Moving Home Safely
Latest advice & FAQs

Covid-19 Update

COVID-19 Update - Version 19, Updated 28/09/2020

The health and well-being of our colleagues, customers and communities is our utmost priority. Following on from the recent government's announcement we’re working hard to ensure that we can return to work whilst keeping everyone safe.

Advice & FAQs

For added peace of mind, we thought we’d put together some advice & FAQs which might help to answer your queries or concerns at this difficult time.

Landlord FAQs

  • Have all your offices reopened? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    We have now opened the majority of our High Street branches in England, Scotland & Wales in accordance with Government guidelines designed to protect our colleagues and customers. Please contact us by telephone or email before visiting to check we are open and that a colleague will be available. Where your preferred office is yet to reopen we are covering appointments remotely. Please remember that you are required to wear a face covering whilst visiting our offices. You are able to check-into our offices in England & Wales using the NHS COVID-19 App. We will also request your details for Track and Trace purposes.

  • Is it possible to have a market appraisal on my property? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    Yes you can. And your safety and that of any incumbent tenants is our first priority. That is why; however you would like us to carry out a Valuation we have the tools to help you. We can visit your property to carry out a safe and socially distant valuation, but we also recognise that for some Landlords you may not want an agent in your property. We can still offer you an accurate valuation remotely based on the latest market conditions. Please use the “Get a free valuation” icon on our website or contact your local branch, we are here to help, however you want to move forward.

  • Is my property still being marketed for let? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    This is one of the things that  has not changed significantly. We will make sure that your property appears on all of the property portals, Rightmove, Zoopla, and Prime Location. Your property will also appear on our Websites. Remember that 90% of people start their house search online and with more people at home this may well increase. We still have new tenants registering with us every day and we are carrying out viewings in a safe and socially distant way at the property and virtually where we cannot facilitate this. Given the current significance of appearing appealable online if you haven’t you may want to consider our Premium Marketing Pack.

  • Are tenants still looking to rent? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    Yes –We are helping to safely rehouse tenants in rising numbers. 

  • Can potential tenants view my property? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    Yes - Virtual viewings should be used whenever possible to help limit the number of viewings you need to arrange. Prior to the appointment we will provide you with details of how it will be conducted and what is required to help keep everyone safe.

  • Will the pandemic affect rental values? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    Likely impact to the UK's housing market is as yet unknown. We continue to monitor activity within the lettings sector to and keep our clients as fully informed as possible.

  • When my property is let can I still take out Rent & Legal Protection (RLP) insurance through you. Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    Not at present. – Sales of RLP policies through our offices have been suspended whilst the policy underwriter assesses under what conditions the product can be re-introduced.  This approach mirrors that seen across a number of insurance products in the market.

    We are hopeful that sales will commence at the beginning of October. Please contact your local branch for further information.  

  • Does my tenant need to continue paying my rent during the outbreak? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    Yes – Rent remains payable. There is no automatic suspension of rental payments during the Pandemic.

  • What if my tenant can’t afford to pay rent? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    We have advised tenants that if they are having trouble paying rent then they should discuss this with you as soon as possible. Where payments are made to us, your tenant has been advised to Chat with us on our website or by emailing creditcontrol@countrywide.co.uk. If you would like to speak with someone, please contact your local property management team.

  • Am I under an obligation to help if my tenant is having trouble paying rent? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    Yes –  Government has confirmed that: ”landlords and tenants should work together and exhaust all possible options – such as flexible payment plans which take into account a tenant’s individual circumstances – to ensure cases only end up in court as an absolute last resort”. 

  • What kind of help can landlords provide if their tenant is having trouble paying the rent? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    This will understandably depend on the landlord's personal circumstances but there is an expectation from govt. that landlords will, where possible, agree to payment plans. In agreeing to a payment plan rent is not waived but delayed by an agreed amount for a set period of time. The balance is either repaid on an agreed date or spread over the remaining period of the tenancy. An unreasonable failure to do so could prejudice a landlords’ ability to gain possession.

