Residential conveyancing in the face of coronavirus


26 March 2020

The Coronavirus pandemic is undoubtedly the single greatest challenge many of us will have seen to hit
the property sector. Here at Birketts we have spent the past few weeks working around the clock to ensure
that we have the necessary facilities in place to be able to continue to deliver the very highest levels of
service to all of our new and existing clients.

We are very pleased to confirm that our Residential Property Team (comprising more than 40 dedicated conveyancing specialists across Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk) have completed successful home working trials and are ready to shift the conveyancing process seamlessly from the office to our own homes. With extended hours access to a small army of Support Teams including IT, Accounts and Reprographics we are confident that we will be able to progress transactions over the coming weeks and months.

We have considered each stage of the residential conveyancing process carefully and are adapting our processes to provide innovative solutions to potential obstacles, for example verification of identity via video calls and signing documentation with e-signatures. We are also working closely with other local law firms, search agents and lenders to agree a sensible, measured way of progressing files and dealing with any potential complications resulting from the pandemic such as delayed completions.

We are proactive in considering ways of protecting deals which are struck in this extraordinary environment. In addition, we are integrated and working electronically with search providers, H M Land Registry, and H M Revenue & Customs. We are committed to ensuring the safety of our staff and colleagues and will continue to review our procedures in line with Government and Public Health England guidelines. However, we would like to reassure all our clients and intermediaries that, whilst it is not quite a case of “business as usual” we are nevertheless still getting the job done.

As well as routine residential property work, our Enfranchisement Practice has put measures in place to allow it to keep “open for business” in as normal a way as possible. This includes signing and serving notices for lease extensions, collective enfranchisement work, and rights of first refusal.

To discuss any of the issues above in more detail, please contact Amanda Angel or another member of Birketts' Residential Property team.

The content of this article is for general information only. It is not, and should not be taken as, legal advice. If you require any further information in relation to this article please contact the author in the first instance. Law covered as at March 2020.