Terms of Business

TERMS & CONDITIONS RESIDENTIAL

Terms applying to all types of Residential services

  1. Application of terms
    • These terms set out the contractual terms upon which we (McLaughlins Chartered Surveyors) provide services to you as set out in our letter of engagement or otherwise in writing. These terms apply to all contracts between you and us and your instructions to us to provide services shall be deemed as your acceptance of these terms.
  2. Delivery of our report
    • We shall make all reasonable endeavours to prepare and deliver the report by the date agreed but shall not be liable for any delay in such delivery. For the avoidance of doubt, time shall not be of the essence in respect of any delivery date, specifically agreed or not.
    • The report will be sent to your home address (or other agreed address) by first class post for your sole and exclusive use.
  3. Payment of fees
    • Our fees are payable prior to the property inspection being undertaken.
    • In the event that payment is not made prior to our property inspection being completed, we reserve the right to withhold delivery of any report to be prepared by our surveyor until such time as payment has been made in full.
    • If you fail to make payment due to us by the due date, then you shall pay interest on the overdue sum from the due date until payment of the overdue sum, whether before or after judgment. Interest under this clause will accrue each date at 4% a year above the Bank of England’s base rate from time to time, but at 4% a year for any period when the base rate is below 0%.
    • You may settle our invoices by bank transfer, cheque or debit or credit card, either online or over the telephone. There is no charge for paying by debit or credit card. Card payments normally take two to five working days to be credited to our account. Card payment services are provided through a third party supplier and McLaughlins shall accept no responsibility or liability for any loss suffered by you for use of such payment services.
    • Cheques are made payable to MCLAUGHLINS SURVEYORS LTD
    • Bank Transfers are made payable to MCLAUGHLINS SURVEYORS LTD, Sort Code: 40-23-07, Account Number: 123 16 137
  4. Assumptions
    • Unless otherwise expressly agreed with me, while preparing the report our surveyor assume that:
      • the property (if for sale) is offered with vacant possession
      • the property is connected to mains services with appropriate rights on a basis that is both known and acceptable to you; and
      • access to the property is as of right based on terms both known and acceptable to you.
  1. Dangerous materials, contamination, and environmental issues
    • Our surveyor will make no enquiries about contamination or other environmental dangers. If we suspect a problem, our surveyor will recommend further investigations.
    • Our surveyor will assume that no harmful or dangerous materials have been used in the construction, and we do not have a duty to justify making this assumption. However, if the inspection shows that these materials have been used, our surveyor will report this and ask you for further instructions.
    • We do not carry out an asbestos inspection or act as an asbestos inspector when inspecting properties that may fall within the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012.
    • With flats, we assume there is a ‘dutyholder’ (as defined in the Regulations), an asbestos register and an effective management plan all in place and none of these presents a significant risk to health or need any immediate payment. We do not consult the dutyholder.
    • Our surveyor will note the presence of lead water supply pipes and give general advice if these materials can be seen. However, you must appreciate that materials are often concealed within the construction of the building. If we are concerned about lead pipes we can see, we may recommend a specialist inspection and report.
    • Our surveyor will advise if the property is in an area where, based on information published by the Health Protection Agency, there is a risk of radon. In such cases, our surveyor will advise further tests to establish the precise radon level.
    • Our surveyor will advise if there are transformer stations or overhead power lines that we can see during the normal course of the inspection. If present, we cannot assess any possible effect on health. For obvious reasons, we cannot report on any underground cables.
  2. Consents, approvals and searches
    • Our surveyor will assume that the property is not subject to any unusual or especially onerous restrictions or covenants, which apply to the structure or affect the reasonable enjoyment of the property.
    • Our surveyor will assume that all building regulations, planning permissions and other consents required have been obtained. In the case of new buildings, alterations and extensions which require statutory consents or approvals, our surveyor will not verify whether these have been obtained but we will identify where these consents may have been required.
    • You should ask your legal adviser to follow up on these matters. Our surveyor will not inspect drawings and specifications unless you specifically ask.
    • Our surveyor will assume that the property is unaffected by any matters which would be revealed by a local search (or their equivalent in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales) and replies to the usual enquiries, or by a statutory notice, and that neither the property, nor its condition, its use or its intended use, is or will be unlawful.
  3. Market Value
    • If instructed and agreed, our surveyor will provide a market value of the property which will be undertaken in accordance with the current edition of the RICS Appraisal and Valuation – Professional Standards.
    • Market value is defined as the estimated amount for which a property should exchange on the date of valuation between a willing buyer and a willing seller in an arm’s length transaction after proper marketing wherein the parties had each acted knowledgeably, prudently and without compulsion and is made subject to the assumptions at clause 4 above.
    • It is important to note that valuation remains a subjective task, despite the proliferation of modern tools and the availability of source data. Ultimately our surveyor will try to assess the value on a semi theoretical basis and there are many factors that will influence that view. It is our surveyor’s opinion supported by comparable evidence that will determine the final figure.
  4. Referral Fees

