Do I have to move house on a Friday?

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Clare WatersParalegal & Executive of Completions Team

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Do I have to move house on a Friday?

Have you ever noticed that most people move house on a Friday? In fact, 28% of home buyers move house that day, citing the reason that they have a whole weekend to unpack and settle into their new home without using annual leave entitlement. Likewise, bank holiday weekends are also popular.

While this may seem a good idea, from a legal point of view, completing on a Friday gives little time for alternative arrangements to be made if problems crop up on the day. To help you decide on the best completion day for you, we have put together a list of points.

  • Bear in mind that Fridays are a busy day for estate agents, banks and conveyancers, meaning the movement of money up the chain and release of keys may be delayed.
  • Legally, most contracts agree a completion time of 2pm and the chain of movers should complete by this time of day. After 2pm claims can be made for compensation for a delay in giving vacant possession and completion taking place. 
  • Banking systems can experience problems or run slowly and if this happens on a Friday and money cannot be moved up the property chain in good time, you will be left waiting around and - worst case scenario - homeless for the weekend with your belongings in a van.
  • In the case of not completing your move on completion day, there are potential legal solutions such as serving notice and producing a licence to occupy, however these all come with a cost.
  • If you find yourself in the position of completing late (rare, but not unknown) the implications can be exacerbated since penalties including interest for late completion are likely to be calculated on a minimum of three days (Saturday, Sunday, Monday).
  • You may also find that your removal company will add further charges for a late completion or for storing your property over night or over the weekend.  
  • All professional parties involved in a completion, i.e., estate agents, banks and solicitors all close at the end of the working day and in the case of banks and solicitors, are not open over the weekend to be able to solve any problems.
  • Often, a seller has under estimated the amount of time it will take to pack-up their house and ultimately is running late on completion day. In as much as the legal process has completed, if a seller is not ready to vacate their property, it’s very difficult for the new buyer to move in and it could be late in the day before you can start to unload your own van. This can of course happen on any day of the week but there are further implications on a Friday.

Based on the above, we recommend considering Monday to Thursday as completion day for your next house move. In as much as all the professionals involved will do their very best to ensure a smooth completion day, there are occasions when something out of their control happens and contingency plans need to be put in place.

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