Terms & Conditions

Payment by you for any of the services offered by The Landlord Group and or their lawyers is deemed acceptance by you of our terms and conditions. Payment by you for any of the services offered by The Landlord Group or their lawyers now or in the past is deemed acceptance by you that you have read and understood our terms and conditions and that you fully understand and accept them. Alternatively where you instruct The Landlord Group prior to payment, receipt of your instruction is deemed acceptance by you that you have read and understood our terms and conditions and that you fully understand and accept them.

The Landlord Group do from time to time carry out non-reserved legal activities (as defined by the Legal Services Act 2007)(“Act”) including, but not limited to, the provision of legal advice. The Landlord Group does not carry out reserved legal activities (as defined by the Act) such as, but not limited to, the commencement of court proceedings and advocacy at court. Should your instruction to The Landlord Group include or require the need for such reserved activities, your matter will be referred to our specialist solicitors, at no additional cost to you, who are fully regulated and authorised by the Solicitor’s Regulation Authority (“SRA”) for the provision of reserved legal activities. The advantage to you, the consumer, of using the services of such specialist solicitors are the rights of redress available to you and the safeguards in place to protect you. This includes access to the Solicitor’s Compensation Fund and recourse to the Legal Onbudsman. By accepting these terms and conditions of business you acknowledge and accept that you fully understand that the Landlord Group is not an organisation regulated and Authorised by the SRA.

Your continuing instructions will amount to your acceptance of these terms and conditions.

Eviction Cases – Fixed fee Stage I Notice

We will prepare and serve* either a section 8 notice or a section 21 notice or both on your tenant. We recommend that any outstanding repairs of which you have knowledge are dealt with prior to the service of notice as soon as possible in order to reduce the tenant’s chance of submitting a successful defence and/or counterclaim should the matter progress to stage II of the eviction process. If you are relying on section 8 rent arrears grounds you should ensure that the arrears of rent you are claiming are genuine and fully accounted for. Errors regarding rent arrears can lead to disputes which can lead to a defence being filed by your tenant. A defence will invariably lead to any subsequent court possession hearing being adjourned thus leading to delays and extra legal fees being incurred by you for which you will remain liable. We will prepare notices only on the information that you provide us with and there is an assumption that all factual information which you provide us with is correct. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have complied with all statutory requirements before instructing us. This includes, but is not limited to, ensuring that you are compliant with any relevant licencing rules. If your house is a house of multiple occupation, The Landlord Group can not and will not make any assumptions as to the licencing requirements for each specific property, this is your responsibility and The Landlord Group will simply serve whichever notice they have been instructed to serve on the assumption that you have fully complied with any statutory licencing legislation. The Landlord Group will not be liable if a notice is deemed invalid or an action fails on the basis that you have failed to fullfil your licencing obligation. For licensing under Part 3 of the Housing Act 2004, or in an area designated for ‘selective licencing’ it is your responsibility to ensure that the appropriate licence is in place, The Landlord Group will not carry out checks or enquire in this regard but will simply assume that you have complied with your licencing obligation. The Landlord Group will not be liable if a notice is deemed invalid or an action fails on the basis that you have failed to fullfil your licencing obligation. The service does not include the carrying out an advisory review of your papers or the relevant licencing laws applicable to your property unless you specifically request us to do so and for which an extra fee will be payable and will be charged at our solicitor’s hourly rate. We will simply prepare whichever notice you have specifically requested us to do so and it will be prepared strictly on basis of the information which you have provided us with. The Landlord Group will not be held liable should the notice be deemed invalid by reason of reliance on incorrectly provided information by you or in the event that you have not complied with your statutory obligations relating to current licencing legislation. If your property is required to be licenced either as a house of multiple occupation or in accordance with local selective licencing rules, (you must inform The Landlord Group before your notice is prepared forward a copy of the appropriate licence. If you do not inform The Landlord Group an assumption will be made that your property is not licensable or that there is no such requirement for your property to be licensed. The Landlord Group will not be liable if a notice is deemed invalid or an action fails on the basis that you have failed to fullfil your licencing obligation or failed to notify The Landlord Group of the same) or under sections 47 and 48 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987, namely that you have provided your tenant/s with an address in England or Wales at which notices may be served. The Landlord Group will not be liable if you have failed to protect your tenant’s deposit correctly or if you have failed to give the correct prescribed information to your tenant. If you confirm that you have protected your tenant’s deposit The Landlord Group will assume that you have done so in accordance with the appropriate government recognised deposit scheme. If it later transpires that you have failed in whatever way to protect your tenant’s deposit correctly, The Landlord Group will not be responsible or liable in any way whatsoever. In the event that a case becomes defended our fixed fee service will no longer apply.

