New CHAPS hours good news for anyone waiting on a completion

New CHAPS hours good news for anyone waiting on a completion

There’s good news for anyone hoping to complete on a house purchase today – CHAPS settlement has been extended by one hour, 40 minutes!

The Clearing House Automated Payment System guarantees same-day payment, as long as funds are available by 6pm on a working day.

This is raising questions that to whether or not there’s is much point to extending the house to this length, as many estate agents and surveyors do not work past 5.30pm, so any monies received at 6pm would not result in a completion until the following working day anyway.

If the market responds to the changes, and extends working hours accordingly - offices are open until 6pm every weekday, with a team always ready to handle an exciting completion – it is hoped that any companies that benefit from the extended CHAPS timing will pass their benefit on to their customers, hopefully allowing more completions to take place on the same day.

However, despite the changes to the clearing system, there are no plans to amend the Standard Conditions of Sale (fifth edition) which has a printed time of 2pm – any monies that arrive later than 2pm are deemed to arrive after this time are counted as arriving on the next working day. The Law Society is not currently proposing to change this clause 6.1.2 as it might be viewed as encouraging later completions. Despite this, as long as funds are all in place (up and down chain) before backs close on the day of completion, the 2pm deadline on the Standard Conditions of Sale document is rarely enforced.

Another concern is that buyers will be keen to complete, and despite the monies transferring within the hours of business, and their estate agent possibly still being open to handle the paperwork one end – their conveyancer may not still be open to suit these extended hours. Without the compliance of the surveyor, the poor buyer won’t be able to get their hands on their new house keys.

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