CILEx issues guidance for conveyancers

29 May 2020

CILEx issues guidance for conveyancers

Guidance for conveyancers to support government plans to reopen the housing market, enabling people to move home safely, has been published today.

The collaborative sector guide sets out how the legal aspects of home moving can take place while complying with social distancing measures and Public Health guidance.

The impact of COVID-19 is creating new methods of achieving home moves not only for buyers and sellers but also for conveyancers.

On 13 May, the government announced its plan to reopen the housing market as safely as possible and issued guidance on how ‘track and trace’ works on 27 May.

Following the release of a cross-industry guide to support government plans to reopen the housing market, sector-specific guidance for conveyancers has now been published as promised.

The purpose of this collaborative industry guide is to provide conveyancing lawyers with information to enable sales and purchases to be carried out while maintaining safety as track and trace is introduced and social distancing measures are eased or increased in line with government guidance.

The guide addresses considerations for electronic and wet ink signatures, ‘Mercury’ style execution, ID verification, witnessing and simultaneous exchange and completion, whilst adhering to social distancing requirements.

It also covers:

*           Meeting with clients

*           Taking Initial instructions

*           Complying with ID requirements

*           Amending Undertakings

*           Dealing with Lenders

*           Exchanging contracts and using the Code for Completion

*           Agreeing completion dates

*           Executing documents

*           Dealing with transactions in Wales


  • The guidance has been prepared by the Law Society, the Society of Licensed Conveyancers, CILEx, the Bold Legal Group and the Conveyancing Association.

  • It was developed collaboratively by the residential conveyancing sector and their professional and membership organisations.

  • The guidance is applicable to both England and Wales but the regulations and guidance relating to the re-opening of the market issued by the UK government and referred to in this guidance apply only in England.

  • This guidance applies to owner occupied homes and to second-hand, rather than new-build, homes.

  • See the guidance here.