Mills Selig - Knowledge

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Residential Sale and Purchase - Coronavirus Impact

The onset of Coronavirus threatens to create a number of issues with the sale and purchase of houses.  By entering into a contract to buy a house at this uncertain time you are committing yourself to complete by a certain date.  If the buyer fails to meet that date for any reason the seller can terminate the contract, keep the deposit and sue for losses.  There is also likely to be a substantial penalty interest rate on the balance of the purchase price.

There are a number of things outside of a buyer’s control which might lead to an inability to complete in the current situation.  As the crisis deepens access to necessary searches, bank finance and money transfers, removal companies and legal services may be disrupted. 

It is also possible that the buyer or seller is forced into self-isolation as a result of symptoms meaning that completion cannot take place as planned. 

In the very sad situation where a seller or purchaser dies between entering into contract and completion, the contract will not terminate.  The obligations pass to the estate of the deceased and this can be a long drawn out process. 

We can mitigate these risks in the contract and have wording prepared.

Having the right legal advice at the right time is crucial. Our expert team offers clear, concise and problem-solving legal advice aimed at house builders, buyers and sellers.

Please do not hesitate to get in touch with Caroline Glover, of our Property team or your normal Mills Selig contact to discuss.

Caroline Glover 
Senior Associate

Mills Selig
21 Arthur Street
Belfast, BT1 4GA
Northern Ireland

T: +44 (0) 28 9024 3878
E: caroline.glover@millsselig.com

Speak to us on +44 (0)28 9024 3878