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13 August 2020

Conveyancing Updater – Issue Number 2020/23

Conveyancing and COVID-19 Updates

1.       Coronavirus Special Conditions


The Society’s Conveyancing & Property Committee would remind members of the Coronavirus Special Conditions which were published in June 2020.

A copy can be accessed by clicking here

The Committee would encourage the use of the Conditions by members in all residential property transactions. It is the view of the Committee that there is potential exposure for members if the Conditions are not used or not discussed with clients and a coronavirus event occurs.

Committee would remind members that the Conditions tie in with the guidance issued by the Department for Communities which relates to solicitors, purchasers and vendors including developers. The conditions also assist in dealing with any difficulties incurred by solicitors or other agents of the parties who may suffer a coronavirus event in their own office which may necessitate delayed completions.

The intention of the Conditions is to provide all parties with the flexibility to enable completions to take place, particularly if there is a second wave of coronavirus. It is not the intention of the Conditions to permit purchasers or vendors to pull out of transactions but to delay completions until they can be safely effected. Any such short delay will help to minimise the potential for disputes and keep transactions out of court which should be all parties’ intentions, particularly given the likely time frames for court actions.

The Committee have been advised that a large number of developer’s solicitors are now using the Conditions however some are refusing to use them and the Committee would urge those solicitors who act for such developers to invite them to reconsider their position.

2.       UK Finance Handbook

The UK Finance Handbook has moved to a new webpage from its previous CML Handbook page. The new address is below and members should use this address from now on:


3.       Land Registry Survey

The Society has received the following circular from the Land Registry:

“Legal Profession Survey

The challenge of working through a pandemic over the recent months has highlighted the need to improve our digital services.  Work is already underway to improve the registration and information services provided to you and we have just launched a Legal Profession Survey.  This survey will be used to identify the areas for change and what is most important to our users.  The survey can be accessed via the link below and should not take more than 10 minutes to complete.  We would encourage everyone who uses any of the services to complete the survey which will run until 4 September 2020.

Regular updates on the digital solution will appear on our new webpage which also includes a sign up link if you would like to receive updates directly to your mailbox.

Thank you in advance for your time.

Land Registers NI”


4.       UK government guidance for commercial property

The UK government has published guidance for commercial property relationships during the COVID-19 crisis which may be of interest to members. The link to the publication is below:


Any issues arising should be sent to Andrew Kirkpatrick, Head of Non Contentious Business at:



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