Terms of Engagement
Costs and Disbursements
Your purchase price may increase or decrease throughout the transaction. This may cause a slight alteration to disbursements such as Land Registry Fee and Stamp Duty Land Tax on your purchase. If this occurs then we will immediately advise you and seek your confirmation that the same is still agreed by you.
It is very rare that additional expenses are incurred but once we have examined your title, if we consider it in your best interests or as a requirement of your Lenders that further searches be carried out to protect your interests, then once again you will be informed accordingly.
When dealing with a Leasehold sale it is now common place for Managing Agents to charge a fee ranging from £100-£350.00 for providing what is normally known as a Management Pack, including service charge accounts for the last three years and the current Buildings Insurance Policy and ground rent receipts. At the time of providing an estimate we will not have details of the fee but once again we will inform you accordingly as soon as this information is to hand. On a Leasehold purchase, subject to the Lease terms it is extremely common that a Landlord’s registration fee and/or any fee for Deeds or Covenants are payable, but once again this information will not be available until we have obtained a copy of the Lease and/or replies to enquiries from the Sellers Conveyancers.
Please note that an increasing number of Banks and Building Societies are insisting that their mortgages are redeemed via the banking system on the day of completion. If this is the case with your particular lender you will incur an extra bank transfer fee in the sum of £30 plus VAT over and above what has been quoted.
It is our practice to ask you for a preliminary deposit in the sum of £350.00 on account of an opening file fee and Local Authority Search fee in relation to any proposed purchase and an opening file fee and Land Registry disbursements in relation to any proposed sale. You will of course be given credit for this in the completion statement that will be given to you nearer completion.
The old phrase “Buyer Beware” applies to a house or flat purchase. If there is found to be anything wrong with the property after the exchange of contracts the seller is not often held liable and the buyer in most cases will have to pay for any necessary repairs.
If you have a mortgage, a valuer will inspect the property, on behalf of the lender. It is not advisable to rely upon the valuation report alone because the condition of the property is not considered in detail. However, it is often possible, for an extra fee, to arrange for the same valuer to carry out a more detailed inspection called a “Home Buyers Report and Survey” or even a full structural survey, if the property is very old and needs extensive repairs or alterations.
Abortive Charges payable
If for any reason your particular transaction does not proceed to completion, a fee will be payable in relation to discontinued works carried out on your behalf. It is this Company’s policy to ensure that our fees in relation to discontinued work remain as low as possible.
It is important that adequate funds are available on completion and that all cheques are cleared by the completion date. To ensure that all funds are cleared by the due date, cheques must be forwarded to our offices five working days prior to exchange of Contracts/Completion. The four working days deadline is essential to ensure sufficient time for clearance at our bank. In cases where cheques are not forwarded to us in time to obtain clearance, we may require you to, under certain circumstances arrange a bank transfer or a cash payment (for small sums).
Alternatively we could request for special clearance of the cheque in which case the bank charge a small fee which is payable by you.
Acting on both sides
Licensed Conveyancers are authorised by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers to act on both sides of a transaction, in circumstances only where there is no conflict of interest. Both parties should agree instructions in writing to the Conveyancer and confirm that they are aware of the other party’s existence. Please be advised that in some cases your Building Society’s consent will have to be obtained. This is strictly on the understanding that if for any reason a conflict of interest arises both parties should seek alternative Legal Advice.
Work we carry out on your behalf
• Obtaining Title Deeds in respect of your sale
• Supplying information to your Buyer and obtaining information on your purchase
• Raising necessary searches
• Checking your seller has a good title
• Approving contracts and agreeing completion dates
• Making pre-completion searches
• Preparing Mortgage Deeds and Transfer
• Completing your sale and/or purchase
• Paying off any mortgages and any Estate Agents Fees in respect of your sale
• Arranging all necessary Stamp Duty Land Tax formalities and registration.
Client Care Commitment
We will tell you who will have the day to day responsibility of each matter and his or her position in the firm. That person will inform you of the progress and of any problems or delays. You should direct routine enquiries to that person. We will also tell you who is to supervise that person.
