Terms of Engagement (v 52 terms and conditions, effective from 26th April 2017)
- Our statement and invoice will normally make reference to payments made to third parties on your behalf in the course of a transaction. These may be significant expenses such as Inland Revenue Stamp Duty, HM Land Registry fees, local authority and other search fees or less significant items such as the costs of bank charges. It is not always possible to foresee at the outset all such payments that may arise but our statement and invoice will show these items separately from any professional fees. We will ask you to provide a payment on account in respect of such payments. The cost of these will be estimated where they are not immediately quantifiable.
- Our Guaranteed Fixed Fee covers all conventional work associated with the conveyance of a freehold property. If you instruct us to prepare or approve other legal documents or require other legal services we will agree the costs of doing so with you. These services, whilst charged separately, will also have the benefit of a fixed fee guarantee. We may need to see you personally. If your transaction aborts for any reason prior to exchange of contracts we reserve the right to charge a proportionate amount for work carried out.
- Our completion statement will be sent to you as soon as possible after exchange of contracts. The balance of monies required from you, including our costs and third party payments, must be settled in full, as cleared funds for banking purposes by the day before completion. Please note that a cheque will take five working days to clear (working days do not include Saturday, Sunday, bank Holidays or Statutory holidays). Any mortgage advance also needs to be in our possession as cleared funds by the day before completion, to enable us to send out the purchase monies within the contact deadline. Any interest charged by the mortgage lender from the date of release of the advance will be your responsibility. We cannot be held liable for any delay or consequential loss in dealing with your transaction caused by funds being uncleared on the completion date.
- It is your responsibility to comply with the terms and conditions specified in your mortgage. We will assume the mortgage offer is understood and accepted unless otherwise notified by you. All mortgage lenders need specific legal work carried out before granting or repaying a mortgage. Whilst this work is exclusively for their benefit, they do require you to be responsible for the fees for such work. Our fees for doing this work are listed overleaf. If another Conveyancer is instructed to carry out this work separately by the lender; this may involve payment of a higher fee to that Conveyancer.
- Property Law Partners are specialists qualified to advise you on property law. You should consult other appropriately qualified professionals for advice on non-legal matters such as the structural condition of a property, its services and market value, environmental issues, or for specific investment, tax or financial advice.
- To prevent fraud, payment from us will always be made to the owner of the property and under no circumstances, to any third parties. In the case of joint owners, payments will be made either to a joint account or by separate amounts. For training and security purposes, your telephone calls may be monitored or recorded.
- Proof of Identity We must by law obtain satisfactory evidence of your identity and address. Please help us to do so by giving us the information and documentation we ask for. We are unable to proceed with your transaction and will not be able to exchange contracts until this has been provided.
- Confidentiality As lawyers, we are under a general professional and legal obligation to keep your affairs private. However, we are required, by current legislation, to make a report to the NCA where we know or suspect that a transaction involves Money Laundering or Terrorist Financing. By instructing us to act on your behalf in accordance with these terms of engagement you give us irrevocable authority to make a disclosure to NCA if we consider it appropriate. You agree that this authority overrides any confidentiality or entitlement to legal professional privilege. We shall be unable to tell you if we have made a report.
- Unless a contrary agreement is made in writing, we shall not be required to open a deposit account or account to you for any interest which may accrue on any monies received by us at any stage of the transaction.
- All information provided to Property Law Partners will be held upon a database. Property Law Partners is a Data Controller for the purposes of the Data protection Act 1998.
- There is a possibility that your seller/buyer may also want to instruct us to act for them. In that event, you would each be looked after by a separate Conveyancer under the supervision of a separate Licensed Conveyancer, so you get independent advice. In the unlikely event of a conflict of interest arising, we would cease to act and refer you to an alternative Company for advice. By accepting the terms of engagement, your consent is given to this arrangement.
- In the event that there should be cause for complaint with our professional services, please refer the matter in the first instance to one of the Directors of Property Law Partners, David Sledge or Tracy Alabaster. If you are still unhappy, the matter can be referred to our regulatory body, the Legal Ombudsman PO Box 6806 Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ 0306 555 0333 legalombudsman.org.uk. A copy of our complaints handling procedure is available upon request.
- If you make a claim against us for a loss arising out of the work for which we are legally responsible, and in the unlikely circumstance that we are unable to meet our liability in full, you may be entitled to claims from the Compensation Fund administered by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers (from whom details can be obtained).
- Property Law Partners is not authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority. However, we are included in the register maintained by the Financial Conduct Authority so that we can carry on insurance mediation activities, which is broadly advising on, selling and administration of insurance contracts. This is part of our business, including arrangements for complaints or redress if something goes wrong, which is regulated by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers. The register can be accessed via the Financial Conduct Authority website at www.FCA.org.uk.
Authority to Property Law Partners
- I/We confirm that you may accept verbal instructions from either one or both of us and act on them, even though these are not subsequently confirmed by us in writing and we agree to be bound by those instructions. If I/we wish to change our instructions (e.g. on a completion date) we acknowledge that the onus is on me/us to inform Property Law Partners immediately who otherwise will rely on the previous instructions given.
- In order to exchange contracts it is necessary for Property Law Partners to make arrangements and give undertakings to the other side’s lawyer during the day on which contracts are exchanged. Accordingly I/we authorise you to give such undertakings and that my/our instructions will not be revoked or varied except in writing and will not affect any actions taken before you receive such written communication.
- Unless you hear from me/us to the contrary, you may assume that you have my/our authority to disclose information to other parties in the conveyancing chain, including estate agents, and our mortgage lender.
- I/We instruct Property Law Partners to begin work on my/our behalf straight away and do not require them to wait until the cancellation period provided by Regulation 12 of the Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) regulations 2000 has expired. If we require Property Law Partners not to progress any aspect of the normal conveyancing process, we acknowledge the onus is on me/us to advise Property Law Partners at the outset.
- I/We agree that any payment made by Property Law Partners from its own monies in repaying my/our mortgage shall be a debt due and owing by me/us to Property Law Partners.
- I/we do not require Property Law Partners to open a deposit account for any interest that might accrue on any monies held at any stage of the transaction.
- I/We authorise Property Law Partners to destroy the paper sale file after 6 years and purchase file after 15 years,, all relevant information to be held electronically.
Regulated by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers to provide Conveyancing Services
Property Law Partners Registration number 5315619
Registered Office: No 1 Crown Square Woking Surrey GU21 6HR