1.1 Landlord Advice UK refers to ‘Landlord Advice UK (Commercial) Ltd ’ (also referred to ‘us’, ‘we’ and ‘our’). 1.2 By instructed Landlord Advice UK you accept our terms of business which include our client care duties. These terms of business shall apply to all matters handled by us, though much reference is made to landlord and tenant matters, our services are not limited to the same. 1.3 Cases are handled by the Landlord Advice UK’s Legal Team at First Floor, Front Offices, Nightingale House, 1-3 Brighton Road, Crawley, RH10 6AE. Your case will usually be handled by one person with the supervision of one or more persons, from time to time your case may be transferred to another member of our team which you will be notified of. 1.4 We confirm case details and send invoices by email only (and post if requested via e-mail or if case papers become too large to send via e-mail). 1.5 With seeking remedy for a matter, delays can occur. We will keep you up to date on progress. 1.6 We adhere to our equality and diversity policy:
i We do not discriminate unlawfully, or victimise or harass anyone, in the course of our professional dealings;
ii we provide services to clients in a way that respects diversity,we make reasonable adjustments to ensure that disabled clients, employees or managers are not placed at a substantial disadvantage compared to those who are not disabled, and you do not pass on the costs of these adjustments to these disabled clients, employees or managers;
iii our approach to recruitment and employment encourages equality of opportunity and respect for diversity;
iv complaints of discrimination are dealt with promptly, fairly, openly, and effectively;
v we have appropriate arrangements in place to ensure that we monitor, report and, where appropriate, publish workforce diversity data.
1.7 We adhere to our commitment and duties of client care:
i We treat our clients fairly;
ii we provide services to your clients in a manner which protects their interests in their matter, subject to the proper administration of justice;
iii when deciding whether to act, or terminate your instructions, we comply with the law and our terms of business;
iv we have the resources, skills and procedures to carry out our clients’ instructions;
v the service we provide to clients is competent, delivered in a timely manner and takes account of our clients’ needs and circumstances;
vi we only enter into fee agreements with our clients that are legal, and which we consider are suitable for the client’s needs and take account of the client’s best interests;
vii we inform clients of how representation will be provided to the client;
viii clients have the benefit and protection of our professional indemnity insurance;
ix clients have free access to our terms of business which is not limited to being available on our website to ensure clients have the opportunity to read our terms of business for their own benefit;
x clients are able to freely access our complaints procedure which is not limited to being available on our website;
xi clients’ complaints are dealt with promptly, fairly, openly and effectively;
xii clients are in a position to make informed decisions about the services they need, how their matter will be handled and the options available to them;
xiii clients receive the best possible information, both at the time of engagement and when appropriate as their matter progresses, about the likely overall cost of their matter;
xiv clients have the benefit of being notified of any costs for any works before they are carried out unless agreed otherwise in writing between the client and us; and
xv we inform current clients if you discover any act or omission which could give rise to a claim by them against you.
