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DOT – points to consider

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DOT – points to consider

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									                                                                                                    Hoffman Male
                                                                                                     Specialist Property Lawyers

                                                   TERMS OF ENGAGEMENT

In accordance with our professional rules we are obliged to inform our clients in writing of the basis on which we provide our
services, making it clear from the outset what you, as our client, and us, as your conveyancer, can expect in various
circumstances. These terms will not limit our professional duty as licensed conveyancers to safeguard your interests and to
provide proper legal advice.

Please read the following terms carefully and confirm your acceptance by signing and returning the duplicate enclosed.

FEES, DISBURSEMENTS and OTHER COSTS
Our estimate of fees and disbursements for your conveyancing transaction is based on the information that you have given
us. You will appreciate that it is not always possible to foresee at the outset all disbursements that will be needed, and
occasionally additional searches and enquiries, resulting in additional costs, will be required. For example, there could be a
change in the purchase price that directly affects the level of Stamp Duty Land Tax and Land Registry fees. In rare cases
unexpected developments may make the transaction more complicated or more protracted than expected and this may entail
additional fees. However, as mentioned, this is quite rare and we would, in any event, advise you of any significant increase in
our fees and/or disbursements when they arise. If you disagree with the change in fees, you should write to us promptly with
your reasons.

We do not charge an additional fee for acting for your lender. On sales this means the fee for discharging the mortgage on
the property sold, and for purchases it means the fees for acting in our capacity as your lender’s legal representative. In a re-
mortgage, or where you are both selling and buying, it means both.

If your lender requires your mortgage to be redeemed by telegraphic transfer, or if you require your sale proceeds to be
remitted direct to your bank account on the day of completion, a further fee of £30 (plus vat of £5.25) will be charged for
each electronic transmission.

Leasehold Properties. An additional fee of £100 (plus vat of £17.50) will be charged where you are selling or buying leasehold
flat or maisonette, to offset the cost of the extensive additional work involved. Leasehold houses may attract a proportion of
this additional fee, depending on the amount of additional work – if any – involved.

SDLT stands for “Stamp Duty Land Tax”. If you are purchasing you will shortly receive from us an explanation of the
implications of the recent change from the old Stamp Duty to the new tax called Stamp Duty Land Tax. Since the amount
payable under the new tax is, in most cases, the same as the old one, you may think that there is no difference. There are
however, huge differences, all of which will be explained later. The explanation will include telling you why we make an
additional charge in connection with the tax. This charge is mentioned in your estimate.

Postage
If you are returning papers to us by post, please ensure that you affix sufficient postage stamps to cover the cost of posting.
Any underpayment of postage could cause unnecessary delays.

ABORTIVE WORK
In the event of any transaction not proceeding to completion, for whatever reason, we reserve the right to make a charge for
the abortive work and any sums we have paid out on your behalf. The charge will reflect the amount of work done and the
time taken and it will be based on a proportion of the estimated fee (in proportion to how much work has been done).
However we do endeavour to keep these to a minimum to retain the goodwill of our clients.

Note: For a small additional fee of £40 (plus vat of £7) you can choose to take up our “no sale – no fee” option. A further
explanation and application form will follow on receipt of your instructions.

CLEARED FUNDS and PAYMENT OF BILLS
It is essential to ensure that you have adequate funds in place to enable you to complete your transaction and to pay all fees
and disbursements. If you are submitting your funds to us by cheque you should ensure that we receive it at least 5 working
days before the date set for completion to allow for bank clearance. If clearance is delayed because you submit the funds too
late, or by inappropriate means, then you may well find yourself in breach of contract and liable for damages and
compensation in accordance with the sale/purchase contract. We will not be held liable for any further delays or loss that
arises from this, for as long as your funds remain uncleared.

It is standard legal practice (and your lender will require it) for all fees and disbursements to be paid and cleared before
completion. We shall deduct payment of our bill from the funds received from you, after sending you a financial statement,
and your acceptance of these terms is construed as your agreement to this arrangement.