If a deposit has been taken from a tenant since 06 April 2007 then please refer to our terms and conditions headed ‘Your Deposit’.

*Service is by first class post and first class recorded delivery. If you require service by personal hand delivery a process server fee will be applicable.

Your continuing instructions will amount to your acceptance of these terms and conditions.

Eviction Cases – Fixed fee Stage II Court Proceedings

On your behalf and acting as your agent we will instruct our lawyers* to prepare all the necessary court papers in order to commence the appropriate property possession action in the county court strictly in accordance with your instructions. Therefore if you instruct us to commence an action based on a section 8 notice we shall do so. If you instruct us to commence an action based on a section 21 notice we shall do so. The fixed fee stage II service does not include advice in relation to which notice you should proceed under. If you instruct us to commence an action under a section 8 notice we shall not make any assumptions with regard to any other notice you may or may not have already served. Likewise if you instruct us in relation to a section 21 notice. If you need advice in relation to which notice is the most appropriate upon your specific matter facts then an extra fee may be payable in respect of that advice. We will liaise with the court and deal with all the court papers. It is essential that you attend at court and meet with our advocate to give evidence at the date and time as set down by the court and as notified to you by The Landlord Group. If you do not wish to attend the court hearing we can, at your further instruction, prepare all necessary witness statements which we will need to serve on your tenant and file with the court no less than 2 clear working days before the court hearing date. This will negate the need for you to attend, however we do stress that it is always preferable for you to attend in person. The Landlord Group will require a fee of £50 plus vat for the preparation and service of these additional witness statements. The Landlord Group will provide a specialist advocate at the first hearing to represent you in court**. Provided the court agrees that the landlord has grounds for possession the landlord will in most cases be entitled to a 14 day order for possession unless the judge takes the view that the tenants circumstances are such that possession should be delayed. Possession, if established on a mandatory ground, cannot be delayed for more than 42 days unless the ground for possession is discretionary. Unless we are seeking possession on an expired Section 21 Notice in isolation through either the standard or accelerated procedure you should obtain an order for a fixed contribution towards your legal costs. Regardless of the possession order we are seeking, any cost contribution awarded by the court is unlikely to match the total you have expended. Our Stage II fixed fee is limited to one court attendance. Should the court adjourn the hearing for whatever reason and require subsequent attendances a further fee will be required from you. Depending on the location of the court, a travel disbursement maybe added to the fixed fee. Our fixed fee services are not an advisory service. Instructions received from you are taken on the strict understanding that you are satisfied that all of the paper work that you submit with your instruction is in order. The Landlord Group will not accept responsibility or liability if a process fails on account of defective documentation submitted by you. We recommend that any outstanding repairs of which you have knowledge are dealt with prior to the service of notice as soon as possible in order to reduce the tenant’s chance of submitting a successful defence and/or counterclaim should the matter progress to stage II of the eviction process. If you are relying on section 8 rent arrears grounds you should ensure that the arrears of rent you are claiming are genuine and fully accounted for. Errors regarding rent arrears can lead to disputes which can lead to a defence being filed by your tenant. In all section 8 rent arrears matters we will require a thorough rent schedule detailing fully a chronology of dates payments and amounts which have been made by the tenant. The schedule will also be required to show a running balance on each entry. The rent schedule will have to show all payments made in the last 2 years, or, where the tenant has not been in for 2 years, will have to go back to when the arrears began to accrue. The Landlord Group will not be able to process your Stage II order until receipt of a fully compliant rent schedule has been received. If you would like The Landlord Group to prepare a fully compliant rent schedule on your behalf we can do so for a fixed fee of £40 plus vat. The schedule will be prepared from the information which you provide. Errors regarding rent arrears can lead to disputes which can lead to a defence being filed by your tenant. A defence will invariably lead to any subsequent court possession hearing being adjourned thus leading to delays and extra legal fees being incurred by you for which you will remain liable. In the event that a tenant defends the action or the matter is adjourned for whatever reason please see our section ‘Defended cases’.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have complied with all statutory requirements before instructing us. This includes, but is not limited to, ensuring that you are compliant with any relevant licencing rules. If your house is a house of multiple occupation, The Landlord Group can not and will not make any assumptions as to the licencing requirements for each specific property, this is your responsibility and The Landlord Group will simply serve whichever notice they have been instructed to serve on the assumption that you have fully complied with any statutory licencing legislation. The Landlord Group will not be liable if a notice is deemed invalid or an action fails on the basis that you have failed to fullfil your licencing obligation. For licensing under Part 3 of the Housing Act 2004, or in an area designated for ‘selective licencing’ it is your responsibility to ensure that the appropriate licence is in place, The Landlord Group will not carry out checks or enquire in this regard but will simply assume that you have complied with your licencing obligation. The Landlord Group will not be liable if a notice is deemed invalid or an action fails on the basis that you have failed to fullfil your licencing obligation. The service does not include the carrying out an advisory review of your papers or the relevant licencing laws applicable to your property unless you specifically request us to do so and for which an extra fee will be payable and will be charged at our solicitor’s hourly rate. We will simply prepare whichever notice you have specifically requested us to do so and it will be prepared strictly on basis of the information which you have provided us with. The Landlord Group will not be held liable should the notice be deemed invalid by reason of reliance on incorrectly provided information by you or in the event that you have not complied with your statutory obligations relating to current licencing legislation. If your property is required to be licenced either as a house of multiple occupation or in accordance with local selective licencing rules, (you must inform The Landlord Group before your notice is prepared forward a copy of the appropriate licence. If you do not inform The Landlord Group an assumption will be made that your property is not licensable or that there is no such requirement for your property to be licensed. The Landlord Group will not be liable if a notice is deemed invalid or an action fails on the basis that you have failed to fullfil your licencing obligation or failed to notify The Landlord Group of the same)