  • I have a Rent & Legal Protection policy. Can I claim during the pandemic? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    You should defer to your cover provider to establish details of any restrictions applicable to your policy as a result of the current crisis. If you have arranged cover through us then please email rlp@countrywide.co.uk.

  • Can I evict my tenant during the pandemic? - England & Wales Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    Yes –   The stay on possession proceedings ended on September 20th. Proceedings involving excessive rent arrears and anti-social behaviour are being prioritised.     

    In England notice under Sections 21 and S8 of the Housing Act has been extended to 6 months until March 31st 2020. A number of exceptions apply, including reducing the notice period to 4 weeks under Section 8 where a tenant is more than 6 months in arrears. Please ask your local branch for further information.    

    Notice periods in Wales remain at 6 months.

  • Can I evict my tenant during the crisis? – Scotland Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    No – A ban on evictions remains in place until March 2021.

  • Can my tenants give notice? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    Yes – Your tenants can give notice by emailing terminations@countrywide.co.uk. When we have received their notice, we will contact you to let you know.

  • Is your property management department open? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    Yes – Supporting tenants and landlords in the properties we manage remains a priority. Landlords and tenants can contact us on the usual property management telephone number.

  • What about undertaking property repairs? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    The easiest way for tenants to report repairs is through our website. They will also receive helpful advice on what to do in an emergency. Our property management centres work with an extensive bank of contractors. At the date of this update, most are working as normal and therefore able to undertake essential maintenance and safety inspections.

  • What about contractors accessing the property during the pandemic? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    With properties managed by us, the contractor will call the tenant directly to arrange access to help ensure the safety of all concerned. Tenants should advise them of any self-isolation or illness within the household. When providing access, social distancing protocols should are observed. If the tenant is transferring keys they should do so in a secure envelope ensuring they are sanitised before and after use.  Where keys are held at our local office they can be collected by the contractor by prior appointment.

  • What if the Gas Safety Record needs to be renewed during the pandemic? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    Where the property is managed by us, we are reminding tenants that renewal of the annual Gas Safety Record is an important part of keeping them safe in their home. Government has confirmed that tenants should, where it is safe to do so, allow access for inspections to take place.

  • What if my tenant is self-isolating or refuses access to the property? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    Your tenant should where reasonable and safe, continue to allow access for repairs and safety inspections. If access is refused then efforts to undertake repairs and carry out safety inspections should be carefully documented and regularly followed up until the work has been completed.

  • Are you still doing property inspections? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    Subject to local lockdown restrictions we have recommenced our usual cycle of routine property inspections. As we work through the inevitable backlog please do not hesitate to contact your property manager if you have any individual concerns.

  • Will you keep me updated on any changes relating to the crisis? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    We update these FAQs in line with government announcements. You can also visit www.gov.uk/coronaviruswww.gov.scot and www.gov.wales for updates.

Tenant FAQs

  • Have all your offices reopened? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    We have now opened the majority of our High Street branches in England, Scotland & Wales in accordance with Government guidelines designed to protect our colleagues and customers. Please contact us by telephone or email before visiting to check we are open and that a colleague will be available. Where your preferred office is yet to reopen we are covering appointments remotely. Please remember that you are now required to wear a face covering whilst visiting our offices. You are able to check-into our offices in England & Wales using the NHS COVID-19 App. We will also request your details for Track & Trace purposes.

  • Can you help find a property to rent? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    Yes - You can access details of available properties on our website. For further information please use the “arrange a viewing” icon or contact your local branch.

  • What about viewing property? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    Virtual viewings should be used whenever possible to help limit the number of viewings you need to arrange. Prior to the appointment we will provide you with details of how it will be conducted and what is required to help keep everyone safe.

  • How will viewing be conducted safely? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    The safety of our clients, applicants, colleagues and the wider community remains our primary consideration. Prior to an appointment, we will provide you with details of how it will be conducted and what is required to help keep everyone safe.