2. Progressing Your Matter
2.1 We aim to resolve your matter successfully. 2.2 We will advise you of how long seeking the remedy sought will take and advise you of key events by email. Our advice relating to time scales is based on current experience with similar cases when proceeding to court and is not a time limit but mere guidance. 2.3 If we find any information that might affect your case, we will let you know and explain its effect. We may contact you via telephone also to do this. If we cannot contact you via telephone we may leave a voicemail and or email you to ask for a time when we can call again or for you to contact us. Communication should be by email when possible. We respond as soon as possible. Sometimes, this may be in the evening subject to how busy we are but should not be later than the next working day. 2.4 In order to provide a fixed fee service, we ask that all emails and calls to us are kept to a reasonable quantity. We will monitor emails and calls to us and make additional fees on a timely basis for excessive contact by clients. You will be put on notice should this arise. To ask about your case, email [email protected] or the direct e-mail of the person dealing with your case should you have been contacted by a direct e-mail address. 2.5 We use the information that you provide on the Enquiry Form and your supporting documents to create your claim. If you provide us with inaccurate information, we are not responsible should the claim fail because of this or should any other disadvantage arise for the same. It is imperative that you complete the Enquiry Form accurately. If the named landlord on the tenancy agreement is not the owner of the property, you must tell us the name of the owner(s) immediately. Failure to do so may result in a costs order against you and the claim being struck out by the court. 2.6 The Deposit Legislation is complex and easy to get wrong. If you haven’t followed the deposit legislation correctly or provided us with incorrect or incomplete information about your deposit which is discovered after proceedings are issued then your case may have to be abandoned and restarted once your deposit has been regularised. You will be required to pay additional fees to start a new case in such circumstances. If you are unsure about the situation with regards to your deposit we can check this for you for an additional fee. 2.7 Under Section-8, if a tenant has raised a disrepair issue, the court may adjourn the case and you will lose time and incur more costs. So before proceedings are issued you must tell us about any disrepair issues that the tenant has raised and we can help you work around possible solutions. 2.8 Under possession proceedings, the way that the notice has been drafted and served is critical to the claim. If the notice is wrong, the claim is likely to fail. The arrears schedule within the Section-8 notice is fundamental. If we see that it isn’t in the required format, we will recommend that you amend it. The landlord, agent (if applicable) will be responsible for providing an accurate rent schedule, we do not complete the rent schedule.
3. At Court
3.1 When a Court hearing is required the landlord must attend, or appoint an agent to attend. An agent is a letting agent or somebody appointed to manage the tenanted property on a day to day basis. The person attending must have full knowledge of the tenancy and have all relevant paperwork (such as tenancy agreement and up to date arrears schedule) available at the hearing. We’ll write to tell you the date, time and location of the hearing, ensure you have relevant paperwork and an understanding of what happens at court. You or your agent will meet an Advocate at Court who will present your case to the Judge. You won’t be able to call the Advocate – they will call you no more than 3 days prior to the hearing. 3.2 If you are seeking possession due to rent arrears and the tenant clears the arrears before the hearing, then it is unlikely that you will get a possession order. If the tenant reduces the arrears to below 2 months’ worth of arrears, then the Judge might order a suspender possession order (provided grounds 10 & 11 have been included in the Section 8 notice) which means you get a possession order but the tenant is permitted to stay provided they pay the rent on time and clear the arrears by an agreed date. Failure to adhere to the order would mean that you can apply for a Bailiff to execute the warrant of possession (evict the tenant(s)). Ultimately, we will always seek to gain an outright order for possession, but when Judges are able to use their discretion it is normally exercised in the tenant’s favour. 3.3 When a Section-8 claim is successful, the courts usually grant a 14 day possession order (within 14 days from the date of the hearing the tenant must vacate). At the hearing, if the tenant pleads exceptional hardship, the courts might grant a longer period. We would oppose that on the grounds of the landlord’s hardship. The longest period a court can grant is 42 days. 3.4 Upon a successful Section-8 court hearing, a Possession Order will be granted together with a Judgment for the arrears of rent. (We also make a claim for interest and costs) This is an Order placed on the court file which allows you to enforce it in a number of ways. This Judgment is not a registered County Court Judgment. If you want the Judgment to become a registered CCJ, we can apply for that for an additional fee. How we act will depend on the tenant’s circumstance and we will discuss options and costs with you. 3.5 Where your claim is for possession only (Section-21) we normally use the Courts’ accelerated procedure. If you also want to claim for rent arrears will need to use the Court’s standard procedure (non-accelerated) or a separate small claim can be issued. Additional fees will apply. If you want to use Section-21 and include arrears, you must inform us before your claim is issued.