We may pay a referral fee or inducement to a third party for recommending our services to you. If we do, we will include details of such referral fee in our terms of engagement, your signature on which will be taken as your acknowledgement and consent to such referral fee.

  1. Liability
    • Any report provided by McLaughlins is strictly and exclusively for your use, and McLaughlins cannot accept responsibility or any liability whatsoever if it is used, or relied upon, by anyone else.
    • McLaughlins will make every effort to ensure that our service meets your requirements, but we recognise that occasionally things can go wrong. You should understand that in order to balance risk fairly between us, we have capped some of our legal liabilities in accordance with RICS recommendations. This means that if we were in breach of contract or a duty of care that we owe to you, the maximum compensation that we should be obliged to pay you would be as follows:
      • For a breach of contract or a duty of care relating to a valuation, 10% of our valuation of the property. For example, if we value the Property at £200,000, any damages you could recover from us would be limited to £20,000.
      • For a breach of contract or a duty of care relating to a defect, an amount equivalent to thirty times the fee you have paid for this Service. For example, if you paid £100, our maximum compensation that we are obliged to pay you would be limited to £3,000. There is no limit on our liability where you have a claim against us for death or personal injury or fraud.
  1. Restriction on disclosure
    • The report we prepare is for your private and confidential use. You must not reproduce it completely or in part. Third parties (with the exception of your professional advisers) cannot use it without our express written authority. Any other persons rely on the report at their own risk.
    • As an RICS member, we may be required to disclose the report to RICS Regulation as part of its work to ensure that RICS professional standards are being maintained.
  2. Complaints

We shall do our very best to provide you with an excellent service. However, if you believe that you have cause for complaint, McLaughlins have a complaints procedure, a copy of which can be given to you on request.

  1. Miscellaneous
    • These terms and any dispute or claim (including non-contractual disputes or claims) arising out of or in connection with them shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the law of England and Wales.
    • We will process your personal data in accordance with the law for the purpose of providing services to you. The nature of the data we process is your; name, address, telephone number, email address and property information. We may at times disclose your personal data to third parties to contact you about the provision of relevant services. We will only transfer personal data where there is adequate protection and is restricted to the relevant purpose.
    • Each party irrevocably agrees that the courts of England and Wales shall have exclusive jurisdiction to settle any dispute or claim (including non-contractual disputes or claims) arising out of or in connection with these terms or their subject matter or formation.
    • These terms do not give rise to any rights under the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 to enforce any term of this agreement.

