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Whilst the full impact of COVID-19 remains to be seen, it is becoming clear that COVID-19 as a pandemic is expected to have far-reaching implications on existing and future contractual obligations of Vendors and Purchasers.

The current COVID-19 pandemic situation may mean that the time periods and obligations under the Contract could be impacted by further closures or unavailability of parties (including financiers) which may be outside the control of the parties. Some situations that may arise may not be currently foreseeable.

Many of these issues have the potential to delay the agreed completion date, with serious ramifications for all parties in the chain. With that in mind, we advise our clients on the prudence of incorporating into the conveyancing contract a specific clause to protect both a party unable to complete for Covid-19 reasons and, importantly, the chain.

COVID 19 Special Condition
We have received enquiries from Vendors and Purchasers asking what if either party is forced into the unlikely event of a compulsory lockdown or contract COVID-19 and are unable to settle on time due to no fault of their own.
Should you have this concern, you may consider asking your lawyer or conveyancer to insert a COVID-19 special condition into the Contract that attempt to minimise the risk.

Below is an example of a COVID-19 Special Condition:
This clause allows for the Vendor and Purchaser, in the event of a COVID-19 Event, to extend the Settlement Date without penalty for a period of not more than 14 days. This time period is in line with Government direction in respect to self-isolation and quarantine periods.
There are some conditions to exercising the extension in order to ensure it is not misused, and to ensure properties are not handed over with risk of the buyer catching the virus.

However, it is important to note that there is no way to completely remove all risks when proceeding in a conveyance during the current COVID-19 Pandemic due to the many uncertainties that arise from it and from the measures being taken in response to it.

If you are looking to buy or sell your property and would like to find out more about your rights and options, Straits Lawyers are here to help. Simply send us an email at info@straitslawyers.com or give us a call on 8410 9069 to arrange an appointment for an online interview.
Alternatively, if you would like to conveyance a property, Straits Lawyers are now offering online services at https://straits-lawyers.square.site/product/conveyancing-/2?cs=true.

Please note that this article does not constitute legal advice and Straits Lawyers will not be legally responsible for any actions you take based on this article.