  • Do I need to continue paying my rent during the Pandemic? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    Yes – Rent remains payable. There is no automatic suspension of rental payments during the crisis.

  • What if I can’t afford to pay my rent? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    If you are having trouble paying your rent it is important that you discuss this with your landlord as soon as possible.  If you make payments to us then please email creditcontrol@countrywide.co.uk.

  • Can my landlord help me if I’m having trouble paying my rent? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    Government has an expectation that landlords will, where reasonably possible, support tenants in difficulty. Any support they can offer may well be dictated by their own personal circumstances.

  • What help might a landlord be able to provide if I’m having trouble paying my rent? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    This will depend on your landlords personal circumstances but might include allowing you to make reduced/ deferred payments by way of a payment plan. If this happens it is important that you don’t breach the terms of the plan.

  • Can you help me if I’m having trouble paying my rent? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    Where we manage the property and collect rent we can speak with your landlord on your behalf. We are unable to agree payment terms on your landlord’s behalf and we need their consent to change any rental payments. When contacting us in relation to rental payments please do so by email to creditcontrol@countrywide.co.uk or via the "Chat with Us" link on the right-hand side, then choose the option “Existing Tenant”.

  • Can I pay my rent by card? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    Yes - Your local branch is able to process a payment for you.  

  • Is other help available for tenants who are experiencing trouble in paying their rent? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    Yes – I you are in difficulty and need further help this is available from your local authority, Shelter, Citizens Advice and The Money Advice Service.  If you are eligible for Legal Aid you can contact Civil Legal Advice for free and confidential advice.

  • Can I be evicted from my home during the crisis? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    Yes - The stay on possession proceedings in England & Wales ended on September 20th 2020. Possession hearings will be prioritised with those involving excessive rent arears and anti-social behaviour heard first.

  • Are there different rules for eviction in Scotland? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    Yes - A ban on evictions remains in place until March 31st 2021.

    .

  • What if a repair is required at the property during the outbreak? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    Government has confirmed that landlords are required to repair the property and undertake routine inspections as usual. Similarly, tenants are required to provide access to the property for this purpose subject to Government guidance around infection, shielding and self-isolating. 

  • What about reporting repairs? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    The fastest and easiest way to ensure that we are notified of a repair when we manage the property is by logging onto our website – choose “Rent” – “Report a Repair”. You will also receive helpful advice on what to do in an emergency.  Like many employers, we are operating new working practices to keep our teams safe by keeping them at the required social distance. However, you can still contact us on our usual property management number.

  • What if I’m notified that the Gas Safety Record needs to be renewed? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    Government has confirmed that renewal of the annual Gas Safety Record is an important part of keeping you safe in your home. This includes checks for carbon monoxide production. Carbon monoxide is a colourless odourless gas that can quickly kill, hence it often being referred to as the “Silent Killer”.  Allowing access for the inspection to take place subject to Government guidance around infection, shielding and self-isolating is important. 

    Please remember to test any smoke and carbon monoxide alarms fitted at the property on a weekly basis.

  • What about contractors accessing the property? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    To ensure your safety and that of the contractor, they will call you directly to arrange access. Please advise them of any self-isolation or illness within the household. When providing access ensure that social distancing protocols are observed. If keys are transferred do so in a secure envelope ensuring they are sanitised before and after use.

  • Useful Information Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    Fire

    • If you smell smoke or see fire call 999 immediately.
    • If living in a development of flats ensure that you are familiar with building evacuation protocols in the event of a fire.

    Gas

    • If you smell gas or think there may be a leak, open windows and doors and leave the property immediately. Do not turn on lights or light a cigarette.
    • Call the National Grid straight away on 0800 111 999, nationlagrid.com.
    • If in doubt call 999 immediately.

    No Electricity/ Supply Tripping

    • Check there is sufficient credit on the meter if you have a pre-payment meter.
    • Check with your neighbours and/ or your energy provider to establish if there is a problem in your area.
    • If your electricity keeps tripping (going off) turn off/ unplug appliances gradually turning them back on until the supply trips. This should highlight the problem device.
    • If the problem persists report the problem to us where we manage the property.