TERMS & CONDITIONS COMMERCIAL

Terms applying to all types of commercial services

  1. Application of terms
    • These terms set out the contractual terms upon which we (McLaughlins Chartered Surveyors) provide services to you as set out in our letter of engagement or otherwise in writing. These terms apply to all contracts between you and us and your instructions to us to provide services shall be deemed as your acceptance of these terms.
  1. Our inspection and delivery of our report
    • You shall arrange appropriate access to the property in respect of which the services are to be performed. Where relevant, you shall give us adequate notice of any danger or hazard which might cause death or injury to our employees and of which the client is or ought reasonably to be aware. We will not inspect any area that in their opinion is unsafe. We will inspect as much of the surface area of the structure of the property as is practicable but will not inspect those areas which are covered, unexposed or not reasonably accessible.
    • Despite our investigations, defects sometimes appear as a result of extreme weather conditions or time passing which were not present at the time of our inspection. Therefore, we cannot guarantee that defects of this type will be included in the report.
    • The report excludes any investigation into structural engineering design and will not confirm the adequacy of any detail, structural element or foundation. In particular we highlight that we have not assessed the loading capacity or adequacy of any floors and we will not be able to ascertain whether or not any structural repair has been carried out including timber treatment, underpinning and strengthening, nor will we determine whether any guarantees exist. Any drawings and specifications will not be inspected by us.
    • Unless otherwise specifically instructed by the client, we will assume that the property will remain as it currently exists and that no alterations are proposed except as addressed in our report. The suitability of the property for any particular use (existing or proposed) is outside the scope of this report.
    • We will not carry out any tests or make any enquiries concerning particular materials or installations nor will we calculate any floor areas or re-appraise original design criteria.
    • The client shall arrange appropriate access to the property in respect of which the services are to be performed. Where relevant, the client shall give us adequate notice of any danger or hazard which might cause death or injury to our employees and of which the client is or ought reasonably to be aware. We will not inspect any area that in their opinion is unsafe. We will inspect as much of the surface area of the structure of the property as is practicable but will not inspect those areas which are covered, unexposed or not reasonably accessible.
    • Despite our investigations, defects sometimes appear as a result of extreme weather conditions or time passing which were not present at the time of our inspection. Therefore, we cannot guarantee that defects of this type will be included in the report.
    • We shall make all reasonable endeavours to prepare and deliver the report by the date agreed but shall not be liable for any delay in such delivery. For the avoidance of doubt, time shall not be of the essence in respect of any delivery date, specifically agreed or not.
    • The report will be sent to the address provided by you to us by first class post for your sole and exclusive use.
    • Neither the whole nor part of the report may be reproduced, nor may any reference thereto be included in any published document nor published in any way without our prior written approval of the form and context in which it may appear.
    • Our report is prepared in reliance on the information provided to us by our instructing client (and any advisers acting on behalf of the client) and upon the appropriate enquiries made by ourselves. The non-disclosure or inaccuracy of relevant information provided to us may have a material effect upon the views given in our report which may well be invalidated.
  1. Payment of fees
    • The fee quoted is usually based on a single visit to the property. We reserve the right to charge additional fees for abortive time, if due to matters outside our control we have to make a second visit to the property.
    • Our fees are payable within 14 days of our invoice date.
    • We reserve the right to withhold delivery of any report to be prepared by our surveyor until such time as payment has been made in full.
    • If you fail to make payment due to us by the due date, then you shall pay interest on the overdue sum from the due date until payment of the overdue sum, whether before or after judgment. Interest under this clause will accrue each date at 4% a year above the Bank of England’s base rate from time to time, but at 4% a year for any period when the base rate is below 0%.
  1. Dangerous materials, contamination and environmental issues
    • Unless otherwise specifically agreed in writing, our surveyor will make no enquiries about and no comment on the existence, or possible existence of, contamination or other environmental dangers.
    • Our surveyor will assume that no harmful or dangerous materials have been used in the construction, and we do not have a duty to justify making this assumption.
    • We will not carry out an investigation to determine the presence or absence of high alumina cement, asbestos or permanent woodwool shuttering, calcium chloride, fibre reinforced concrete, alkali silica reaction, sea dredged aggregates, lignite, radon or any other deleterious materials existing within the premises. We are therefore unable to report that the property is free from these.
    • We will not carry out, or arrange to be carried out, an Asbestos Survey, check the premises or review or comment upon an asbestos register or comment upon the implications of any current or future compliance with asbestos legislation. Therefore, we are unable to report that the property is free from risk in this respect. However, if during the course of our inspection, we become aware of any deficient asbestos, we will bring it to the client’s attention and recommend that an assessment be carried out. However, we are not asbestos experts and can therefore assume no liability in respect of compliance by the present or future occupiers of the premises. We would highlight that if an asbestos register is not available for the property, the client will be required under the CAW Regulations to have a survey undertaken and register prepared.
    • We will not carry out an investigation to determine the presence or absence of high alumina cement, asbestos or permanent woodwool shuttering, calcium chloride, fibre reinforced concrete, alkali silica reaction, sea dredged aggregates, lignite, radon or any other deleterious materials existing within the premises. We are therefore unable to report that the property is free from these.
