With the State of Connecticut declaring a State of Emergency, CATIC is sending this information regarding how your practice may be affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) and efforts to contain or mitigate its impact.
TOWN HALL CLOSURES
We have become aware of towns deciding to close their town halls as a precautionary measure in light of health concerns. At this time, we know that Weston, Westport and New Canaan have decided to close temporarily. However, these plans may change, and other towns may also decide to close their offices or revise hours of operation. Agents and title searchers who intend to visit a town hall or other town office should confirm ahead of time that the office will be open by calling or checking online.
Contact information for each town is available in
CATIC’s Municipal Guide
or download the app in the App Store or in Google Play.
CONTRACT PROVISION AUTHORIZING AN EXTENSION
Given the uncertainty caused by increasing reports of quarantines, closures and other efforts to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19), it is also recommended that attorneys consider adding language to their real estate contracts that will address a situation where any party is under quarantine, prevented from travelling or meeting or otherwise cannot perform.
CATIC recommends that Agents add language to real estate contracts that would allow for an automatic extension of closing in the event of a quarantine or some other delay caused by, or as a reaction to, the coronavirus. Below is sample language that is already being utilized in contracts in parts of New England. This language is only intended to be a starting point for our agents, as it is the attorneys and the clients they represent who must decide what will best protect their interests in their transactions.
"COVID-19 Impacts: The Time for Performance may be extended by either Party by written notice for an Excused Delay which materially affects the Party’s ability to close or obtain financing. As used herein an Excused Delay means a delay caused by an Act of God, declared state of emergency or public health emergency, pandemic (specifically including COVID-19), government mandated quarantine, war, acts of terrorism, and/or order of government or civil or military authorities. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in this Agreement, if the Time for Performance is extended, and if BUYER’S mortgage commitment or rate lock would expire prior to the expiration of said extension, then such extension shall continue, at BUYER’S option, only until the date of expiration of BUYER’S mortgage commitment or rate lock. BUYER may elect, at its sole option, to obtain an extension of its mortgage commitment or rate lock. Notwithstanding the foregoing, said Extension shall not exceed [insert number of days]."
CATIC will keep monitoring this evolving situation and provide updates as needed.