    Burst Pips

    • Turn off the water supply at the stopcock.
    • Use containers to try and catch the water.
    • If the water is close to electricity supplies or appliances immediately switch off the electricity supply at the mains.

    Loss of Water Supply

    • Check if your neighbours have the same problem
    • Check if the water authority serving your area has turned off the supply.
    • Contact the supplier if the problem persists.

    Lack of heating/ hot water

    • The majority of problems can usually be rectified with reference to the manufacturer’s instructions. Copy instruction manuals are readily available online.
    • Check that thermostats and timers haven’t inadvertently been adjusted.
    • With gas boilers try re-setting the pilot and re-pressurising the system with reference to the instruction manual.
    • If you have a hot water cylinder check to see if it has an immersion heater that you can use until the boiler is repaired.
    • If the problem persists report the problem to us where we manage the property.

Mortgage and Protection

  • Can I still get a mortgage to buy a property? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    Yes you can. Countrywide Mortgages Services can still help provide an “Advice and Recommendation service” to help review your mortgage and protection requirements, all from the comfort of your own home.

    Using the technology that Countrywide already has in place, we can progress the whole mortgage and protection application process over the phone and email. This includes digitally signing all the necessary forms and paperwork*. To get started please email admin@mortgagescountrywide.co.uk and include your contact details and we will arrange for a member of our team to call you back as soon as we can. *A fee will be payable for arranging your mortgage. Your Consultant will confirm the amount before you choose to proceed.

    Updated government advice can be found here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/government-advice-on-home-moving-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak

  • Is a mortgage payment holiday right for me? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    The mortgage payment holiday guidance introduced in June 2020 was designed to protect the most vulnerable by alleviating immediate financial pressure and any stress or worries they may have about meeting all their financial commitments and day to day needs.

    The June Guidance will continue to provide support for those newly impacted by coronavirus until 31 October 2020 – with customers able to receive an initial or further 3-month payment deferral up to and including that date that would last until 31 January 2021.

    If you feel that you may struggle financially, taking the payment holiday (either in full or in part) may be the right thing for you to do and in the first instance you should contact your mortgage lender.

    If, however, you feel you can meet your monthly mortgage payments during this crisis, without it impacting on your everyday needs, then you should strongly consider continuing to pay them.

    If you have taken or are considering taking a mortgage payment holiday, you must be aware, like any holiday, it must be paid for. For example, at the end of the holiday period your repayments to the end of your mortgage term might be re-calculated by the lender to include repayment of the portion of the outstanding loan not repaid during the holiday, plus the interest not paid during the deferred period. This may mean your new repayments are greater than you may have budgeted for, which could cause you further financial difficulty.

    Taking these practical steps may help you determine if a mortgage payment holiday is right for you.

    Work out your finances.

    Write down what money you currently have coming in from all sources, then consider any loss of income you may experience as a result of either being furloughed from your place of work or even losing your job due to the impact the crisis has had on your employer or self- employment opportunities.

    Work out your outgoings.

    Write down all your outgoings, prioritising these in order of most need, i.e. food, utilities (water, gas, electric) etc.

    This may be a good time to review whether payment for some of your non-essential commitments can be suspended or cancelled, for example gym memberships etc.

    Work out what can you afford.

    If your outgoings, including your mortgage payments, are likely to place financial stress on you and your family, you should contact your mortgage lender immediately to discuss your payment holiday options.

    It is important that you do not simply cancel your Direct Debit mandate, as this may be counted as a missed payment and you may incur charges from your lender. Your lender will suspend taking payments from your account once they have confirmed you are eligible for and the terms of your holiday have been agreed.

