I was involved in a new committee meeting last week. The agenda to tackle some of the main issues concerning the property transaction process.
Jane Finch from the Professional Movers Association said, “There are many issues which cause stress within the home buying and selling process, not only for consumers, but also for the thousands of property professionals who work the system every day. It’s about time we all got together to improve the process, so that moving home is not so stressful, either for industry professionals or our clients. Simply saying ‘it’s what customers want’ is not good enough. They generally don’t understand what’s involved to make their move happen.”
Alongside the nuisances of ‘gazumping’ and ‘gazundering’ , Finch pointed out that same day exchange and completion is a chaotic nightmare, short notice between exchange and completion leaves customers and removal companies very little time to plan and book the removal day, Friday and end of the month completions result in not enough removal vans to go round, and delayed completion causes stress and uncertainty for everyone in the chain, not to mention cancellation charges to consumers if organisation of the furniture removal falls through at the last minute.
With the new 6pm CHAPS extension time starting this summer, the Professional Movers Association highlights the current issues which are likely to get much worse, as removal companies consider refusing to deliver client goods late into the evening. “Not only is it dangerous to deliver in the dark, removal companies are bound by EU working time directive and strict legal driving hours, so removers can’t be expected to keep unloading late if the keys don’t get handed over at lunchtime.” says Jane Finch.
Removers are currently looking at the possibility of including within their terms and conditions, a 4.00pm or 4.30pm cut off time if the keys have not yet been handed over, meaning that many simple one day moves will extend into 2 days, or client goods will have to be delivered into store and redelivered out at the remover’s convenience. “As much as removers want to help their clients move home, the unorganised and last minute exchange and completion process is already causing a great strain on removal companies.
Expecting them to hang around for several hours, waiting for keys that might not even arrive until 6.30pm or 7pm is totally unreasonable, especially when they may have hundreds of miles to drive home following the delivery, and have to be back at work by 7 or 8am the following morning, just in case the next completion goes through at lunchtime.
“The uncertainty of not knowing if it will be a 1 day or 2 day move, is set to cause even more confusion and stress.” states Jane Finch. “It is therefore in everyone’s best interest to try and sort out the issues sooner rather than later. Transferring mortgages the day before completion is a simple answer. However, with money laundering safeguards, what seems like a simple solution, is proving to be a very testing issue in itself.”
Attendees at the Conveyancing Committee meeting were Alex Lochead an Economic Advisor within the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, Christopher Hamer the ex Property Ombudsman representing the National Association of Estate Agents, Stephen Ward and John Jones from the Council of Licensed Conveyancers, Beth Rudolf Director of Delivery at the Conveyancing Association, Tasneem Southam Deputy Head of Conveyancing at My Home Move, Mark Taylor and Lyndsey Daykin from Pickfords, Rosie Rogers from Really Moving, John Slade Director at Journey’s Removals and Richard Cundiff Director at We’re Moving, and Jane Finch and John Kiddell from the Professional Movers Association.
The conveyancing committee meetings will reconvene later this year until solutions have been found, commits Finch, who has also been invited by CHAPS Co to attend their consultancy meetings about the upcoming extension time changes.