UK Government advises Britons to temporarily postpone all plans to move homes

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On 23 March, the government advised that all home buyers and renters should consider postponing any plans to move homes. It would seem this announcement from the Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick, came while the government was contemplating further restrictions within the country which have now come into play.

In light of these new measures to combat the coronavirus, which include social distancing and self-isolation, most industries have had to revise the way they operate and conduct business. The property market has obviously been impacted by this with the effect of almost bringing the industry to a halt.

In an effort to breathe life back into the industry, several mortgage lenders have decided to extend all house purchase loan offers by three months to give borrowers more time to complete transactions. However, there are some who have chosen to suspend all new mortgage applications for house purchases and in some cases withdraw loan offers until after we have come out of this crisis period.

Thankfully, the government has issued further guidance to help clarify matters;  there is no need to pull out of ongoing transactions where the parties involved have already exchanged contracts, but they are advised that if the property is occupied to try and agree a delay to completion. Those wanting to sell their homes can still do so, however, the parties involved will need to be flexible with regards to prospective buyers viewing or even potentially moving into the properties.

In circumstances where a move is unavoidable and a new completion date cannot be agreed upon due to contractual obligations, or the move is deemed to be critically required, the government has conceded that some exemptions can be made. However, all current guidance should be observed on combating the coronavirus such as social distancing and hand washing etc. for all those involved with the move (see Public Health England’s guidance for households with possible coronavirus (COVID 19) infection).

We appreciate that we are in period where information is constantly being updated and it might difficult to stay on top of it all. Should you have any questions regarding your recent plans to move home, or would like to understand what your options are if you recently sold or purchased a property, our team of experts here at IBB Solicitors are more than happy to assist you. Above all, prioritising your health and that of others must be at the forefront of any decision made when considering moving home. Please do contact us if you have any queries about an intended house move.

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For more information or to discuss your requirements call us now on 01895 207803, or email us at housebuilders@ibblaw.co.uk.