4. Bailiff Eviction
4.1 If the tenant fails to vacate by the expiry of the Possession Order, a Bailiff can be appointed to carry out the eviction. It can only be a County Court bailiff. 4.2 The landlord or agent must wait for the County Court Bailiff outside the property, on the street. The Bailiff will only approach the property if he can see somebody outside. 4.3 Sometimes a Court’s Risk Assessment Form is sent to the landlord. It must be completed accurately by the landlord for us to send on to the Bailiff. Failure to complete the form could result in the Bailiff cancelling the eviction appointment. The landlord or agent must complete and return the risk assessment to the court; unless we are instructed to complete the risk assessment and return it to the court for a further fee. 4.4 On rare occasions’ a County Court Bailiff can be late. They usually notify us or you, if we receive notice the Bailiff will be late we will contact you immediately. We can’t be held responsible for the Bailiff’s failure to attend, or attend on time. 4.5 On very rare occasions, tenants refuse to vacate when a Bailiff attends. We can’t be held responsible. If at the time of eviction, you feel there is a breach of peace, you should ask the police for help.
5.1 Where you require to discontinue a matter, you may become liable to pay all of the other parties legal expenses, this shall be your liability irrespective of the reason you may choose to discontinue your claim. This is also a general rule under the Civil Procedure Rules. 5.2 Where you discontinue a claim which the defendant(s) has counterclaimed, the defendants (part 20 claimants) counterclaim shall continue unless the defendant(s) discontinues their counterclaim.
6. Fixed Fee Service
6.1 Our fixed fee for the drafting and serving of any document(s) shall not include drafting further documents in response to any consequential reply we may receive or any correspondence from us unless we expressly agree in writing. 6.2 For possession claims our fees are fixed subject to the claim being undefended and not adjourned or postposed by any means whether the court give directions to comply with or not. 6.3 Our fixed fee service for possession claim shall not provide any service beyond the first hearing for any possession claim the client issues using the possession claims online (PCOL) or under Civil Procedure Rule (CPR) 55.3. 6.4 The fixed fee service for an accelerated possession claim (section 21 – Housing Act 1988) shall cease if the court makes an order which is not a possession order, postpone or list the claim for a hearing, albeit representation can be arranged at a further cost. 6.5 The Fixed Fee service applies to undefended cases, cases where the court grant the possession order upon the first application for a possession order without ordering or directing anything else to be done by you or us other than the possibility of requiring a warrant or writ for possession of land to be issued (bailiff application) to enforce the possession order. Our List of Fixed Fees (which forms part of these terms) tries to take into account the most common requirements and is laid out plainly so that you are not surprised by events. 6.6 In certain instances, there may be extra fixed-fees. Not all events can be accounted for by Fixed Fees and whenever they’re no longer applicable we will discuss costs and options with you. 6.7 Our fixed fee service does not include unlimited advice, our fair advice policy shall apply at all times. 6.8 From time to time, our fixed fees may change, if you instruct us after the changing of fixed fees, the new fee shall apply. 6.9 If you decide to do something yourself whether at court without us or before court action is taken, or move an existing case to another solicitor, or contact the court without consulting with us first we cannot provide a fixed fee service if your acts have affected your case.
7.1 Our invoices to you are required to paid upon receipt of our invoice. 7.2 Where you choose you no longer wish to proceed with anything you have instructed Landlord Advice UK to do, you shall be liable for the payment of the works carried out up to the date of your express written notice to us that you no longer require to proceed with the instructions to Landlord Advice UK. 7.3 All payments should be made to Landlord Advice UK. We do not to accept cash unless you visit our office with identification. If you deposit cash directly with our bank, we may charge you for checks we make to prove the source of the funds. Where we have to pay money to you, it will be paid by cheque or bank transfer only. It will not be paid in cash or to a third party.
8.Limit of Liability
8.1 The work we carry out is based on the instructions and information provided to us by you and any third party you permit to provide us with information about your matter (such as an agent, friend or family member for example but not limited to the same). 8.2 If any information you provide is incorrect or incomplete, we cannot be held liable for delays, results or costs that arise in consequence. Under the Professional Indemnity Rules firms are required to take out and maintain qualifying insurance. Our insurance details can be seen at our office or you can contact us for the details. This firm’s liability to clients is limited to £3 million for each and every claim. Nothing in this agreement shall benefit any third party and the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 shall not apply.