*Our lawyers are independent from The Landlord Group. By instructing The Landlord Group you hereby agree and consent to The Landlord Group acting as your agent for the purpose of instructing our lawyers on your behalf and liaising with them in respect of all matters relating to your case. You hereby agree, consent and authorise our lawyers to liaise, pass, share, and divulge with The Landlord Group all information, correspondence and evidence in relation to your case. You hereby authorise The Landlord Group to instruct our lawyers and hereby authorise our lawyers to take instructions from The Landlord Group on your behalf in relation to all aspects of your case. You will not be charged separately by our lawyers.

**Please note, should your tenant reduce their arrears balance below the appropriate section 8 ground 8 threshold before the the hearing, a court will not have the power to grant a possession order on a mandatory basis. The Landlord Group will, upon your instruction, instruct their solicitors to make an application to the court to adjourn the matter with liberty to restore. This means that your case will keep in the court system but will remain dormant. Should your tenant’s arrears once again accrue so as to once again fall within the appropriate levels as required by section 8 ground 8, upon your instruction a further application can be made to the court allowing the proceedings to continue from where they were left off without the need to start the whole process from scratch. The cost of these applications will stand in lieu of the redundancy of The Landlord Group providing the attandance of a specialist advocate at the first hearing. Once a claim has been restored The Landlord Group will charge a fee of £395 (including vat) to prepare for and send a specialist advocate to the restored hearing. This fee assumes that the matter is and remains undefended. Upon a court adjourning a matter with liberty to restore, the court has a discretion as to how long the matter should stand adjourned. Should the tenant’s arrears remain below the appropriate levels as required by section 8 ground 8 beyond the adjourned period the case will be automatically struck out, meaning that it will be at an end and you will have to commence an entirely new Stage II possession action should the tenant’s arrears later accrue beyond the appropriate section 8 ground 8 level.

Please note, our Stage II court proceedings include a claim for possession of your property and a claim for arrears only. They do not include a claim for the return of your deposit or the recovery of a deposit from a government authorised deposit scheme. Please see below under the heading ‘Your Deposit’.

Please also note, our Stage II court proceedings do not include a claim against a guarantor, even where The Landlord Group are aware a guarantor exists. A claim against a guarantor will only be included in a claim where The Landlord Group are specifically instructed to include a claim against such a guarantor when an extra fee has been agreed and paid and the inclusion of the guarantor in the claim has been confirmed and communicated to the landlord in writing.

No refunds in respect of Stage II will be given in the event that court proceedings have been issued. This includes, but is not limited to, being instructed to discontinue the claim before the hearing date.

