In these unprecedented times, Axiom Stone Solicitors will, in common with other businesses, be following the Government's official advice on social distancing and social isolating.

Public health measures must have the highest priority and, as a result, some staff will be working from home. Also, our offices will be closed to visitors.

However, we wish to reassure existing and potential clients that we will continue to provide the highest levels of service.

Please be assured we have a robust business continuity plan in place that is designed to minimise the impact on our service to you.

In addition, please continue to contact us electronically or by phone in relation to the progress of your matters or on any issues of concern to you.

Until further notice, service of claim forms, application notices and all other court documents and contractual notices must be made to our head office only (we shall not accept service through any other means). Our head office address is at Axiom Stone Solicitors, Axiom House, 1 Spring Villa Road, Edgware, Middlesex, HA8 7EB. We ask that all other correspondence be sent by email to the relevant member of Axiom Stone Solicitors. In the event that service of court documents or contractual notices is attempted by post, courier, DX, or fax to any address other than that of our Head Office, we cannot provide any assurance that they will be received or processed. We are grateful for your understanding at this time.

We will update this information regularly on our website (Please see COVID-19 Updates Here) and via social media.

Finally, we urge everybody to follow the official advice on fighting the virus outbreak so enabling you to stay safe and well.

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Home moving during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak

Can I still proceed with my sale or purchase of home?

The Government have not necessarily said no, and they have advised ‘there is no need to pull out of transactions’, but we all need to ensure we are ‘prioritising the health of individuals and the public must remain a priority’.

If the property being moved into is vacant, then you can continue with the transaction whilst continuing to follow the Government’s guidance on social distancing.

If the property is not vacant then we need to ensure we are considering and implementing the Government’s guidance where possible. If contracts have exchanged and a completion date has been agreed; then the Government is encouraging all parties to do what they can to agree new completion dates or find an alternative solution. If all parties cannot come to an agreement to delay completion, then all parties must ensure that they are able to complete the move safely and adhere to the Government’s social distancing measures.  

Any party who is showing symptoms of Covid-19 should self-isolate and not move house for the time being. All parties should be looking to agree amicable arrangements to change moving dates.

It is recommended that you undertake a deep clean prior to moving into a property.

What does this mean in terms of my mortgage agreement/offer?

The sensible approach is always to discuss any concerns or issues with the mortgage provider or advisor.

The Government have confirmed with UK Finance that they will support customers who have already exchanged contracts for house purchases and set dates for completion. Most mortgage lenders are now looking to support their customers by offering up to 3 months extensions to enable them to move at a later date.

Can we still arrange for a removal company?

Yes, there are still many removal companies who have taken the initiative to adapt their removal procedures in line with the Government’s guidelines. It would be wise to ask any removal company for their policy during the Covid-19 lockdown so you can ensure your own safety. Some of the measures that we would recommend and that are being taken by removal companies are as follows:-

  • body temperatures are being checked;
  • removal teams are equipped with protective masks, gloves and potentially protective bodysuits/jumpsuits;
  • disinfecting of all outer surfaces;
  • disinfecting of  removal vehicles after each removal;
  • ensuring each team member is equipped with antibacterial products; and
  • maintaining the 2 metres distance at every possible situation.

Can I still view properties and accept offers?

The simple answer is yes, the Government have not put a ban on transactions being agreed. You will however need to keep in mind that there may be a delay in the process and that all precautions and steps should be taken/considered to ensure Government guidelines are adhered to.

Many estate agents will be able to offer you virtual tours of properties and the surrounding area. We strongly advise, in line with Government advice, that you do not physically go to or permit any visitors into your home for viewings.

Can I still apply for a new mortgage?

Yes you can still apply but be aware that some lenders have changed their lending criteria and may require a larger deposit. It is however best to speak to your mortgage advisor to find the most suitable mortgage product for your individual circumstances.

Idnan Liaqat – Head of Real Estate

 “In these difficult times and with much uncertainty that lays ahead, we are working constantly and endlessly to ensure we adapt and continue to provide a high level of service. We understand the stress and pressure the current situation may have caused to many of our clients who are in the process of buying or selling their property. We work with all parties involved to ensure a quick and satisfactory outcome. No doubt this has been achieved over the last couple of weeks. We are willing, able and committed to serving our clients.”

If you have any queries, whether that be for a potential transaction you are considering or your instructed solicitors are unable to progress your matter any further, then please do not hesitate to get in touch for a chat and we can see how best to serve you.

Stay safe!

Sources

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/government-advice-on-home-moving-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak

https://www.lawsociety.org.uk/support-services/advice/articles/coronavirus-covid-19-and-residential-conveyancing-transactions/