We have signed contracts, agreed exchange dates and are due to move into our new home in two weeks time, but the sellers are now saying they cannot move out for at least another week. There are people moving into our house, so we will have nowhere to go. Can we force the sellers out so that we can move in on the agreed date?
This is a scenario that should never ever arise. The fact that you are in such a position suggests you have already exchanged contracts on your sale and are committed to moving out on the date already agreed on your sale.
While the same date may have been anticipated on your related purchase the fact that contracts have yet to be exchanged on your purchase means that this can always change. Accordingly, the failure to exchange simultaneously on your related sale and purchase has led you to this impossible situation.
You cannot force your sellers to move out of the property despite the fact that they may have agreed the proposed completion date many weeks previously. It is only on exchange of contracts that the parties are legally committed to a completion date. You have, therefore, taken a risk in exchanging contracts on your sale without a simultaneous exchange of contracts on your related purchase and as things have panned out your dates are not going to coincide.
You have no alternative other than to move into temporary accommodation regardless of how short this period may be – a prospect you should have considered very carefully when you decided to exchange contracts on your sale independently.
* Emyr Pierce is Managing Partner of Emyr Pierce Solicitors in Rhiwbina, Cardiff, Western Mail Conveyancer of the Year, specialising in Domestic and Commercial Property. Contact www.emyrpierce.co.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org