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What's the deal with "chain"?

Hi, I'm moving to UK later this year and intend to buy a home. Is it true if a seller needs to find another place prior to moving out of the place they sold to me, they can stay there, delaying the sale indefinitely? (At what point can I say they are illegally squatting and get the law to throw them out, if this can happen at all?) Cheers

Asked on May 30 2017, General in London | Report content

Answers (3)

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  • In the situation you're talking about it's very unlikely that the people you are buying from will remain in the property. Usually solicitors in "the chain" will exchange contracts at the same time which ensures all buyers and sellers in the chain have somewhere to move to.

    Answered on May 30 2017, Report content
  • Yes, once the property is sold under no circumstances can the person(s) remain in the property. It´s very rare - but, either way, I would suggest speaking to you solicitor dealing with the sale to make sure this does not happen.

    Answered on May 30 2017, Report content
  • Once contracts are 'exchanged' there will be a set date for 'completion' and there are penalties for non-completion. In practice, once contracts are exchanged, completion is almost certain, and you can be sure to occupy the property. However, there is frequently a long (months rather than weeks) between a sale being agreed 'subject to contract' and the exchange of contract. During this period the seller may well be attempting to buy a property and in most cases delay exchange on their sale until it can be synchronised with their purchase. This may be but one link in a 'chain' of dependent transactions. If any buyer/seller drops out then the whole chain collapses.

    Answered on Jun 1 2017, Report content

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