Breach Of Contract Rules Still As Normal – And Could Create Issues
The Government has issued crucial new guidance for those moving home and how to handle the ongoing lockdown, advising that public health must be prioritised.
The government has advised there is no need for those buying a home to pull out of transactions, but that ‘prioritising the health of individuals and the public must be the priority’.
They have stated that when properties are vacant there is no problem, but that where it is not, parties should ‘do all they can to amicably agree alternative dates to move (when) stay-at-home measures (are) no longer in place’.
The lockdown is in place for a minimum of three weeks, but there is no known end date to when the worst of the coronavirus will pass – meaning those currently buying a home might be in breach of contact for not completing as agreed.
For those with a set completion date and who have exchanged contracts, UK Finance have also confirmed that they are working with the mortgage lenders to provide extensions on mortgage offers for up to three months.
Residential property experts at leading national law firm Irwin Mitchell have welcomed the clarity, but warn there is more to be done with protecting those moving home and the rules for breaching a contract.
Expert Opinion“We welcome the additional guidance from Government and are also following carefully the Law Society’s recommendations and industry best practice.
“However, as always, our overriding concern is to act in our clients’ best interests at all times. This means dealing with fixed completion dates on a case by case basis, tailored to individual circumstances.
“So far the usual rules regarding breach of contract have not been suspended or altered in relation to conveyancing completions, and this means that we will do all we can to ensure that where clients wish to do so we will do all we can to allow them to meet their contractual requirements, whilst remaining safe and complying with public health requirements.” Jeremy Raj - Partner