore, being requests made for properties to be decontaminated prior to Exchange of Contracts. Where this is a requirement of the buyer of a property, this is bringing about a new range of enquiries that are being raised with the seller’s solicitor, as part of the transaction. 
- Searches and Surveys: Whilst property surveys and searches would not confirm whether a particular property is affected by COVID-19, there are concerns being raised in respect of those contracted to carry out such searches and surveys. Where there are cases of the virus, those affected are advised to self-isolate, as discussed below, which may mean that there is a shortage in persons available to attend to these matters. This would, of course, then lead to issues with mortgage lenders issuing mortgage offers, in which searches and surveys can play a vital role. 
- Removal Companies: As is the case for other third -party companies who may play a role within your big move, there are concerns that removal companies may not be willing to enter properties that they believe to have been subject to the virus. Again, this would evidently cause issue within the transaction, particularly where Contracts have been Exchanged for a fixed Completion Date, where parties are legally bound to purchase a property. 
- Self-Isolation: On the advice we are currently being given, where an individual contracts the virus, they are advised to self-isolate for fourteen days, which would mean staying in their properties, away from others, during this time, to prevent the risk of the virus spreading. This could, obviously, cause issue where Completion Dates are concerned. If Completion is set to take place on a particular day, and one party is in isolation this could lead to delayed Completion and, where Contracts have been Exchanged, result in breach of Contract cases, which could mean many would be subject to penalties. In such cases, it may be of the view of your solicitor in Preston that a Clause should be entered within the Contract, to cater for such instances. As discussed above, this would, of course, be on a case-by-case basis. 
As you can see, the above can change the way in which your Conveyance may progress in a variety of different ways. Rest assured, our solicitors in Preston have measures in place that will allow for your Conveyance to proceed as smoothly as possible, in the circumstances. 
Our team of Preston solicitors have our valued clients at the forefront, at all times. If, therefore, you have concerns regarding COVID-19 and your conveyancing transaction, contact our solicitors in Preston today, at, for the assurance you need. 
MG Legal – Your Local Solicitors 
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