Guidance for conveyancers to support government plans to reopen the housing market, enabling people to move home safely, has been unveiled by the Law Society.

The sector-specific guide sets out how the legal aspects of home moving can take place while complying with social distancing measures and public health guidance. It follows the government’s announcements on reopening the housing market earlier this month.  

Chancery Lane said the guide provides conveyancing solicitors with information to enable sales and purchases to be carried out while maintaining safety, as track and trace is introduced and social distancing measures are eased or increased in line with government guidance.

Simon Davis, Law Society president, said: 'It is important that conveyancers work together to ensure that home moves can take place safely and that buyers and sellers can understand how the new process is different.'

He noted that conveyancers, and buyers and sellers should remain flexible as the position may change suddenly. Local lockdowns might be imposed that might affect some transactions. 

The guide addresses considerations for electronic and wet ink signatures, ‘Mercury’ style execution, ID verification, witnessing and simultaneous exchange and completion, whilst adhering to social distancing requirements.

It also covers:

  • Meeting with clients
  • Taking Initial instructions
  • Complying with ID requirements
  • Amending undertakings
  • Dealing with lenders
  • Exchanging contracts and using the code for completion
  • Agreeing completion dates
  • Executing documents
  • Dealing with transactions in Wales

It was prepared by the Law Society, the Society of Licensed Conveyancers, CILEx, the Bold Legal Group and the Conveyancing Association.


*The Law Society is keeping the coronavirus situation under review and monitoring the advice it receives from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and Public Health England.