With it being an ever-changing world we currently find ourselves living in due to the COVID-19 outbreak - we remain committed to supporting people through their everyday legal requirements. Here we speak to our Head of Residential Rebecca Laws about the importance of communication and understanding in helping to keep people's property journey moving forward.
It comes with the territory at the moment that our clients are understandably calling with concerns over their sales and purchases and they are all at varying stages of their conveyancing journey. I appreciate it's tricky to manage so here at Fosters we're very much trying to operate in a business as usual fashion. We are taking things one day at a time, reviewing our working practices and making the necessary changes if required to reflect any new circumstances.
We continue to work with our clients to progress their matters as swiftly as we can, or at the pace they wish - but we are also asking that everyone in the chain keeps an open line of communication as to their ability to move and we approach exchange and completion dates sensibly. If we have a chain affected by COVID-19 there will inevitably be some delays.
As lawyers, we will try and take a pragmatic approach and work with other lawyers to minimise the risk to our clients and hold our chains together.
Clients need to approach their own situations in a sensible way, that may be to allow extra time for the case to proceed or in the other extreme, be open to a very quick exchange and completion. It will depend on each case of course. We want to work transparently with our clients and partners to help chains be clear and realistic with timescales and last minute changes. For example knowing if a client or someone in the chain is self-isolating is really important.
A major concern for our clients is the financial loss that would occur if there is a failed completion, particularly if it's them holding up completion and in breach of their contract. At the time of writing, The Law Society are advising that we are to proceed with the usual standard form of contract and a breach through failure to complete will be treated in the usual way.
However, I understand, that there has been an approach for a Special Condition that can be included in contracts, that is not negotiable to deal with a delayed completion due to the COVID-19 virus.
We are yet to receive an update on this but will keep all clients updated to this important situation.
With regards to our response to COVID-19. We believe we are in a position to maintain the levels of service necessary to continue to work without disruption to our clients and partners, whilst also protecting our staff and those who need to visit our premises. We expect our service to look very similar to our normal operating procedures, but behind the scenes we have implemented a business continuity plan that allows for remote working, but also for all of us to be contacted in all of the usual ways - landlines, emails and mobile phones.
Our Residential Property Team continues to be available to help our clients in relation to any legal property query or matter, please call us on 01603 620508 or complete our online enquiry form and a member of the department will be in touch very soon.