Susanna Wood will be moving in less than three weeks, but not sure if it will continue
Homebuyers have been left in limbo after the government urged the public not to move during the coronavirus lock.
Those who were in the middle of the buying process told us that they are now unsure when to complete the purchase of their new home.
A buyer said they had made a commitment to buy a new flat, but their buyer withdrew.
And a few are about to move in less than three weeks, but not sure if they can.
The housing market has fallen into chaos amid the outbreak of the corona virus, with reports that banks are restricting their mortgage lenders and moving companies and closing their doors.
Confusion followed an announcement by cabinet minister Michael Gove, who urged the public to cancel plans to exchange house contracts.
To add to the confusion, bank giants Halifax and Barclays have withdrawn new mortgage offers for all borrowers without a deposit of at least 40 percent.
At the beginning of this month, 29-year-old Susanna Wood exchanged her new home with her boyfriend.
At the time, coronavirus was not the problem in Britain today, and the government had not made any announcements about closing or not buying a home.
As such, the couple was not concerned with continuing to purchase the property in Surrey and set a delivery date of April 15.
But now, says Susanna, who works for the Plum savings app, the pair don’t know if they can move home – and they’ve already announced their London rental apartment.
She has been in contact with her lawyers and has been told that the move is “going according to plan” so far.
She said, “We hope the move will still go ahead on that date and not be postponed, because we don’t know what could happen next. It may take months before we move.
“If it isn’t, we’re worried about where to go, because the country has been told not to visit friends or family amid the corona virus, let alone stay with them.”
If it doesn’t happen, we’re concerned with where to go
Home buyer, Susanna Wood
But even if the sale goes through, the moving company canceled their booking and the couple struggles to find a replacement.
She said, “It now looks like our only option is to rent a van and do it yourself.
“This might be nearly feasible for the two of us moving out of a small bed, but I’m not sure how bigger families can handle it.”
The couple currently live in a rented apartment, which they must vacate on April 14 after two months’ notice. They hoped to stay with family that evening before moving to their new home.
Tom Matthews would trade for a new home, but is now left in limbo
However, there are now restrictions on visiting friends and family.
Under normal circumstances, once exchanged, the completion date must be adhered to, or a party may file a lawsuit.
However, real estate agency NAEA Propertymark has suggested that if the lawyers of all parties agreed, the data might be pushed back.
As an example of how many people could be affected by the housing freeze, about 70,900 buyers were approved for a mortgage in January this year.
This number does not include those who buy cash without taking out a loan.
Tom says he cannot relist his property because people are no longer looking
Taking into account the average eight to twelve week period between agreeing on a sale and moving, this indicates that tens of thousands of people may be stuck in the dark, as they expected to move in the next three weeks.
Tom Matthews and his family would trade for a new home, but are now left in limbo after their buyer braked the sale.
He said, “Our buyer is no longer willing to commit to an exchange or completion date, although he repeats his desire to buy the property – he just doesn’t say when or when to make a decision about it.
“He’s an airline pilot, so he may have seen the worst of the virus from an economic point of view.”
Tom was still hoping to move with his wife Daniella, 30, and a two-year-old son, but said it no longer seems possible.
He said, “At least we’re in the dark for the time being. I want to buy and move, but our buyer is not committed and there is no point in relisting the property as we cannot provide viewings about it. ‘
Unfortunately for Tom, who works for mortgage broker Coreco, the delay will mean his mortgage payments will increase by 50 percent, as he will fall on his lender’s default variable rate at the end of this month.
“I might consider withdrawing the three-month mortgage payment as a result, but I haven’t done that yet,” he added.
Due to the slowdown, Tom’s mortgage payments will rise by 50 percent by the end of the month
Anna Manby is one of these buyers. She told This is Money that she has almost completed the house buying process, but her mortgage lender now stops responding to her emails.
“Our move was eventful and incredibly frustrating at times,” she said. “Our offer was accepted in a new place, we searched and the surveys were completed.
“We received our mortgage confirmation last week through our broker, but we need an official letter from the bank to arrange the exchange and completion. It’s been a week and it still hasn’t come – we’ve heard that the bank now works with less than half of their staff and there is a big backlog.
Tom and his wife are considering taking a three-month mortgage vacation because of the delay in their sales
“It is stressful to think that anything can happen in the economy now that it could all fail at the very last hurdle.”
Anna and her partner aren’t part of a chain, so they don’t have to worry about finding a place to live if their sales don’t go through.
However, it is likely that they will lose all the money they have spent so far to secure the house.
She said, “If it continues, we will be stuck where we are for the foreseeable future and have spent a lot of money on job applications, surveys and attorney fees.
“Although it is stressful to think about, it is beyond our control and in the context of everything that is happening in the world right now, it seems small. I know that many people are in much more difficult situations.
“We still hope that everything will continue, but I know that the land registry in Scotland has been closed, which could happen in England soon.
We may be in a situation where we have exchanged, but we cannot complete months
“So we may be in a situation where we’ve exchanged, but we won’t be able to complete for months.
If it all happens, we may not be able to actually move, simply because moving companies are not allowed to work.
‘The companies we have spoken to are not clear whether they can do something and are looking for more guidance from the government. We can always rent a car and take a few trips, although I’m not even sure if you can rent a car right now – that’s on my list of questions. ‘
Michael Gove yesterday suggested that people cancel plans to move
If the lockdown period lasts longer than the initial three-week period, even more buyers will be affected.
