16 March, 2020
The CLC has received a number of queries about proposals to insert a Coronavirus clause into contracts in conveyancing transactions. The CLC’s view is that so far as is consistent with the interests of the client you should continue to work within the Standard Conditions of Sale. There is a risk of unintended consequences if an untested Coronavirus clause is inserted into the Special Conditions. This may also put the underlying transaction and other transactions in the chain unnecessarily at risk.
We suggest that there is a discussion with the client well ahead of the exchange of contracts of the likely consequences of delay and how these might be avoided or mitigated (eg if the client falls ill or has to self-isolate on the day of completion). Your standard Report on Title should already explain to the client the consequences (as set out in the Standard Conditions of Sale) of either party failing to complete. The Report should be updated to take account specifically of the risks associated with COVID 19 as discussed with the client.
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