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Covid clauses or simultaneous exchange and complete?

(26 Posts)
Sundance5 Tue 29-Sep-20 22:48:36

For anybody nearing exchange at present. There is a lot of anxiety in our chain about covid and the second wave interrupting house moves.

One solicitor has recommended exchange and complete on the same day (for a chain of four houses). The other has recommended a covid clause so exchange as usual, then if any parties fall ill, competition is delayed. (The other solicitor has said this will take too long to arrange across the chain).

I am not too worried about the virus as local lockdowns haven't included a ban on moving (low levels currently in our area). My concern is more about anyone in the chain losing their job, so I am keen to get going ASAP, but the idea of exchange and complete on the same day fills me with dread.

What are other movers doing at the moment?
Many thanks for anyone's thoughts.

OP’s posts: |
CatAndHisKit Wed 30-Sep-20 00:57:30

I'm debating this as well. I think I will want to go for covid clause as the delay would only be 2 weeks, it's extrenely unlikely there would be more than one incidentns of covid in one chain.
Same day is just too scary imo! read on MN about some gorror stories - it's only possibly ok if you have very few possessions and doing your own removals or moving down the road.

CatAndHisKit Wed 30-Sep-20 00:58:21

*horror stories

boredboredboredboredbored Wed 30-Sep-20 06:43:32

I due to exchange imminently and my Solicitor hasn't mentioned it at all. I'm asking for 2-4 weeks between exchange & completion as I need to find a rental.

sar302 Wed 30-Sep-20 07:50:58

COVID clause - we managed to move without one thankfully, as we got in while cases were low, but the stress of four people trying to exchange, complete and move on the same day.... I'm stressed just thinking about it!

BumbleNova Wed 30-Sep-20 08:27:58

We went for the shortest time we could between exchange and completion - so 5 working days.

Sundance5 Wed 30-Sep-20 09:25:19

Thanks all, I like the sound of a short exchange / completion time.

OP’s posts: |
FManc Wed 30-Sep-20 10:17:35

I think we exchanged on a Thursday and completed on the Monday to keep the gap as minimal as possible.

Bol87 Wed 30-Sep-20 10:23:09

I also am pushing for a minimal gap but def exchanging first.. I just find it too risky to do it all on the same day! Im in a area of high cases so it’s all a bit more risky in general but house moves are still going ahead ..

Sundance5 Wed 30-Sep-20 10:36:20

Yes I actually feel sick at the idea of doing it all on the same day! Also I worry that it would actually delay the exchange so would be less secure than just getting the exchange done as soon as possible.

OP’s posts: |
OfUselessBooks Wed 30-Sep-20 10:39:31

We are having a gap as my husband needs to hand his notice in at work and we can't risk it if they were on the same day in case it fell through and we were stuck with a hefty mortgage and no job.

I'm not sure how long yet as other people in the chain might have views as well!

ktsc89 Wed 30-Sep-20 10:45:57

I would keep the gap as minimal as possible. This is coming from experience which was very stressful!

Due to a chain of 6, and the person at the end refusing to budge, we had a delayed exchange/completion of 5/6 weeks. We completed on the day BEFORE the first lockdown. So we exchanged when COVID was almost a myth!

We had so many news alerts, phonecalls on the morning of moving. Incredibly stressful. You never know what can happen in that period.

Heronwatcher Wed 30-Sep-20 10:57:50

Never exchange and complete on the same day unless you are fully prepared to accept the risk of the exchange not taking place, you losing all costs associated with the move (removals mainly) and you having to literally unpack your worldly goods and put them back! Legally anyone in the chain is perfectly entitled to walk away at any point until exchange has taken place and some people do! I agree with a short period between exchange and completion.

dizzyupthegirl86 Wed 30-Sep-20 13:34:11

Finding this interesting - I’m (hopefully) due to make this decision soon. The people I’m buying from have already half moved out and will want to go as quickly as possible. My property is being sold to a family member so I don’t have to be out or get all my worldly possessions out by a certain day/time. I can’t see a reason NOT to have exchange/completion on same date but wondering if I’m missing something!

MoreGinPlease2020 Wed 30-Sep-20 13:44:24

We needed 7 working days between exchange and completion (my lender needed 5 and my buyers needed 7 for international removal / customs purposes). We decided against a Covid clause as it would have taken too long to agree and it was a chain of only two houses. We're also not in a lockdown watchlist area. I was nervous but didn't want to delay completing to negotiate a clause and have to re-sign contracts. It worked out for us as we moved a fortnight ago.

CatAndHisKit Wed 30-Sep-20 19:43:59

dizzy well yours is unusual situation so no reason for you, obvs. For most it's to do with removals (but also no guarantees until exchange than someone pulls out).

CatAndHisKit Wed 30-Sep-20 19:44:32

*that someone doesn't pull out, I mean.

CatAndHisKit Wed 30-Sep-20 19:46:02

MoreGin why was it hard to negotiate within the short chain? wre people against it? it's only sensible.

DaBaDe Wed 30-Sep-20 21:24:46

I've always exchanged and completed on the same day, never had an issue!

Boonlark Wed 30-Sep-20 21:36:55

Even when everything was in strict lockdown, moving house was still allowed, so you aren't going to need a covid clause

CatAndHisKit Thu 01-Oct-20 01:30:17

Boon you would need it in case if anyone in the chain gets covid and needs to self isolate. The move itself would be allowed in lockdown otherwise.

MoreGinPlease2020 Thu 01-Oct-20 09:08:39

@CatAndHisKit We had two sets of useless lawyers in the chain of three who were pretty unresponsive and we were all desperate to exchange ASAP (we've got a baby due imminently and my sellers needed to sort out international removals). I'm sure the clauses would have been fairly quick to negotiate had everyone been talking but our exchange date had already slipped a couple of times due to miscommunications so none of us wanted to wait. It was a risk and might not have paid off, so we were lucky.

MoreGinPlease2020 Thu 01-Oct-20 09:09:57

Both other parties were also against a Covid clause, although we could probably have insisted.

CatAndHisKit Thu 01-Oct-20 19:26:16

ah ok if lawyers were useless, not much you could do - I hope mine will be ok as only startin out now. But I wonder what happens in this case if indeed someone in the chain gets covid and MUST isolate - surely that overrides completion? otherwise they'd be brealing the law and now ther aer very high fines, or even worse what if they have to be hospitalised?

Also I now wonder what happens in any of the sellers falls seriously ill regardless of covid?

Hardbackwriter Thu 01-Oct-20 19:31:32

Our conveyancer pretty much forced us into exchange and completion on the same day - said they'd only not do this if we specifically signed a disclaimer to say we were doing it against their advice. At the time it was the Law Society advice, but this was a little while ago so maybe they've changed it as Covid clauses become more and more normal? So we ended up doing exchange/completion and I was pretty unhappy and worried about it but it was all fine in the end. Finding this thread quite interesting because I started my own thread about my concerns at the time and all the replies were from people saying they'd always exchanged and completed on one day and couldn't see why I had such a problem with it!

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