  • Contact details for your mortgage lender. Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

     

    Lender

    Contact details

    Barclays

    https://www.barclays.co.uk/mortgages/

    BM Solutions

    0345 850 5000

     https://secure.lloydsbank.com/

    Coventry Building Society

    0800 121 8899

    https://www.coventrybuildingsociety.co.uk/

    Halifax

    https://www.halifax.co.uk/mortgages/existing-customers/payment-holidays/?WT.ac=PaymentHoliday

    HSBC

    https://www.hsbc.co.uk/help/coronavirus/

    Leeds

    https://www.leedsbuildingsociety.co.uk/coronavirus-information/

    Nationwide

    https://www.nationwide.co.uk/support/coronavirus/mortgage-payment-holiday

    NatWest

    https://personal.natwest.com/

    Platform

    https://www.co-operativebank.co.uk/news/2020/coronavirus-support-personal-customers

    Precise

    https://www.precisemortgages.co.uk/

    Santander

    https://www.santander.co.uk/personal/coronavirus?icid=php-Hero-Coronavirus-0320

    Scottish Widows Bank

    0345 845 0829

    The Mortgage Works

    https://www.themortgageworks.co.uk/payment-holidays

    Virgin Money

    https://uk.virginmoney.com/contact/support-hub/coronavirus/

     

  • I have taken an initial 3-month payment holiday, but I know that I won’t be able to start paying my mortgage payments again when this period ends, what should I do? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    The government and the FCA have said lenders should continue to support any customer who has already had a payment holiday but need further help.

    As your current payment holiday nears its end, your mortgage lender should contact you to discuss your options. This may be that they offer an extension to the holiday period or work out with you a way for you to begin repaying some of your monthly payment amount to offset the interest accruing and lessen the impact of increased payments at the end of the extended term or when you can afford to begin repaying your monthly payments in full.

    Your mortgage lender may also suggest transferring your current arrangements to an alternative fixed or reduced rate deal.  If this is their suggestion, it may be advisable to seek further advice from a Countrywide Mortgage and Protection Consultant.  Here at Countrywide we are able to consider a wide range of mortgage products from across the market place and may be able to find a better rate or product with an alternative lender, which may be more suitable for your current and future needs.

    We do however agree that where you can meet some or all of your mortgage payments, you should begin to do so as soon as you can. This is providing of course that you can meet your day to day needs for you and your family and not overstretch yourself and missing a mortgage payment, as this may count as a payment default, again leading to you possibly being charged. Where possible, avoid using an overdraft facility to meet your payments as this could lead to future financial problems.

  • Can my lender repossess my home if I am unable to make any or all of my payments when the payment holiday ends?’ Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    The government ban on mortgage lenders repossessing homes will continue to 31st October 2020. Beyond this date, lenders will be able to invoke repossession proceedings where a payment shortfall exists, provided it follows FCA rules and guidance by making all reasonable attempts to help resolve the payment shortfall and providing support and forbearance measures where possible. 

  • Will my ability to access credit, obtain a mortgage/re-mortgage be affected if I take or extend a payment holiday? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    If you have already taken an initial payment deferral (holiday) under the guidance published by the government and FCA in June 2020, those arrangements will not be reflected on your credit file. This includes where you have extended any initial arrangements prior to 16th September 2020 to beyond that date.

    Should you extend any deferral or newly enter arrangements for a payment deferral after 16th September, these arrangements will be reflected on your credit file. It is therefore important that, where you can afford to continue or resume making repayments, you should do so to avoid the impact to your credit file and having to repay the deferred amount, either through a lump sum or by adding the deferred amount to the outstanding mortgage and having to either extend your mortgage repayment period or increase your monthly repayments.

  • Can I still remortgage as my current interest rate is coming to an end? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    Following the recent Bank of England base rate cuts many lenders are still offering low remortgage rates for customers looking to reduce their monthly mortgage payments.

    Countrywide Mortgages Services can still help provide an “Advice and Recommendation service” and using the technology that is already in place, we can progress the whole remortgage application process over the phone and email. This includes digitally signing all the necessary forms and paperwork*.

    To get started please email admin@mortgagescountrywide.co.uk and include your contact details and we will arrange for a member of our team to call you back as soon as we can.