  1. Health & Safety
    • We will not carry out an audit to check the premises for current or future compliance with the current Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations or any other health and safety legislation. We will only comment upon any major risk hazards or visual breaches of health and safety that we might see during the course of our on-site inspection where specifically requested by the client and we have accepted such instructions in writing.
    • We are not experts in Health and Safety and we can therefore assume no liability in respect of compliance by the present or future occupier of the premises. Any comments provided are not a substitute for the client commissioning a full risk assessment or audit and do not result from an exhaustive or detailed investigation but rather are those which might reasonably be seen during the duration of our inspection and viewed in light of the weather conditions at the time.
  1. Consents, approvals, searches and compliance with legislation
    • Our surveyor will assume that the property is not subject to any unusual or especially onerous restrictions or covenants, which apply to the structure or affect the reasonable enjoyment of the property.
    • Our surveyor will assume that all building regulations, planning permissions and other consents required have been obtained. In the case of new buildings, alterations and extensions which require statutory consents or approvals, our surveyor will not verify whether these have been obtained but we will identify where these consents may have been required.
    • We will assume that as part of the course of their normal searches, the client’s legal advisors will investigate the status regarding Building Regulations, Town and country Planning Acts, Fire Risk assessments, Fire Certificates, other statutory approvals and restrictions as well as the liabilities for boundaries, rights of way, covenants etc. Therefore, we will assume that all necessary permanent planning and other permissions, approvals and consents have been obtained for the construction, alteration, extension and use of the premises. Non-compliance with any current Act of Parliament, statute or local bye-law affecting the premises will not be ascertained as part of the report.
    • We will not undertake a detailed review of the property for compliance with the current fire precautions legislation nor undertake to prepare method statements. Any comments within our report regarding the compliance of the property with any relevant legislation is to be considered as outline guidance only. We cannot comment upon any aspects affecting fire precautions dependent upon the client’s occupation, use and space planning of the premises.
    • We will not inspect the property for compliance with the Equality Act 2010 or comment on the implications of this Act, except where these might be indicative of a more significant problem affecting the client’s proposed interest in the property. Any such comments should be considered as opinion only.
    • The Energy Act 2011 places specific requirements on the standard of EPC rating that must be achieved in order to sell or let a property from April 2018. This instruction will not provide any advice or allowance in connection with the matter and due to its specialist nature, we recommend that you obtain advice from an appropriately qualified EPC advisor.
  1. Accessibility
    • We will not inspect or report on parts of the property, which remain covered, unexposed or inaccessible and we are therefore unable to report that such parts of the premises are free of rot, beetle, corrosion or other defects or to confirm the adequacy of any detail, structural element or foundation.
    • We are not able to lift floor coverings or move items of plant or machinery, furniture or other equipment and therefore unable to report that any such inaccessible parts of the property are free from defects. We will, however, draw reasonable conclusions from the available evidence.
    • High level elements such as external roof surfaces, chimneys, gutters, eaves, boards and other features will be viewed from the ground or nearby accessible vantage points, unless there is a safe means of access to the roof during our inspection; or high level access provisions such as a suitable truck mounted platform have been arranged and agreed prior to the survey.
  2. Services
    • We will not carry out detailed examinations, testing or inspection of any electrical, plumbing, drainage, mechanical or other services and installations and no assurance will be given that these are operational, free from defect or are in compliance with current requirements.
    • Generally, where inspection chamber covers can be lifted then they will be inspected, but this will only provide a limited view of the drains.
    • The client is advised to appoint a mechanical and electrical engineer to test and inspect installations and a drainage contractor to carry out a CCTV survey of the below ground drainage systems to determine whether any defects are present and the extent of any repairs necessary.
    • Any comments in respect to any services or drainage installations will be based upon our visual inspection only where these are not covered up and must not be construed as advice regarding the adequacy, condition or operation of the systems as a whole.
  1. Specialist Consultants
    • If required, we can assist with the appointment of other specialists/ consultants. Whilst we will coordinate their involvement, their appointment will be on the client’s behalf and the client will be responsible for payment of their fees and expenses direct.
    • Where we appoint other consultants on the client’s behalf, we may make reference to the major pertinent conclusions that they have reached within our report. However, these should not be thought of as a substitute for reading the consultant’s report in its entirety nor can we take responsibility for the conclusions.
  1. Lease analysis
    • Any reference to the lease terms within our report should not be thought of as a substitute for referring to the lease documents for the full provisions made. In the event of any conflict or query upon the lease terms or other legal documentation, you should obtain your solicitor’s view prior to initiating any action.
    • We will comment upon relevant clauses contained in documentation, such as the lease and any Licences for Alterations, made available prior to our inspection and report. We can take no responsibility where the content of missing or delayed documents conflict with our assessment. If further relevant documentation becomes available after our inspection and report publication, then we request that copies of this information are provided to us so that we might amend or refine our advice to the client. This supplementary advice may be subject to an additional charge depending on the amount of work required.
  1. Dilapidations