Only those who have exchanged contracts are stuck on the completion dates, but even those who have not gotten this far may expect an exchange soon and may not feel able to commit now, messing up their plans.
Those who are part of a chain should also worry about whether the buyer for their property can complete the purchase.
Another buyer, Steve Smith, told This is Money that the buyer had to withdraw for his home, jeopardizing the purchase of a new-build home.
He said: “Today I received a call from my lawyer saying that the buyer of my property was losing his job because of the corona virus. They had to withdraw from the deal.
“We were signing missions. This affects the purchase of our new build home where I paid a significant amount of upgrades. ‘
Are you trying to move? What you can do
If you’re trying to relocate and aren’t sure how the government announcement will affect you, the removal quote provider Reallymoving has put together the following advice:
Securing a mortgage
Be prepared to provide evidence of job security, something that banks will monitor even more than usual.
Since surveyors are currently unable to conduct valuation surveys, expect your application to be delayed.
If you already have a mortgage offer, contact your lender to check if the offer is still valid and if the loan level you are assuming remains manageable if your work situation has changed.
If you have not yet exchanged, please wait. Spend this period ensuring that all questions are answered and that as much of the process as possible is completed, so you are ready to press the button and switch once the lock is released.
If you have already exchanged and need to complete within the next three weeks, please contact your lawyer as soon as possible to try to agree a new completion date with all other parties after the lockout period.
If you have already exchanged with an end date after the next three weeks, follow the situation closely. Ask your lawyer to start conversations with other parties – you may need to act quickly to set a new date if the lockout period is extended.
Money laundering checks, for which buyers are required to provide a certified copy of ID and proof of address, are currently still available at the post office.
Search delays will occur because the offices of the local authorities are closed and cannot be physically executed. If searches for your purchase are not yet complete, you may have to wait for the lock restrictions to be lifted.
Organizing a survey
• It is no longer possible for an inspector to conduct a survey on a property as it is considered a non-essential activity. Buyers must wait for the movement restrictions to be lifted.
The British Association of Removers has issued guidelines to its members to postpone all movements during the lockdown period except those already in progress.
Although the vast majority of removals are now postponed, movers can still receive quotes and choose a moving company prior to their move.
Surveys can be conducted through FaceTime to provide removal quotes that take a little longer than a personal visit. However, these can lead to missing items, so be sure to double check the quote to make sure everything is included.
Rob Houghton, chief executive of Reallymoving, said, “Those who now feel unexpectedly at home with time in their hands should use it wisely to get all their affairs in order. Do as much online research as you can, prepare your home and garden for sale, and be in the best position to move on when the crisis wears off. ‘
Landlords and tenants fear financial ruin, says real estate expert calling on government to jump in and cover rent during coronavirus outbreak
Calls are made to pay the rent in full directly by the government if a tenant is affected by the corona virus.
It may be the only way to keep tenants at home amid the coronavirus outbreak, said David Cox of ARLA Propertymark.
He explained how tenants and landlords are dealing with “financial ruin” amid the virus crisis.
Can rents be paid directly by the government if a tenant is affected by the corona virus?
The government has already taken steps to protect tenants, including banning evictions and offering mortgage vacations to landlords.
But these may not be enough to prevent some tenants from losing the roof over their heads.
Mr. Cox told MailOnline Property: “Tenants face financial ruin from mounting rent arrears and crippling debts if they fall through the gaps of current government regulations.
‘This is especially the case for people who work in the gig economy or who work independently.
“The consequence of this is that landlords do not receive their rent and end up in a financial ruin that ripples across the economy.”
Tenants run the risk of losing their homes if they are unable to pay their rent – an increased risk during the current crisis, as tenants may have lost their jobs or become ill.
It means that everyone in the real estate chain is affected if a tenant is unable to pay their rent, from the tenant to the landlord who may not be able to pay their mortgage if no rent comes in.
Mr. Cox explained that by stepping in early, this means that everyone in this chain can benefit.
“For everyone, the government must pay the rent of people if they are affected by the corona virus.
“It is what the welfare state must do and the government must do the right thing.”
How does it work?
It should work on a self-declaration basis, according to Mr. Cox, whereby those who have lost their income – through illness or layoff – must pay their rent through universal credit.
They sent proof that they had lost their income to the Ministry of Work and Pensions and their rent could be paid directly to their landlord.
Evidence may include a sick note issued by calling 111, a P45, or confirmation from their former employer that they had been fired.
Could it encourage fraudulent claims?
In one word yes. However, Mr. Cox says it is time to act and build trust.
“We have to trust people to make a legitimate claim. Now is the time to protect the 99 percent of legitimate claims and deal with the 1 percent of fraudsters later, ” he said.
“If these measures are put in place immediately, tenants don’t have to worry, as rents come in and landlords are protected,” he added.
The call for payment of such rents follows confusion over the government’s announcement that it banned evictions during the coronavirus outbreak.
For some landlords and tenants, it is unclear what exactly this means.
The prohibition does not prevent a landlord from making notices to a tenant such as Article 21 to seek ownership of a home or Article 8 if a tenant has violated the terms of the lease.
This is not to be confused with evictions, which are defined as forcibly removing a tenant from a home.
To evict a tenant, you must initiate legal proceedings, which can only begin if the tenant refuses to surrender ownership of a property at the end of a notice period.
As such, when the government says it bans evictions, it means it prevents the start of this judicial process.
This has been achieved by extending the notice period for Article 21 announcements from two to three months. It means that during this period no tenant can be evicted by force.
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