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CHAPS change from 2016 which will affect home movers badly.

The Bank of England have announced that from summer next year there will be an extension to the settlement time for your (yes – you, the home mover) funds going through.

It has been announced as though this is a great thing.

They have announced a clearance time up to 6pm (an extension of 1hr 40mins). And think this is good, they state, supported by The Law Society, among others, that extending this time is sensible as it means more home movers will get their keys on the day.

In fact President of the Law Society Jonathan Smithers has been reported as saying:

“We welcome the decision to extend the CHAPS settlement day. We believe this is a useful and positive step that increases the likelihood of transactions being completed on the agreed date, and lessens the chances of home buyers not being able to move into their new property.”

Firstly, if you all did your jobs properly a) they would anyway, and b) this wouldn’t be needed. Oh, and I presume you tacitly accept then what we’ve all known for years – currently home movers are always at risk of being left homeless, or just left sweltering in their car for hours and hours? Strange, because not many conveyancers I’ve spoken to like to admit that.

Mr Smithers, I take it your stance on this is that leaving a family homeless all afternoon and expecting them to only start moving in during the evening and into the night is acceptable? I must say I feel sorry for just how far removed from the reality of moving home you are. May I invite you to spend a few days with us, watching people actually move and see the effort involved, and the consequences of other peoples actions.

Perhaps while you’re here you could sign that consent form to allow the recording of the conveyancing and moving debate held at Silverstone in 2014 to be shown – you I think were the only one who wouldn’t sign it.

I cannot believe, or get my head around the fact that those responsible envisage it reasonable for estate agency staff (we’ll get to the rest in a minute)  to just stay on possibly way past 6pm waiting for the phonecall to enact key release.

And to even think it is acceptable for home movers to not get access to their new home until possibly 6 or 7pm is reasonable? It is NOT reasonable. It is a fudge, and a mask . It is like curing an alcoholic by getting him drinking cough syrup. Like deciding to cure a headache by blowing your head off with a shotgun.

I always knew that the conveyancers and conveyancing solicitors were way, way out of touch but this is plain ridiculous. I haven’t even started yet on what this means for our industry, but for now let us concentrate on the poor customers.

The BOE and Law Society (again, among others) think it is reasonable to leave a family homeless for an entire afternoon and then have them move in to their new home, late into the evening, in the dark, after having been sat in their car for 5 hours? That is the implied belief in this change. The Law Society must think this is acceptable practice, because this change will extend this time, not shorten it. Way to go! WooHoo, you truly do act in the interests of your own kind customers don’t you?

Yes (!) that is actually what is being lauded. Talk about utter stupidity.

There comes a tipping point, and I believe this is it.

So, instead of actually concentrating on making the system better, and forcing transactions to start sooner, or perhaps creating a code of practice which movers and estate agents might have had a chance to consult on – No, instead it has been decided that the crap system needs more time to be even more crap.

The solicitor who takes 3 hours to send funds, due to a lacksy daisy bad attitude, well, can now take four. Why fix the real problem when you can mask it? Why force a lazy feckless individual to start funds transfer at 09:30 when you can just extend the time available and leave it so they can do nothing until after lunch?

Moving firms will be cast in the abyss of hate by customers when, at maybe 5pm they choose to leave. Afterall, this stupid system forced them to start moving the customer out at half eight, and so the crew at this point have been out for 8.5 hours, and to wait another hour to then have 3.5 hours of moving in……is a 13 hour day.

How is this reasonable? Just because conveyancing solicitors / conveyancers cannot be bothered to do their jobs properly and with courteous thought.

Ask our great removalist staff across the country to start regularly suffering 13 hour days and they will soon walk, and I don’t blame them.

Customers, at 21:30, will be tired, depressed, weary and fed up. Who will cop the fallout for this? We will. We will be the ones that this member of the public will vent at.

The solicitor who couldn’t be arsed to do things swiftly, courteously and competently earlier in the day will be at home by 6:30pm, and by eight will be relaxing. Their poor customer will still be having four and a half tonnes of furniture and personal effects moved in by tired and fed up staff.

Give a removal firm / crew 4 days straight of this nonsense and they’ll walk.

The only answer I can see is for our industry to refuse to start moving people until 10am, or possibly 10:30.

Many removal firms will in the short term rub their hands with glee, waiting time charges, overtime charges, storage charges, redelivery charges…..the list goes on. And no doubt the customers will be hammered. I only hope they know the history that led to the raping of their wallets that will no doubt occur. And remember to blame not the mover but the ignorant idiots who decided to cause this change.

This will only last so long. The staff with children, or a social life, or loved ones will only take so much.

The customer, angry at extra charges, will soon start with the complaints – and it’ll be the mover that cops it.

This change is the most idiotic, selfish, poorly thought through, ignorant event I wished I’d never see.

To all those I have found on the record, from Smithers, to Shafik, and anyone from the BOE on this, and all those who think this is a good idea – shame on you for your ignorance, and selfishness.

You dress up this change as being for the benefit of the public? In truth its because nobody has the bottle to address the deficiencies in the systems you control. Your industry’s poor, ineffectual actions on a daily basis you are seeking to mask instead of address.

The public will suffer, Movers will suffer, many estate agency staff will suffer, and many more too.

I could cry.

Matt – matt@mgtr.co.uk

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