Unless specifically instructed by the client (and we have confirmed acceptance in writing) we will not provide cost information for the repair of any defects found or comment upon dilapidations liabilities.

  1. Cost budgets
    • Where we have agreed to provide budget cost estimates, they will be subject to the following limitations: –
      • Unless specifically mentioned in the report, any costs given are budget cost estimates only and have not been subject to competitive tender nor do they represent local market rates.
      • Any budget cost estimates are based on professional commercial property knowledge, rates obtained on similar projects and recognised pricing guides.
      • No allowance has been made for the discovery of asbestos or other deleterious materials and the consequences of resultant delays to works.
      • We will assume that the works will be completed concurrently as one contract, during normal working hours. If works are undertaken individually then the total cost may exceed the budget.
      • No allowance will be made for out of hours working, weekend working or works during bank holidays, nor any associated charges likely to be incurred by a third party such as a landlord.
      • No costs will be included for any investigation works required unless otherwise noted.
      • We will not allow for any fees or charges associated with obtaining local authority consents within our costs.
      • Estimates do not include VAT or professional fees, unless otherwise noted.
      • No costs will be included regarding surface and below ground drainage systems or other services within the property, including heating, ventilation, mechanical and electrical plant and equipment unless otherwise noted.
  1. Liability
    • Any report provided by McLaughlins is strictly and exclusively for your use, and McLaughlins cannot accept responsibility or any liability whatsoever if it is used, or relied upon, by anyone else.
    • McLaughlins will make every effort to ensure that our service meets your requirements, but we recognise that occasionally things can go wrong. You should understand that in order to balance risk fairly between us, we have capped some of our legal liabilities in accordance with RICS recommendations. This means that if we were in breach of contract or a duty of care that we owe to you, the maximum compensation that we should be obliged to pay you would be as follows:
      • For a breach of contract or a duty of care relating to a valuation, 10% of our valuation of the property. For example, if we value the Property at £200,000, any damages you could recover from us would be limited to £20,000.
      • For a breach of contract or a duty of care relating to a defect, an amount equivalent to thirty times the fee you have paid for this Service. For example, if you paid £100, our maximum compensation that we are obliged to pay you would be limited to £3,000. There is no limit on our liability where you have a claim against us for death or personal injury or fraud.
    • None of our employees, directors or consultants individually has a contract with the client or owes the client an individual duty of care or personal responsibility. The client agrees that they shall not bring any claim against any such individuals personally in respect of any loss which the client may suffer or incur arising out of or in connection with the services provided by us.
  1. Restriction on disclosure

The report we prepare is for your private and confidential use. You must not reproduce it completely or in part. Third parties (with the exception of your professional advisers) cannot use it without our express written authority. Any other persons rely on the report at their own risk.

  1. Complaints

We shall do our very best to provide you with an excellent service. However, if you believe that you have cause for complaint, McLaughlins have a complaints procedure, a copy of which can be given to you on request.

  1. Miscellaneous
    • These terms and any dispute or claim (including non-contractual disputes or claims) arising out of or in connection with them shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the law of England and Wales.
    • We will process your personal data in accordance with the law for the purpose of providing services to you. The nature of the data we process is your; name, address, telephone number, email address and property information. We may at times disclose your personal data to third parties to contact you about the provision of relevant services. We will only transfer personal data where there is adequate protection and is restricted to the relevant purpose.
    • Each party irrevocably agrees that the courts of England and Wales shall have exclusive jurisdiction to settle any dispute or claim (including non-contractual disputes or claims) arising out of or in connection with these terms or their subject matter or formation.
    • These terms do not give rise to any rights under the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 to enforce any term of this agreement.