Why allowing extra time for conveyancing is essential during COVID-19

By Tracy Pratt, Lawyer at Hillhouse Legal Partners
| 3 min. read

Key takeaways

  • COVID-19 has made conveyancing more complicated than normal and it is wise to add special conditions to your contract in order to protect yourself.
  • Delays in obtaining finance or having building and pest inspections undertaken might be completely out of your control, but if it means the deadlines contained in your contract are compromised, your deal might evaporate.

Conveyancing is an essential part of buying or selling real estate but it can be a little overwhelming for anyone without expert knowledge.

In a nutshell, conveyancing is the process involved in transferring the ownership of legal title of land to a new owner.

It sounds simple but the settlement process is a complex task including various financial and administrative duties and if you get it wrong, the process can go badly wrong.

And it has been made ever more complex by the COVID-19 pandemic, to the point where we suggest you consider adding special conditions to your contract in order to protect yourself.

Worst case scenario, you may unexpectedly find yourself out of a job or on a reduced income, which would drastically effect your ability to make your loan repayments.

But there are other problems which might not be as obvious.

What if the pandemic has an impact on the availability of parties such as financiers or even building and building inspectors? These delays might be completely out of your control, but if it means the deadlines contained in your contract are compromised, your deal might evaporate.

If you’re a vendor, you will be left lamenting a lost opportunity.

And let’s not forget how the pandemic could delay signing of documents, receiving vacant possession or other key parts of a conveyance.

Unless you have taken steps to protect yourself in advance, you will not have a right to extend the time for conditions or settlement merely because a search or inquiry cannot be undertaken or is delayed.

So my No.1 piece of advice for conveyancing during COVID-19 is make sure you allow for longer than usual periods of time for finance and building and pest, and make sure they are written into your contract.

Better still, give me a call on 07-32286133 or send me an email at [email protected] and I would be more than happy to steer you through what could be a much more complex situation than normal.

The information in this blog is intended only to provide a general overview and has not been prepared with a view to any particular situation or set of circumstances. It is not intended to be comprehensive nor does it constitute legal advice. While we attempt to ensure the information is current and accurate we do not guarantee its currency and accuracy. You should seek legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the information in this blog as it may not be appropriate for your individual circumstances.