COVID-19 | Appointing temporary Powers of Attorney to keep your property transactions moving forward

COVID-19 | Appointing temporary Powers of Attorney to keep your property transactions moving forward

Here we look at how organisations can delegate temporary Powers of Attorney to ensure property transactions can continue to move forward, reducing the risk of delay or processes coming to a halt if key staff members are unavailable to provide signatures required to complete.

How could COVID-19 impact my property transactions?

Property transactions by their very nature can involve large amounts of paperwork with frequent signatures required. For organisations who regularly execute a large number of deeds for the transfer, acquisition and disposal of properties, it is often the case that only board members, ‘company’ secretaries and perhaps executive/senior managers have the authority in place to provide handwritten signatures required to complete these transactions.

As workforce disruption grows in light of COVID-19, obtaining signatures from these individuals will inevitably become more problematic, with increasing numbers likely to experience some disruption to work due to illness or caring for others. In particular, organisations with fewer authorised signatories will be vulnerable to these challenges, worsened by often having to have two authorised signatories to sign documents.

In addition, geographical spread of senior staff and social distancing make the transfer of physical documents to be signed even more difficult, potentially slowing processes even further.

How can appointing Powers of Attorney help?

Appointing temporary Powers of Attorney can help ease the burden on your current authorised signatories in these challenging times, delegating authority to others, such as your legal provider to execute certain deeds and documents on your behalf.

These Powers of Attorney do not give us the ability to enter into transactions on your behalf or agree any amendments – it simply broadens your pool of authorised signatories, helping to ensure your transactions continue to complete efficiently and freeing up your board’s and senior employees’ time.

What types of organisation can put this in place?

Assigning this type of temporary Power of Attorney is a good option for a broad variety of organisations progressing property transactions, from residential and commercial developers through to Registered Providers. This includes private companies (limited by shares or guarantee) and public limited companies, as well as registered societies and charitable incorporated organisations*.

(*For non-exempt charities disposing of property or entering into charges/mortgages, there are additional compliance steps that will need to be taken)

Contact us

For more information about assigning temporary Powers of Attorney and how they could benefit your organisation and keep your property transactions moving, please contact Rachel Gwynne or a member of our real estate or corporate team in your local office.

You can register for one of our online webinars or contact the events team for more details or for more general business advice in relation to coronavirus visit our dedicated resource hub.

For advice or guidance on any other legal issue, a member of our team can help – please click here to discuss.

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