    *A fee will be payable for arranging your mortgage. Your Consultant will confirm the amount before you choose to proceed.

  • How do I get in touch with my Mortgage and Protection Consultant if the branch is closed? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    If you have been liaising directly with your Mortgage Consultant then please continue to do so using the email or telephone number that they have supplied to you.

    We have set up a central email address for all new enquires and this is monitored regularly. Please email admin@mortgagescountrywide.co.uk and include your contact details and we will arrange for a member of our team to call you back as soon as we can.

  • How do I make a claim on my AXA or AVIVA policy that I arranged through Countrywide? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    If you have to make a claim or have a query on either your household or personal protection policies, in the first instance please refer to your policy document which will highlight all the main helpline numbers.

    We have however listed all of the main contact numbers for both AXA and AVIVA below.

    Please do not cancel a policy without first speaking to us, as your valuable protection will no longer apply. If you wish to change or adjust any of your policies, or you wish to take additional cover then please contact us at admin@mortgagescountrywide.co.uk and include your contact details and we will arrange for a member of our team to call you back as soon as we can.

    AXA:

    AXA Claim - Homeowner

    Contact

    Buildings, Contents, Personal Possessions and Pedal Cycles

    0345 521 3905

    Domestic Helpline and Home Emergency

    0330 058 1638

    Legal Helpline and Legal Expenses

    0330 058 1641

     

    AXA Claim - Landlord

    Contact

    Buildings, Landlord’s Contents and Carpets, Curtains and White Goods

    0345 521 3905

    Domestic Helpline and Home Emergency

    0330 058 1639

    Legal Helpline and Legal Expenses

    0330 058 1643

     

    AXA Claim - Tenant

    Contact

    Contents, Personal Possessions and Pedal Cycles

    0345 521 3905

    Legal Helpline and Legal Expenses

    0330 058 1642


    AVIVA:

    Personal Protection

    Contact

    Changing details, making a claim or ask a question

    Aviva Contact Us

    Manage your existing policy

    Aviva My Account

     

  • Can I defer my insurance/protection payments? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    Yes, customers who are struggling financially due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) have until 31st October 2020 to defer up to 3 months premiums whilst retaining their important benefits and levels of cover.

    If your financial situation changes for the better at any time and you feel you are able to meet your monthly premiums and/ or repay any previously deferred payments, without placing yourself into undue financial difficulty, you should consider doing so at the earliest opportunity. By doing so, it may help you to avoid the possibility of having to repay the total deferred premium amount through either increased premiums or a large one-off sum at the expiry of the deferred period and prior to the expiry of the agreement/policy term.

    *If you would like to apply to defer your premium payments, then in the first instance please use the contact details below; AVIVA  Protection policies Apply using either their website or contact  AVIVA direct on 0800 2851 098 AXA insurance policies Apply by contacting Countrywide Insurance Services on 01908 961399

    *Please note that Terms and conditions apply, and the scheme is currently available until 31st October 2020.

    If you are unsure whether a premium deferral is the right thing for you, it may be of benefit to review the free and impartial advice provide by the Money Advice Service using their money navigator tool which can be found here: https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/tools/money-navigator-tool

  • I previously deferred my insurance/protection payments – what happens now? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    If you had deferred your insurance premium payments within the period between 14th May 2020 up to 11th August 2020 and are worried that you will still be unable to meet your insurance premium payments or repay the amount deferred, your insurer may agree for you to continue to defer the payments previously due and future payments. This would be dependent on your circumstances and other options available to you.

    *If you would like to discuss arrangements for continuing to defer your premium payments or other options available to you then in the first instance please use the contact details below; AVIVA  Protection policies Apply using either their website or contact  AVIVA direct on 0800 2851 098 AXA insurance policies Apply by contacting Countrywide Insurance Services on 01908 961399

    *Please note that Terms and conditions apply, and the scheme is currently available until 31st October 2020.

