Coronavirus and your move
Our remote teams are set up to help keep you moving. Read on to see what we’re doing and find out how we can help.
At Juno, we’re still working
For the duration of the government-announced lockdown, all our staff are working from home. Our systems are set up for 100% home working (in fact, many of our team members worked from home before the pandemic).
All of the things that makes us clear, convenient and reliable mean we're able to help you today:
- We work in small teams of lawyers and paralegals, meaning we’ll be able to progress your sale or purchase.
- Our ID checks are completely online, and you don’t need to visit our office for any part of the process.
- And we have several locations where we can receive signed contracts and deeds if necessary.
Meanwhile, if you’re planning to move soon but you’re self-isolating right now, we can help line everything up in advance.
Other law firms may be disrupted – Juno can help
Juno will continue operating, but some other law firms are experiencing disruption.
If your buyer or seller’s lawyer cannot work, we will only be able to progress their transaction if they change their lawyer. Juno is able to act for both sides, so you could suggest to them or your estate agent that they switch to us.
What coronavirus means for your move
The current government advice on moving home during the coronavirus outbreak emphasises the important of being flexible and adaptable. You can read advice relevant to your particular situation below.
If the property is empty
- We’ll continue to work and get everything in place so that you can exchange contracts as soon as possible.
- Once both sides are ready, we can exchange and complete without delay. However, since current government guidance suggests that removals firms do not make any new bookings, you may not be able to move into the property until social distancing rules are lifted.
- Some banks are taking longer than usual to send mortgage money, and it’s essential to avoid a situation where we’ve exchanged contracts but don’t have the mortgage money in time for completion. To avoid this risk, when we’re ready to exchange contracts we’ll first get hold of the mortgage money from your lender, and then exchange contracts and complete the purchase on the same day.
If the property is not empty, or if you’re in a chain
- The government recommends delaying exchange of contracts until after stay-at-home measures are lifted, so we’re focused on getting everything ready so you can move as soon as it’s safe to do so.
- The British Association of Removers recommends that members ‘immediately cancel or postpone any move that has not yet started’. This means sellers are unlikely to be able to move out of the property until after stay-at-home measures are lifted.
- We’ll continue to work and get everything in place so that you can exchange contracts and move home as soon as possible.
Keeping track of what’s going on
- Please avoid calling our phone line unless you have an urgent question about a transaction that’s due to exchange or complete today.
- You can see what’s going on with your purchase any time via our secure website: client.juno.legal/dashboard
Other advice for movers
Renegotiating the price
If you want to renegotiate the price, you need to talk to your estate agent (if you don’t have an estate agent, you need to talk to your seller directly). We can’t handle this negotiation for you.
We can’t advise you on your renegotiations, but we suggest that you consider how long you think the current crisis will last vs how long you intend to own the property.
Searches – we’ll notify you if property searches have been delayed
At the moment, most of our searches are arriving in good time. But we are starting to see some local authorities and utility companies close their offices to search companies.
If this happens, our search company won’t be able to carry out your search until they are allowed access or until the local authority send them the relevant data online. We may be able to order an alternative search direct from the local authority or utility company – we’ll let you know if this is an option.
Extending your mortgage offer
If you’ve already exchanged, your mortgage lender will give you an automatic three month extension to your mortgage offer.
If you haven’t exchanged and your mortgage offer is due to expire within the next 4 weeks, you should contact your mortgage broker or lender to ask them for an extension.
Arrange bank transfers in advance
We’re not expecting any disruption to basic banking functions like money transfers. However, some branches are closing and phone lines may be busier than usual.
Banks usually have tighter security procedures for large money transfers. If you need to send a large amount of money, speak to your bank in advance – don’t leave it until the day of the transfer or rely solely on online banking.
Estate agents may close – but it’s still possible to hand over keys
If your estate agent is not expecting to be able to hand over keys, we’ll need an alternative. Our suggestions include sellers handing over keys to the buyer (this can be done at a distance) or the use of key safes at properties.
Removals may be disrupted
The government advice asks removals firms to honour their current commitments, and to follow government guidelines around distancing and hygiene. However, the British Association of Removers guidance to its members asked them to “cancel or postpone any move that has not yet started”. You can read up-to-date guidance from BAR on their website.
If you have a removal company booked you should speak to them as soon as possible to confirm it’s all going ahead as normal. If your removals company cancel and you’ve already exchanged contracts, you’ll still have to complete – see Pulling out after exchange below.
We’ll update our guidance as we learn more
As we learn more about how Coronavirus is affecting purchase, sales and remortgages, we’ll update this page. In the meantime, stay safe and follow the government’s guidance.