9. Confidentiality and Data Protection
11. Copyright Notice
11.1 The entire contents of this web-site (except where applicable the crown copyright location maps) is our property and is subject to copy right with all rights reserved. 11.2 You may download or print individual sections of the web-site for personal use and information only provided that these properly indicate our copyright and other proprietary notices. 11.3 You may not reproduce (in whole or in part), modify, decompile, disassemble or transmit or use for any content or design for commercial purposes whatsoever or any information from this website without our prior written consent signed by a director of Landlord Advice UK Ltd.
12.1 Landlord Advice UK is a trading name of: Landlord Advice UK (Commercial) Ltd whose registered number is 10757502 and registered office is Landlord Advice UK, First Floor, Front Offices, Nightingale House, 1-3 Brighton Road, Crawley, RH10 6AE. 12.2 Landlord Advice UK do not carry out reserved legal activities within the meaning of section 12 of the Legal Services Act 2007 and is not regulated to carry out such reserved legal activities, the work we carry out does not constitute reserved legal activities, however Landlord Advice UK hold professional indemnity insurance like regulated companies for the protection of our clients. 12.3 Clients have the benefit of our client care commitment and protection of our professional indemnity insurance for the work that we undertake, our client care is adopted from the framework of the Solicitors Regulation Authority Code (‘SRA’) of Conduct 2011 for good practice although we are not regulated with the SRA. 12.4 Landlord Advice UK are Registered with and Regulated by the Institute of Paralegals, registration no: 794134.
13. Applicable Law
13.1 Any disputes arising from the use of this website shall at all times be governed by the laws of England and Wales and the parties shall submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English and Welsh Courts.
14. Identification Requirement
14.1 To meet the Money Laundering Guidelines we may at our discretion use an electronic ID checking service provided by registered Credit Reference Agency. For these searches, we may request a copy of your passport or driving licence and a utility bill (less than three months old) in your name at your home address. We may use Personal Information you provide in order to make appropriate anti-fraud checks. The information may be disclosed to a credit reference or fraud prevention agency, which may keep a record of it.
15. Limitation Period
15.1 After completing a case, we need to keep a file stored for 6 years. Files will be safely destroyed after 6 years. To retrieve your file from storage the fee is £95 +VAT.
16. Termination of Services
16.1 You may end your instructions to us in writing at any time. We will transfer the case, at no fee, to you or your chosen representative once all monies owed to us have been paid. 16.2 If you decide to terminate any action before you complete and submit our Landlord Enquiry Form, you will receive a full refund, though we will in most cases only seek payment once we have received the Landlord Enquiry Form. 16.3 If, you decide to terminate drafting any notice, letter or other correspondence after sending us the information and we have commenced the work whether or not complete, you will receive no refund (other than the process server fee where a process server was required and paid for) because we will have opened the file and started work. 16.4 If, you decide to terminate a claim (court proceedings) after providing us with instructions to proceed and before the case been submitted to court, you will only be refunded the court fee and advocate fee (if any), these fees are categorized on our invoice. 16.5 If, after you instruct us to proceed with the preparation of claim (court proceedings), you don’t supply ALL paperwork and information we request within 30 days of us requesting the same, the file will be closed unless you have made special arrangements with in writing for us to put the file on hold. 16.6 If you decide to terminate a debtor trace after we have sent out the debtor trace request, you will not receive a refund. 16.7 If you decide to terminate a bailiff request whether or not this is for eviction of debt recovery after we have prepared the warrant, application notice and or writ (even if we have not yet received a date back from the Court or enforcement agents) you will not receive a refund. 16.8 If you do not take us off the record we will charge you an admin fee of £180. This is because the court will continue to contact us and we will be obliged to make file notes and communicate with you. 16.9 If an action is unsuccessful due to incorrect information you supplied, you will forfeit your fees and no refund shall be available to you. 16.10 Any corrections you want to make to information you have previously supplied must be made in writing. If we have already used the previously supplied information you may be required to start the entire, or part of the, process again and so forfeit any fees already paid or possibly incur further costs for any further work required.
