Moving during bad weather

During the recent spell of artic weather it became quickly apparent that normal rules do not apply in any walk of life, including house moving.

Picture this scenario. You have everything packed bar the clothes you stand up in, the bed and very importantly the teapot and kettle. You go to bed exhausted, thinking in 24 hours we will be in our new house, and all the effort will have been worthwhile. Then it snows, heavily and the world comes to a halt.

Normally here in the south, snow rarely lasts too long on the roads and everybody carefully carries on. Not this year.

However what if your removal firm cannot physically get their lorry to you because of the amount of snow and ice? What if your lawyer cannot get to the office to carry out the legal work? What do you do then? Whom can you sue if you cannot move?

This happened to me in early January.

Dealing with PPA lawyers however makes matters a lot easier in these difficult situations because we all know and trust each other and can assist our clients. Every one in the chain had to compromise as to how and when they could actually move, and certain latitudes had to be given concerning vacant possession. PPA lawyers are able to co-operate with each other and it certainly helps if we know the lawyers we deal with. It eventually took three days to complete the move.   In circumstances such as these it seems unreasonable to expect anyone in the chain to have to pay interest for delayed completion through “force majeure”. When contracts were exchanged four weeks earlier snow was the last thing on anyone’s mind!

Now we all keep a “weather eye” on the forecasts each day when they suggest snow is on the way.

Barry King Senior Legal Executive with Glanvilles solicitors Fareham and PPA member

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