There is currently a lot of misinformation circulating in regards to the effect of the level 4 alert on property settlements.
The Government has noted that moving house isn’t an essential service, which means that you are not supposed to relocate while the level 4 alert is in place, regardless of whether you are using a moving company.
However, this does not detract from your obligations under an Agreement for Sale & Purchase of Real Estate (‘Agreement’). This means that, as a purchaser, you are still legally obliged to pay the funds to complete settlement. As a vendor, you are still required to accept payment and provide possession of the property.
If the Agreement states that vacant possession is to be made available but the vendor is unable to move outor the purchaser is unable to move in due to the lockdown, the Law Society and Real Estate Institute have recommended that the vendor and purchaser agree to delay settlement until after the level 4 alert is lifted. This arrangement isn’t compulsory, so if the vendor and purchaser can’t agree then the legal obligations under the Agreement will apply, which creates a conflict with the level 4 alert restrictions.
The circumstances of every transaction will be different, so it isn’t possible to give blanket advice on this issue. If you need guidance in relation to settlement during this period, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We are working remotely and available as usual during the lockdown.
Note: This post is brief and general in nature. You should not treat it as legal advice and should seek professional advice before taking any action in relation to the matters dealt with in this post. Armstrong Murray accepts no liability for losses suffered by any person or organisation who may rely directly or indirectly on this post.