Your continuing instructions will amount to your acceptance of these terms and conditions.

Fixed fee Accelerated Procedure

On your behalf and acting as your agent we will instruct our lawyers* to prepare all the necessary court papers in order to commence the appropriate property possession action in the county court and strictly in accordance with your instructions. The Landlord Group will liaise with the court and ensure that all the court formalities and further court paperwork is dealt with. The accelerated procedure is only applicable where a valid section 21 notice has already been served and expired and where there is in place a written assured shorthold tenancy agreement. It cannot/does not include a claim for any outstanding rent arrears. Generally the accelerated procedure takes between 3 and 6 weeks, however depending on which court has jurisdiction the process can in some cases take longer. The accelerated procedure generally does not require a hearing. The court will ordinarily decide the case in private and without the need for a hearing. If for whatever reason and in the rare event that the court requires the necessity for a hearing The Landlord Group will require a further payment to attend the hearing. In the alternative the landlord can attend the hearing in person and The Landlord Group will have no further involvement in the matter. In the event that the matter becomes defended please see our terms and conditions for defended actions below.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have complied with all statutory requirements before instructing us. This includes, but is not limited to, ensuring that you are compliant with any relevant licencing rules. If your house is a house of multiple occupation, The Landlord Group can not and will not make any assumptions as to the licencing requirements for each specific property, this is your responsibility and The Landlord Group will simply serve whichever notice they have been instructed to serve on the assumption that you have fully complied with any statutory licencing legislation. The Landlord Group will not be liable if a notice is deemed invalid or an action fails on the basis that you have failed to fullfil your licencing obligation. For licensing under Part 3 of the Housing Act 2004, or in an area designated for ‘selective licencing’ it is your responsibilty to ensure that the appropriate licence is in place, The Landlord Group will not carry out checks or enquire in this regard but will simply assume that you have complied with your licencing obligation. The Landlord Group will not be liable if a notice is deemed invalid or an action fails on the basis that you have failed to fullfil your licencing obligation. The service does not include the carrying out an advisory review of your papers or the relevant licencing laws applicable to your property unless you specifically request us to do so and for which an extra fee will be payable and will be charged at our solicitor’s hourly rate. We will simply prepare whichever notice you have specifically requested us to do so and it will be prepared strictly on basis of the information which you have provided us with. The Landlord Group will not be held liable should the notice be deemed invalid by reason of reliance on incorrectly provided information by you or in the event that you have not complied with your statutory obligations relating to current licencing legislation. If your property is required to be licenced either as a house of multiple occupation or in accordance with local selective licencing rules, (you must inform The Landlord Group before your notice is prepared, and forward a copy of the appropriate licence. If you do not inform The Landlord Group an assumption will be made that your property is not licensable or that there is no such requirement for your property to be licensed. The Landlord Group will not be liable if a notice is deemed invalid or an action fails on the basis that you have failed to fullfil your licencing obligation or failed to notify The Landlord Group of the same)

Notices not prepared or served by The Landlord Group

The Landlord Group can and will, upon your instruction, proceed on any Stage II court procedure using notices (section 8 and section 21) which you or your agent has prepared and served on your tenant (service of notice refers to how the notice was given to your tenant/s). It is your responsibility to ensure that you have complied with all statutory and contractual service provisions (contractual provisions refer to provisions contained within your lease and which you/and or your agent have agreed to with the tenant/s) in respect of service of your own notices. The Landlord Group will not be liable in any way whatsoever should a notice be deemed invalid, or a court action fail, by reason that you or your agent has failed to comply with any statutory or contractual service provisions. The Landlord Group, upon receipt of your own notice, will only check the content of the notice, it will not review or check whether you have complied with the service provisions as set out by statute or any contractual provisions relating to service contained within your lease. The landlord Group will only check/review service compliance of your notice/s upon direct instruction from you and upon the payment of a specific review fee for this service.

