The British Association of Removers has entered the dispute over changes to the CHAPS arrangements for the transfer of monies on completion day.
Earlier this month we ran a piece on the Bank of England’s proposals that CHAPS (well-known to most estate agents as the payment system that transfers funds for house purchases) will from next summer close at 6pm instead of 4.20pm.
Some fear that some agents that do not already open late on completion days may have to remain in their offices until up to 7pm to release keys.
The operators of CHAPS, the Clearing House Automated Payment System, say the change will allow its users - including thousands of conveyancers - to offer later cut-off times to their own customers.
But in the latest BAR newsletter the association says the change “has the potential to impact enormously on our industry and more importantly on its customers.”
It goes on to say “it is difficult to understand how the changes to be implemented can be positive, given that likely outcomes will include that time of access into the new home will be pushed back even later into the day.”
The BAR describes the move as “ill-advised” and serves to exacerbate existing problems over late key release - delaying the work of agents as well as removal teams, and adding to the nervousness of house movers.
“This may lead to detrimental consequences increasing cost, staff welfare and morale. The client could well be in the unreasonable position of having to either work late into the night, to achieve some level of comfort in their new home or potentially need to fund a night’s accommodation in a hotel, thus incurring yet more expense” says the BAR.
“This regrettable change is, in our view, ill-advised and does nothing to alleviate the problems that have existed for many years” the association concludes.