    If you are unsure whether a premium deferral is the right thing for you, it may be of benefit to review the free and impartial advice provide by the Money Advice Service using their money navigator tool which can be found here: https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/tools/money-navigator-tool

Conveyancing

  • Countrywide Conveyancing Services advice and information Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    Here at Countrywide Conveyancing Services we have been working hard to re-mobilise our offices ensuring we return to business as usual whilst maintaining a focus on the safeguarding of our people.

    We have over the weeks and months developed a robust and agile working model to adapt to the new normal, ensuring that we keep our customers moving whilst observing Government guidelines.

    The latest Government guidelines for moving in England can be found here. For latest guidelines on moving in Wales, please click on this link. We continue to monitor the guidance for moving in England and Wales, to include the enforcement of local lockdowns.

    We understand that customer contact is paramount at this time. We have worked hard to re-open our offices with particular focus on increasing customer contact, to ensure you can reach us, when you need us.  You can contact us by e-mail, via our Conveyancing Connect portal and importantly by phone.

    Your assigned lawyer will give you their direct dial and e-mail address. If you do not have your Lawyer’s contact details to hand, please call our legal team who are available on the following number:

    Cardiff - 02920 442 100

    Manchester – 0161 200 8200

    For any new business queries please contact newbusiness@cwpl.com or call 0161 200 8250. 

    We are also working hard to ensure we contact our customers with progress updates in relation to the legal work on live transactions, ensuring you are kept informed every step of the way.

    HELP US HELP YOU

    With our implementation of home working, and to mitigate the risk posed by the Pandemic, we will be sending all correspondence where possible by e-mail. If you need to send correspondence to us, please send hard copies only where it is necessary – for example original signed documentation.

    Should you require assistance or have any concerns, please click on the link to contact us

    HEIGHTENED RISK OF FRAUD

    We know fraudsters try to take advantage during times of disruption.

    PLEASE TAKE EXTRA CARE, WHEN MAKING PAYMENTS TO OR RECEIVING FUNDS FROM US.  WE ASK YOU TO BE PARTICULARLY VIGILANT AND TAKE NOTE OF THE FOLLOWING:

    • We will NEVER amend our bank account details mid-transaction

    • Always confirm money transactions verbally with us, and never rely exclusively on email communication

    • Treat any communications from new or unrecognised sources, particularly any communications that express urgency or require you to move quickly, with extreme caution. Always check with us first.

    MOVING SAFELY DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

    The general UK wide lockdown has been lifted, but there are still local restrictions in England & Wales and the government advice on moving safely is updated from time to time. For this reason, we will be writing to you before exchange of contracts to make sure you are aware of any risks before you instruct us to commit you to a completion date.  Once you have exchanged contracts, you are contractually bound to complete your sale or purchase on the agreed completion date.  If you are unable to do so, whatever the reason, you will be in breach of contract (which was of course the case even before any Covid-19 complications.)

    Subject to that, it is business as usual for us and we aim to get your transaction completed as quickly as you want to move.  If you do experience any problems with your transaction, our experienced lawyers will be able to give you specific advice and guidance.

     During the UK wide lock down we generally advised that a simultaneous exchange and completion was the safest way to proceed but we are no longer recommending this as a matter of course. However if you do instruct us to do this here is a reminder of the things you need to consider. 

    WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF EXCHANGING AND COMPLETING ON THE SAME DAY?

    We are quite used to dealing with simultaneous exchanges and completions, but it does require the co-operation of all parties involved in the transaction and there are risks.

    • It will be necessary for you to make all the practical arrangements in advance of the proposed completion date, some of which could incur costs in advance even though until contracts have been exchanged, you cannot be certain that the transaction will actually take place. 
    • All parties involved, particularly in a chain of transactions, will have to make the same preparations and if anyone of them cannot make those arrangements in time, or their own circumstances change, the arrangement may collapse at the last minute.

    If a proposed simultaneous exchange of contracts and completion is not successfully achieved, then all the preparations would have to be repeated in time for an alternative date and you would inevitably incur additional costs (e.g. removals cancellation fee, interest payable on your new mortgage funds ordered in advance, etc.).