13 August 2020
Conveyancing Updater – Issue Number 2020/23
Conveyancing and COVID-19 Updates
Coronavirus Special Conditions
Conveyancing & Property Committee would remind members of the Coronavirus
Special Conditions which were published in June 2020.
A copy can be accessed by clicking
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.
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
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.
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:
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
https://www.finance-ni.gov.uk/landing-pages/improving-land-registers-ni 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”
UK government guidance for commercial
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.