We aim to satisfy all our clients. If there is any aspect of our service which you wish to discuss and upon which the person dealing with the matter has not been able to satisfy you, please raise your particular concerns with the supervising Partner.
The supervising Partner will look into your enquiry and respond to you promptly and if any problems arise which cannot be resolved between you and the supervising Partner of Cain Associates you may refer the matter to a Partner who has not been involved with your work (normally Mr Cain).
If after following the review process you remain dissatisfied with any aspect of our handling of your complaint, you may contact directly the Legal Ombudsman to ask them to consider the complaint further. The Legal Ombudsman’s contact details are:-
Telephone no: 0300 555 0222
PO Box 6806
Unless it agrees there are good reasons not to do so, the Legal Ombudsman will expect you to allow us to consider and respond to your complaint in accordance with the procedure set out above in the first instance. You can refer your complaint up to six months after you have received our final written response to your complaint. You can also use the Ombudsman service if we have not resolved your complaint within eight weeks of us receiving it. A complaint can be referred to the Legal Ombudsman up to six years from the date of the act or omission or up to three years after discovering a problem. The Ombudsman deals with service-related complaints; any conduct related complaints will be referred to the Council for Licensed Conveyancers. Further information regarding the Legal Ombudsman can be found on its webside http;//www.legalombudsman.org.uk/.
Points to Note
Unless we have written to you accepting responsibility to advise on the taxation liabilities of any transaction, we have no such liability or responsibility. If necessary you should obtain specialist tax advice as soon as possible in your transaction as we may only be able to offer advice on simple matters and not on unusual or complex arrangements.
Data Protection Act – this requires us to advise you that we hold your details on our date and that we may use this from time to time to send you information which we think will be of interest.
Money Laundering Regulations – under these regulations we may need to ask you to provide detail of your identity address and it is a condition of accepting the instructions that you will do so. Since the implementation of these rules we have had opportunity to report certain matters to the relevant authorities. If we do so in your case and you have acted in good faith we will not be liable to you for any loss you suffer as a result of that.
Since the implementation of these rules we have an obligation to report certain matters to the relevant authorities. If we do so in your case and you have acted in good faith we will not be liable to you for any loss you suffer as a result of that.
We do not offer or hold ourselves out as offering investment business advice. If you require such advice we will put you in contact with an independent financial advisor.
Unless the right of enforcement is expressly granted it is not intended that a third party should have the right to enforce the right of this provision of this agreement under the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act of 1999.
We may refuse to accept payments of sums in cash.
If we act on instructions from National Crime Agency (NCA) or other reputable authority not to complete or progress the transaction we will not be liable to you for any loss which occurs as a result of that instruction.
Confidentiality – any information given to us that might reasonably be expected to be kept in
a confidential manner or that you inform us is confidential, will be treated as such. Any
information or materials given to us will be kept under conditions of normal office security.
Limitation of Liability – we will maintain professional indemnity insurance for an amount
for no less than £2m. In the event that there is a claim of any sort against us by you, our
liability to you will in any case be limited to this amount, or a higher sum not exceeding the
upper limit of our indemnity insurance for the time being. This is agreed as being a
reasonable restriction on our liability unless you have agreed a different arrangement with
If you make a valid claim against us for a loss arising out of work for which we are legally responsible, and we are unable to meet our liability in full, you may be entitled to claim from the Compensation Fund administered by the Council For Licensed Conveyancers (from whom details can be obtained).
Files and Strong Room Storage
When we conclude your matter, your file (or a copy) will be retained for a period of 6 (Sale) or 15 years (Purchase) unless we agree a longer period with you. We may dispose of the file after that time. We presently make no charge for storing your file but we may charge you for the time we spend if you request its withdrawal from storage.
If you are unsure or uncertain of any of the procedures throughout the transaction please do not hesitate to contact the fee earner involved, who will deal with any queries you have immediately.