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When Should You Leave the Property?

Martha Lott
Written by Martha Lott
10th January 2019 (Last updated on Wednesday 10th April 2019)

Your moving out date will be a predetermined time and day that will have been agreed on by yourself and the buyer. It is in your contract to move out by this period and will usually be a set time on the day of completion, when contracts have been signed and money has been transferred.

Completion day will be arranged between the buyer and seller’s conveyancers, picking a day that is suitable for all parties. There will be consequences if you fail to complete on that day with it being extra beneficial if you move out earlier than planned.

We’ve put together this guide on when you should leave the property during the conveyancing process. 

This article will cover the following points

When Can I Leave the Property? What is the Best Day to Move House? What Time Do You Move on Completion Day? Can I Change Completion Date? Can I Move Out Before Completion Day? Can I Stay in the Property After Completion Day? What If Items Are Left in the House After Completion? Save on Your Moving House Journey

When Can I Leave the Property?

Once the conveyancing process has been completed, you will be able to move out of your house, although once contracts have been exchanged you can leave the property anytime from that point up until completion day, if your situation allows you to.

The completion date that both parties have agreed on is typically when you move out of the property. This usually happens from anywhere between 7-28 days after exchanging contracts. 

What is the Best Day to Move House?

Only once you’ve arranged completion day can you book your removal company. The date you choose for your house removal will depend on your situation, but there’s research behind the favourite and cheapest day to move house.

Typically, Friday is the most popular day to move house as people have the whole weekend to settle in without booking time off work. Unfortunately, the high demand makes it more expensive to move on a Friday.

Compare My Move’s research shows that on average, Thursday is the most expensive day to book a removal company and Sunday takes the crown for the cheapest day for house removals.

What Time Do You Move on Completion Day?

Depending on how many people are in the property chain with you, the first buyer will collect their keys at around 9am with the latest deadline for completion usually at 3.30pm as this is the time the CHAP's banking system closes for the day.

If another transaction in the chain is experiencing problems on completion day, then this will hold up the whole property chain, causing a delay in when you can leave the property. To ensure a smooth completion day on your behalf, you should make sure you have the correct deposit amount in your bank account and keep in regular contact with your conveyancer. 

Can I Change Completion Date?

Once you’ve agreed a completion day and exchanged contracts, you will be unable to change the date of completion. If you fail to complete on the arranged date, you’ll be met with a nasty bill to cover any additional charges such as the admin fees involved with changing the moving date.

Prior to exchanging contracts, both parties can still pull out of the process as the house sale/purchase isn’t legally binding at this point. You’ll be able to change the date of completion if you have yet to exchange contracts. Only once contracts are exchanged and signed will the transaction become legally binding. 

Can I Move Out Before Completion Day?

Typically, the seller and buyer will complete on the same day, allowing others in the chain to follow a smooth process. However, you can move out of the property before completion day if you have a house that’s available and ready for you to move in.

If you’re able to vacate the property before completion day, you may find it beneficial to have more time to move out at your own pace, rather than rushing to leave the property by a certain time on completion day.

You must ensure that everything is in the same condition that it was stated in the agreed fittings and fixtures form. 

Can I Stay in the Property After Completion Day?

The seller must move out of the property on completion day once they’ve received the final funds to allow the buyer to move in to their new house. The buyer will become the legal owner of the property once ownership has been transferred to them via the Land Registry.

You will only be able to stay in the property after completion if it was stated within the contracts and agreed on by both parties involved. If you’re in a property chain, it’s not advised to live in the house after completion day as it will only delay the process for other transactions in the chain and you could end up paying additional fees. 

What If Items Are Left in the House After Completion?

The seller will state the specific items that will be left in the property when signing the fixtures and fittings form, therefore you will know what to be expected before moving in. If the seller has left items that were not originally stated in the form, then you should contact the seller to come and collect them from your property.

If they do not respond or refuse to collect their items within a certain time frame, you can either claim the items for yourself or have them removed. To make life easier, you should visit the property before completion day if possible and flag any items that aren’t packed away yet.

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