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Funeral bank holiday will affect ‘very small number’ of completions

By Monidipa Fouzder >>

Very few completions will be affected by the day of the late Queen’s state funeral being designated a national bank holiday, a conveyancing body has said, as the Law Society issued new guidance for conveyancers.

Earlier this week, HM Land Registry published fresh guidance on arrangements in light of Monday becoming a bank holiday. The Gazette asked the Conveyancing Association, whose members collectively conduct about a quarter of all property transactions, what the bank holiday meant for completions due to take place that day.

Beth Rudolf, the association’s director of delivery, said a ‘very small number’ would be affected.

‘We hear those impacted are being very reasonable, given the circumstances and for the vast majority of these the expectation is that the completion date will simply be moved forward to 20 September,’ she added. ‘Even though the banking system won’t be open on the 19th, under the [association’s] Code for Completion, member firms should be preparing their completions the working day before so will have asked for monies in on the Friday. If all parties still want to go ahead, and for example there is agreement for removals companies to work on the Monday, then it should be therefore possible to carry out the financial transaction on the Friday and carry out the physical move on the Monday.

‘If agreement is reached to move completion, then it will be worthwhile checking with all concerned whether there is any extra fees, interest or charges involved in doing this and make sure you get any monies due to your lawyers cleared in their account by the working day before the completion date.’

Yesterday, the Law Society issued new guidance on the impact of the bank holiday for completions scheduled for Monday. The guidance covers what conveyancers can do if their clients are contractually bound to complete on 19 September, and recording changed dates and amendments to the contract.

Chancery Lane’s guidance states that solicitors are used to unexpected events happening on or before completion, ‘and will work hard to deliver results for clients’.

HM Land Registry’s guidance states that all notice periods and official search priority periods which began before, but expire after 19 September, will automatically extend by one day. Cancellation dates that are also affected will be extended.

Notices and search certificates issued before 19 September that include an expiry date will not reflect the automatic extension. For example, a notice issued on 12 September that states that it expires on 3 October will actually not expire until 4 October. Conveyancers were advised to amend their records to avoid any confusion.

Land Registry’s customer contact centre and technical support teams will be unavailable on Monday, with normal service resuming at 8am on Tuesday. Its business e-services and land and property information search will remain available.

(Courtesy: The Lawe Society Gazette)