Any refunds may take up to 28 days to process.
We may decide to cease work for you, only with good reason (e.g. if you don’t pay a bill, we are unable to obtain instructions from you, or there’s a conflict of interest). We will give you reasonable notice if we decide to stop carrying out your instructions to us.
17.1 Write to Landlord Advice UK, First Floor, Front Offices, Nightingale House, Crawley, RH10 6AE via 1st class recorded delivery addressed to the director(s) or you may e-mail [email protected] making such e-mail for the attention of the director(s). Landlord Advice UK will not accept any other method of service in relation to a complaint. 17.2 In your written complaint, you must include:
i. Set out the reasons for your complaint,
ii. Providing particularised details about the reasons for your complaint,
iii. Confirm the person(s) who you wish to complain about; and
iv. The date(s) that you acknowledged an issue.
17.3 You must make all reasonable attempts to ensure you complaint reaches us within good time and sent to us in the mode(s) prescribed in clause 1.1. above. 17.4 Make a complaint as soon as is practicable from the date you acknowledged an issue you wished to complain about. 17.5 You should always make a complaint directly to us before consulting any third party as it is highly likely we can resolve any issues you may have. 17.6 Once we receive a complaint by the mode(s) prescribed in clause 1.1. we will respond to you by post or e-mail setting out when we will review the complaint which will be within 21 days of receiving your complaint. 17.7 Subject to clause 1.1. we will acknowledge any issues which have resulted in your complaint and launch an internal investigation, within the meaning of clause 3 below, in accordance with the issues you notify us of. 17.8 Our response will acknowledge the issues of concern resulting in your complaint and disclose to you by any written method what investigation was carried out, our findings and position and what our decision will be in relation to your complaint. 17.9 If you remain unhappy to our decision, you may ask for a review within 14 days of our final decision; if you request this by the mode(s) prescribed in clause 1.1. we will review our final decision. To enable this, you must provide further information as to why you think our final decision was wrong. 17.10 We will take any complaints made very seriously to ensure we uphold our reputation and provide customer satisfaction. 17.11 An internal investigation is a procedure we use to determine if any complaint made by a client or prospective client is reasonable and fair. Because we provide a large variety of services the investigation process can vary. 17.12 The director(s) will carry out an investigation or delegate an investigation to a senior member of staff to be carried out. 17.13 An internal investigation shall review and monitor the conduct of any person(s) directly employed by Landlord Advice UK if the complaint relates to any person(s) employed by us. This will assist us continue provide an outstanding service and ensure our staff comply with our comprehensive code of practice. 17.14 Any monitoring of person(s) conduct shall cease when the person(s) carry out the monitoring is satisfied the monitoring is no longer needed or has made decision in relation to their findings. 17.15 An internal investigation will review the services provided to you and cross reference with our terms and conditions of business if the complaint relates to a service provided to you by us. 17.16 An internal investigation may also review an advertisement which we have published if your complaint relates to an advertisement published by us. 17.17 In principal, an internal investigation shall be carried out only by a senior member of staff who shall seek to review and monitor services provided by us to you and the conduct of employees and any other thing that may be relevant to your complaint.
18. Other Matters
(a) If you need clarification on any of these terms of business please email [email protected] (b) The law governing any dispute arising from these terms of business shall be the laws of England.
19. Our Details
Landlord Advice UK, First Floor, Front Offices, Nightingale House, 1-3 Brighton Road, Crawley, RH10 6AE. Tel: 020 3903 2000. Fax: 020 3903 1996. Landlord Advice UK is the trading name of Landlord Advice Ltd.
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