Defended Cases

In the event that your case is defended by the tenant or if other circumstances arise which are not covered by our fixed fee services, then our fixed fee service will come to an end. Any additional work will be charged for and will be based upon the time we spend in dealing with your case. On your behalf and acting as your agent we will instruct our lawyers* to continue to defend your case. Anything that you can do to assist us in dealing with your case will minimise our potential charges. All extra work will be charged at preferential rates as negotiated by The Landlord Group on your behalf. As soon as it is known that your case has become defended The Landlord Group will advise you that your case has been defended or adjourned and will seek your instruction before proceeding with any further work. Your continued instruction will amount to acceptance of our terms and conditions and that you wish for us to continue to act on your behalf. You can however choose a solicitor of your own choice and The Landlord Group will no longer act as agent on your behalf. If you choose to continue to instruct The Landlord Group, The Landlord Group will advise you of the probable cost of pursuing the defended case for you. Additional court fees may be required which will be payable by you. Advocates fees for attending hearings and travelling and waiting charges will be added. Whilst every effort is taken by The Landlord Group to ensure a successful conclusion to your case, due to the very nature of defended claims, The Landlord Group cannot offer any guarantees as to the outcome of your claim. Instructions received from you are taken on the strict understanding that you are satisfied that all the paper work that you have submitted is correct and in order. The Landlord Group will not accept responsibility or liability if a process fails on account of defective documentation submitted by you. After completing the work, we are entitled to keep all of your papers and documents while there are fees owing to us for our charges and expenses. If you terminate your instructions or we stop acting for you with good reason, you will still have to pay our charges and expenses and our solicitors charges and expenses up to the date that we cease acting, including costs for removing our name or our solicitors name from the court record if court proceedings are involved and transferring our files to you or another advisor. When a matter becomes defended you run the risk that if the defendant wins that you will become liable to pay all or part of their legal costs as well as our solicitors. If your opponent has Community Legal Service Funding (Legal Aid)you are unlikely to be able to recover any of your costs from them, even if you win your case. In any event even if you win the case the legal costs which you have to pay are likely to exceed the amount recoverable from the other party. If the tenancy agreement upon which you are relying does not reserve your right to claim legal costs from your tenant you will not be able to claim them and you will only be entitled to fixed costs regardless of your actual expended legal costs. Litigants in person if successful, the court can order the unsuccessful party to pay their costs provided that they can show that they have suffered financial loss in preparing for and attending the hearing. If you are unhappy with a court order for whatever reason you must inform us immediately and in event within 7 days of the order being made. The Landlord Group will not be held liable for your failure to raise such issues after this time.

Before embarking upon litigation (and this includes possession actions based on section 8 and section 21 notices), you must give careful consideration as to whether the other party might have a defence (to all or part of your claim) or a counter-claim. Your potential liability for costs is twofold. Firstly your own legal costs and secondly the other party’s, if they are successful against you, whether in whole or in part. If there are aspects of the case upon which you can co-operate with the other side you should do so to prevent the court applying costs sanctions against you.

A full break down of the additional costs will be provided on request.

*Our lawyers are independent from The Landlord Group. By instructing The Landlord Group you hereby agree and consent to The Landlord Group acting as your agent for the purpose of instructing our lawyers on your behalf and liaising with them in respect of all matters relating to your case. You hereby agree, consent and authorise our lawyers to liaise, pass, share, and divulge with The Landlord Group all information, correspondence and evidence in relation to your case. You hereby authorise The Landlord Group to instruct our lawyers and hereby authorise our lawyers to take instructions from The Landlord Group on your behalf in relation to all aspects of your defended action. All further fees incurred by you in relation to your defended action will be payable to The Landlord Group. You will not be be charged separately by our lawyers.

Your continuing instructions will amount to your acceptance of these terms and conditions.