REFERRAL FEES
We do not receive or pay commission or any other benefit from introductions or referrals to or from third parties. If this
situation should change, then we will inform you in writing if we expect to pay or receive such commission or other benefit
and what that commission or benefit will be. In accepting these terms, you give us consent to pay or retain such commission
or other benefit




Issue Jan ‘07
INTEREST ON MONEY HELD
Unless it is agreed to the contrary in writing, we are not required to open any special deposit account or to account to you for
interest that accrues or might accrue on any money that we receive for you or on your behalf. Your acceptance of these terms
is considered to be an agreement to this effect.

MORTGAGES
It is your responsibility to comply with all of the terms and conditions of your mortgage offer. In particular you should be
aware of any deductions, money being withheld or money due in penalties or interest on early repayment. We will request
your mortgage funds to arrive in our client bank account the day before completion. This is because the lender will not
guarantee what time of day the funds will arrive and you could find yourself in breach of contract if the funds arrive too late
on the actual completion date. Some lenders will charge interest from the day the funds are drawn down.

MONEY LAUNDERING
The Money Laundering Regulations 2003 coupled with The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and the Terrorism Act 2000 places a
heavy duty on us, as property lawyers, to obtain sufficient evidence of identity from our clients and to identify the source of
client funds. Severe criminal sanctions exist for failing to comply with the regulations. In acceptance of these terms you agree
to provide us with such evidence of identity as is required and to reveal the source of any funds being provided by you.

ACTING FOR BOTH PARTIES
Our professional rules permit us to act for both seller and buyer in a conveyancing transaction provided there is no apparent
conflict of interest and provided both parties agree in writing to this firm acting. This may also be subject to your lender’s
approval in some cases. Please note that this is on the clear understanding that, should a conflict of interest arise during the
course of the transaction, then it will be necessary to ask both parties to seek alternative legal representation.

CEASING TO ACT
In rare cases, a problem may arise such as a breakdown in the relationship of trust and mutual respect between this firm and
you, as our client, or where we cannot reasonably obtain instructions. If this situation arises then we can, on giving you
reasonable notice and a full explanation, decline to act and ask you to appoint another lawyer. If we cease to act for you in
these circumstances then we shall prepare and send to you an invoice for the legal work carried out to date including all
disbursements expended on your behalf.

GENERAL
In our office all work will be ultimately under the control and supervision of Mary Hoffman or Roger Male. However your
first point of contact will be with their assistants who are experienced conveyancing executives and who will be familiar with
your file. We work as a team and this helps to avoid the complaints so often heard in connection with the legal profession
that work stops when someone is on holiday! Once we receive your instructions we shall confirm your personal contact
details.

COMPLAINTS
If you are unhappy with any aspect of the service provided by us, please bring it to our attention without delay and we can
then take the appropriate action. You should write in the first instance to Mary Hoffman at Hoffman Male, Pembroke Centre,
Cheney Manor Estate, Swindon SN2 2PQ.

If you are not satisfied with our response to your complaint then you can refer the matter to the Council for Licensed
Conveyancers (“the CLC”) at 16 Glebe Road, Chelmsford CM1 1QG (www.theclc.gov.uk). The CLC is the statutory body that
regulates all licensed conveyancers and, as a client of this firm, your interests will be protected by the strict regulation,
insurance and compensation arrangements imposed by the CLC.

If you should make a valid claim against this firm for loss arising out of work for which it is 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 CLC (which
can provide details if these circumstances arise).

OPENING TIMES
Please note that our offices are now open on Saturdays from 9.30am to 1.00pm. Pease feel free to give us a call to arrange a
prior appointment.


TO BE COMPLETED BY CLIENT (if there is more than one client, all must complete and sign below)

I/We accept the above terms of engagement.

FULL NAME(S) OF CLIENTS (in capitals please)                  SIGNATURE of CLIENT(S)                    DATE

……………………………………………………………….                                     ………………………………………….                         …………………….


……………………………………………………………….                                     …………………………………………                          ……………………


……………………………………………………………….                                     ………………………………………….                         …………………….


……………………………………………………………….                                     ………………………………………….                         ……………………..




Issue Jan ‘07

								
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