Completion and Keys handover

I’m due to complete on a flat today. Contract reassignment. Ballymore Completions office says I cannot have keys until I do a home demo and they’re booked till next week. I have not been able to see this Flat at any point. And according to these people I can’t enter the Flat for another week despite owning it. I have never come across anything like this before. Any other contract assignment buyers here - was this your experience?

I’m due to collect my keys and move in on Wednesday but my home demo isn’t until Thursday.

I’m going to give them a call now and find out more.

That does seem a bit odd. We were a contract reassignment too, but were able to arrange the home demo the week before completion.

I’d agree that if you reach a point where the funds have transferred and legal completion happened, it seems highly unusual not to be let into your own property. The only explanation I can think of is that it’s something insurance-related?

Have they explained why you have to do the home demo first?

Be interested to hear whether others have had similar experiences.

My exchange and completion are to be done simultaneously today. No explanation. I’ve got the estate agent and solicitor dealing with it. Ballymore are assholes. If this is what they’re like now, I have pretty low expectations of what it will be like dealing with them once moved in.

I’ve just spoken to them, they’ve told me that it’s fine to collect my keys on Wednesday and move in and then have the home demo on Thursday so it should be fine for you also.

Try and five the completions team a call on 020 7183 9106


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After further discussion they finally said they can defer Home demo. But won’t give keys without half hour appt and they’re booked till Friday so no keys until 4 days after completion. I can’t cancel my work at short notice. So can’t go in on Friday.

Anyone else buying contract reassignment just be aware that estate agents haven’t got a clue. I suggest that you call completions directly and arrange an appt immediately after you exchange.

Hi Blip,

they said to me they will leave the keys with concierge and I can collect them from them

Hi Ross, They didn’t say that you need a half hour appt and a meter reading before you can take the keys? That’s what they told me. But they cannot book this appt until Friday and I will be at work on Friday. I’m confused about why they are giving out different info to different people.


no they said it’s fine for them to do the home tour on Thursday as that’s when I’m booked in for but can move in on Wednesday as soon as the funds are cleared.

Seemed surprisingly straightforward so don’t take my word as gospel till I have my keys in my hands!

Hi Ross, thanks for that. Good luck on Weds, hope it all goes well.

Thanks very much, will keep you updated!

Hello - this is simply because they want to make a snaggings report. The home builders code stipulates that we should receive a report of snagging issues before completion but the solicitors aren’t up to speed on this so they end up doing during home demo. They’re afraid you’ll end up damaging something and ask them to repair it. It’s in your interest to make sure they accept responsibility for snagging issues so it’s best to wait until then though you could say you only plan to take measurements for furniture etc and aren’t planning to me in. They can’t with hold the keys as it’s your property - it’s to do with the snagging report as mentioned.

I’m also looking at flat completion on a reassignment. Would you mind sharing the broker/lenders you considered?

Before putting any money down make sure you have the CML forms in place - the lenders won’t lone you money otherwise. You’ll need both the original and another between the original buyer and yourself although this is largely for completeness. Ours nearly fell through because the second CML or lack of it. Ask your agent. There are only a few lenders left including Barclays and Clydesdale. I recommend Calli (tel:01483%20238280)

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Good shout! thanks for the heads up

Hi Dino, when did you get the CML form?! did you get that before paying the reservation fee ?! did your solicitor helped you in that or bet you and Estate agency ?!

Hi Terry - for the first part the first buyers solicitor forwarded it on and for the second my solicitor in the end drafted the terms (after asking him to do it) and Ballymore signed it. It was incredibly protracted as a result. If you’re buying directly then Ballymore will send this to your solicitor when they ask for it. If not then get your agent to the leg work! The CML form details everything that’s part of the deal.



Thanks Dino, I am buying from a 3d party, “a contract reassignment” , am i right in saying that, I have to ask myself “not my Solicitor” the agent to get the CML done, before I pay the reservation fee.
Did you have to send any personal documents to the agent before getting CML , eg. passport. proof of savings to cover deposit.
And final Qs did you make a protection on your deposit " it is a lot of money" it nearly I am paying all my savings !

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Hello Terry - I’ll list out in steps for you:

1:) You’ll need to ask the agent to request the original CML from the first buyer - this is the easy part;

  1. You’ll need to ask the agent if they can ask the builder if they will provide you with the second part of CML form before paying the uplift(profit) to the first buyer and before you effectively get the contract in your name which means before you put any money down. If this is via John and Co they should be able to help with both parts but make sure you have these to hand before proceeding as the lender won’t lend you anything without both parts.

  2. Be aware that Ballymore don’t always tend to stick to agreed floor plans so if you can get an up to date floor plan this will save you pain when you finally get it as it may not be what you expect it to be. You may find it’s better to wait until it’s completed and pay a slight premium. There are lots flats that are available.

Hope the advise is helpful.


Hi Dino

That is very helpful, thank you for explanation.
I am buying via Mylondon Home, they don’t look like the easiest!

  1. The other part of my question is
    what should I get before paying un-refundable reservation fee £2000? I will be able to get
    CML before that ?!

  2. Agency asking me to send them my ID, an proof of having enough saving for the deposit ?! is that usual for agent to ask, I thought that should be with my solicitor !