Court paperwork only service

The Landlord Group will prepare and draft all the appropriate court paperwork including the claim form, particulars of claim, exhibits and exhibit sheets so that you can issue the claim and attend the subsequent court hearing in person to submit your evidence. If you have previously instructed The Landlord Group in respect of a Stage 1 notice service The Landlord Group will provide you with a statement of service for a fixed fee of £45. This will be included in the paperwork. The court papers will be duplicated to the correct quantity necessary for you to commence the court proceedings on your own behalf. The Court paperwork only service does not include the court fee (please check on the appropriate HM Courts & Tribunal Service website for the latest Civil and Family Court Fees), this will have to be paid by you when you submit the papers to the court. The Landlord Group will have no further involvement in the particular case once the paperwork has been completed and dispatched to you. The purpose of this service is to give the Landlord who has enough time and confidence (and who doesn’t need to worry about taking time off work) to take control of the possession action and attend the court hearing themselves. The Landlord Group will prepare the court paperwork strictly in accordance with your instructions and shall make no further assumptions. This service is not an advisory service, therefore if you instruct The Landlord Group to prepare the court paperwork based on your own section 8 notice we shall do so without checking as to its validity or suitability. If you instruct us to prepare the court paperwork based on a section 21 notice we shall do so without checking as to its validity or suitability. The court paperwork only service does not include advice in relation to which notice you should proceed under if you have served both types of notice. If you instruct us to prepare the paperwork based on a section 8 notice we shall not make any assumptions with regard to any other notice you may or may not have already served. Likewise if you instruct us in relation to a section 21 notice. If your case is adjourned for whatever reason The Landlord Group will be happy to offer assistance and advice in accordance with our Defended action terms and conditions.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have complied with all statutory requirements before instructing us. This includes, but is not limited to, ensuring that you are compliant with any relevant licencing rules. If your house is a house of multiple occupation, The Landlord Group can not and will not make any assumptions as to the licencing requirements for each specific property, this is your responsibility and The Landlord Group will simply serve whichever notice they have been instructed to serve on the assumption that you have fully complied with any statutory licencing legislation. The Landlord Group will not be liable if a notice is deemed invalid or an action fails on the basis that you have failed to fullfil your licencing obligation. For licensing under Part 3 of the Housing Act 2004, or in an area designated for ‘selective licencing’ it is your responsibilty to ensure that the appropriate licence is in place, The Landlord Group will not carry out checks or enquire in this regard but will simply assume that you have complied with your licencing obligation. The Landlord Group will not be liable if a notice is deemed invalid or an action fails on the basis that you have failed to fullfil your licencing obligation. The service does not include the carrying out an advisory review of your papers or the relevant licencing laws applicable to your property unless you specifically request us to do so and for which an extra fee will be payable and will be charged at our solicitor’s hourly rate. We will simply prepare whichever notice you have specifically requested us to do so and it will be prepared strictly on basis of the information which you have provided us with. The Landlord Group will not be held liable should the notice be deemed invalid by reason of reliance on incorrectly provided information by you or in the event that you have not complied with your statutory obligations relating to current licencing legislation. If your property is required to be licenced either as a house of multiple occupation or in accordance with local selective licencing rules, (you must inform The Landlord Group before your notice is prepared forward a copy of the appropriate licence. If you do not inform The Landlord Group an assumption will be made that your property is not licensable or that there is no such requirement for your property to be licensed. The Landlord Group will not be liable if a notice is deemed invalid or an action fails on the basis that you have failed to fullfil your licencing obligation or failed to notify The Landlord Group of the same)

Please note, our Stage II paper work only service includes a claim for possession of your property and a claim for arrears only. They do not include a claim for the return of your deposit or the recovery of a deposit from a government authorised deposit scheme. Please see below under the heading ‘Your Deposit’ if you wish for the papers to include a claim for this.

Please also note, our Stage II paper work only service does not include a claim against a guarantor, even where The Landlord Group are aware a guarantor exists. A claim against a guarantor will only be included in a claim where The Landlord Group are specifically instructed to include a claim against such a guarantor, when an extra fee has been agreed and paid and the inclusion of the guarantor in the claim has been confirmed and communicated to the landlord in writing.

Your continuing instructions will amount to your acceptance of these terms and conditions.

Your Deposit

The Housing Act 2004 together with the changes introduced by the Localism Act 2011 (The Housing Act 2004 and the Localism Act 2011 are defined from here on in as (“Current Legislation”)) made it compulsory for landlords who enter into assured shorthold tenancies with tenants where a deposit is taken to protect any deposit in accordance with Current Legislation. Failure to do so might result in a court awarding damages, payable by the landlord to the tenant, amounting to 3 times the value of the deposit taken plus the return of the deposit. In such cases the court is also likely to order the landlord to pay the costs of the tenant for bringing the claim.

The deposit is the landlord’s responsibility to deal with it in accordance with Current Legislation. The Landlord Group is not responsible for ensuring that a landlord has complied with a deposit in accordance with current legislation. The Landlord Group will always assume that a landlord has complied with its statutory duty under the Current Legislation concerning deposit protection and service of prescribed information. If a landlord instructs The Landlord Group to prepare and serve a section 21 notice and informs The Landlord Group that a deposit has been taken, The Landlord Group will not be held liable if the section 21 notice fails on account that a landlord has failed to comply with the Current Legislation. A landlord should always ensure that before instructing The Landlord Group that they have complied with their obligations under the Current Legislation concerning deposits.

