Rights and Responsibilities While Moving: Your Questions Answered

Knowing your legal rights and responsibilities when moving is the key to confirming that you are receiving high-quality services. Understanding the legal side of moving will also help you steer clear of making any mistakes during the process. Recognizing the services that you should be receiving, asserting your rights, and fulfilling your responsibilities will all make for an easier, unstressed move.

Keep reading to learn the answers to your most pressing legal questions when buying or selling a house:

1. When will I get paid for selling my house?

Many conveyancers (a licensed professional who will advise you on the sale of your property) will send the appropriate amount of money to you on moving day by bank transfer, cheque, or any other method that has been discussed. If the money is received late from the buyers, it could be transferred at a later time. But don’t worry: they are legally required to pay you for your property. Your contract still requires payment to be exchanged even if you’ve already moved out and they’ve moved in.

Note that some conveyancers and banks may charge a fee for making same day transfers.

2. Why is my conveyancer doing searches on the property that I want to purchase?

You can learn more about your property by having a professional do searches. These searches will reveal details about the new property that might not be immediately apparent during a showing. If you’re getting a mortgage, you’ll be required to get the property searched. 

The 3 main types of searches are:

Drainage and Water Searches 


This search is intended to ensure the property is connect to water, foul sewage, and surface water drainage. Public sewers that are within the property will also be identified during the search. Generally, public sewers will run under lawns or other open spaces on properties; however, if a previous owner has built over a sewer pipe this could cause a problem in the future. It will require high costs to you as the home owner and destruction of your property if one of these public sewers needs to be accessed.

Environmental Search

Environmental searches reveal risks to the property that may arise because of the land that it is built on. Contamination, floods, and radon gas are all examples of issues that will be identifies during this search.

Local Authority Search

The Council that oversees the area where your new property is situated will be consulted during a local authority search. They will be able to inform you of any permits, rules, and infractions against the property. If you’re considering doing any renovations, add-ons, or major landscaping changes to your new property, it will be good to know at an early stage whether there are rules against any of these changes. It is important to know the history and likely future of the property before you invest in it.

3. My conveyancer also wants to do a survey on the new property. How is that different from the searches?

When a property is sold, it is sold as seen. You are agreeing to be responsible for—and cover the cost of—any issues that arise after purchasing the property that you didn’t notice before the purchase. If you realize that the oven doesn’t work or find that the bathtub leaks on your first few days in the house, you will have to fix these issues yourself.

You can avoid unwelcome surprises by having a survey carried out. The survey will be conducted by a professional who can identify maintenance issues that need to be addressed immediately or in the future. Based on the report, you can go through with the purchase, withdraw your offer, or try renegotiating a sales price based on the survey’s discoveries.

There’s always more than meets the eye when purchasing a new property, so getting a survey done is essential.

4. What happens when an exchange of contracts occurs on my house purchase?

The deal becomes legally binding once there is an exchange of contracts. Your conveyancer will acquire a signed purchase contract from you and the seller’s conveyancer will acquire a signed selling contract from them: once the conveyancers have exchanged these signed contracts, the purchase is considered complete. Neither you nor the seller will be able to step away from the purchase without facing some type of backlash. As the buyer, you will also generally be required to pay your deposit for the property.

5. When and how will we get keys?

Generally, you can collect the keys from the seller’s conveyancer or estate agent after the full payment for the home has been received. The exchange will usually take place in the early afternoon. Most contracts require a seller to leave their property by 1pm, so you can expect the exchange to take place around this time. Your conveyancer will be in contact with the seller’s team, so will be able to notify you as soon as you can pick up the keys. 

6. Is there anything else I need to do before and after moving day?

You’ll need to make sure that you have provided your conveyancer with adequate funds to complete the purchase by moving day. Many internet transfers and cheques take up to 5 days to clear, as well as occasionally having transfer limits on them. Be sure to start transferring the money early to account for these time gaps. 

Once you’ve moved, your conveyancer will likely register your change of ownership and mortgage for you at a Land Registry. A document will be sent to you by the Land Registry to confirm that you are the new resident. 



Now that you understand your legal rights and responsibilities when moving, it’s time to start packing! Check out our recent blog post to make your packing easier.

Visit Wright Self-Storage and Removal to learn about your moving and storage options. While you’re reading the contracts, let us take care of your moving and storage needs!