If a deposit has been taken and has not been protected in accordance with Current Legislation, a landlord cannot rely on a section 21 notice which was served prior to the conforming to of the current legislation (including, but not restricted to, protection of the deposit and the serving of the appropriate prescribed information to the tenant). The Landlord Group takes no responsibility whatsoever if a court procedure fails due to a landlord failing to comply with their obligations under the deposit protection scheme rules. The Landlord Group will assume that any information which you provide is factual and correct. For example, if you inform The Landlord Group that you have protected the deposit it will assume that you have done so correctly and also assumes that you have provided the correct and appropriate prescribed information. The Landlord Group will not check that you have done. The Landlord Group will not be responsible in the event that the notice is later to be found invalid or if a court procedure fails because it is later discovered that you have not complied fully with the appropriate statute or have failed to provide your tenant with the correct prescribed information.

The Landlord Group Stage II court proceedings do not include a claim for the return of a landlord’s deposit or the recovery of the same from a landlord’s chosen deposit protection scheme. The Landlord Group Stage II court proceedings only include a claim for an order for possession of a landlord’s property and where applicable, a claim for an order for rent arrears (against the tenant only) and fixed costs. If The Landlord Group are instructed to include a claim for an order returning the deposit, a further fee of £65 plus vat will be payable. It is the responsibility of the landlord to make such a request at the outset of the claim as the claim will not be amended thereafter.

As it is a statutory requirement for a landlord to deal with any deposit taken in relation to an assured shorthold tenancy in accordance with Current Legislation, The Landlord Group will always, when asked, recommend that any deposit which has not been protected in accordance with Current Legislation to be dealt with forthwith. Advice can be given as to the appropriate course of action at your request. In any event this should be done prior to the service of notices. The inclusion of a claim for the return of the deposit is no guarantee that a court will order the return of the deposit to a landlord, therefore The Landlord Group can accept no responsibility whatsoever in the event that the court refuses to order the return of the deposit to the landlord for whatever reason and not return any fees in respect of the same.

Your continuing instructions will amount to your acceptance of these terms and conditions.

Terms and Conditions – Commercial Tenant Eviction

The Landlord Group will instruct their lawyers to review the lease of the property and will advise you whether forfeiture of your commercial lease is an option.

In the event that forfeiture is not an option available to you, The Landlord Group will retain £199 inclusive of VAT for the time taken to review your lease and the balancing payment will be returned to you within 7 days from receipt of the payment.

In the event that forfeiture is an option available to you, The Landlord Group will prepare the appropriate legal notices and will arrange for a local bailiff to attend your property to exercise the forfeiture as soon as possible following receipt of your instruction. The Landlord Group will aim to instruct a bailiff within 48 hours from receipt of your instruction and/or as soon as possible given that The Landlord Group are dependent upon third party availability.

The locks of the property will need to be changed and your tenant will be provided with notice that the property has been repossessed by the landlord. The keys of the property will be returned to you within 48 hours. The locksmiths fees will be in addition to the fixed fee for this service. The Landlord Group can make arrangements for the locksmith attendance, or alternatively, you are able to make arrangements yourself. The Landlord Group will not be liable for locksmiths fees.

The landlord of the property is obliged to allow the tenant back into the property following a reasonable time after the eviction to collect any items at the property which belong to the tenant.

Following the eviction the landlord will be responsible for the goods/assets contained within the leased premises and the insurance of the premises from the time of forfeiture.

Our fees for a commercial tenant eviction based upon a tenant failing to pay rent are fixed at £699 inclusive of VAT. There will be additional fees incurred in relation to the instruction of a local locksmith. These fees will vary depending upon the types of locks to be changed. The Landlord Group will provide you with a fee quote for the additional services prior to the eviction if required.

Should you wish to evict a commercial tenant based upon any other breaches of the lease, The Landlord Group can provide you with a fee quote once the papers and issues have been considered.

Once you have instructed The Landlord Group to proceed to forfeit the lease it is very important that you do not take any action which may amount to a waiver of the right to forfeit. The landlord should avoid any communication with the tenant whatsoever and should avoid demanding rent or taking any action which amounts to the recognition of the continued existence of the lease and the landlord and tenant relationship. In the event that such action is taken by the landlord you are at risk of waiving the right to forfeit and thereby restricting your rights under the lease to take back possession of the property.

Following the forfeiture of the lease a commercial tenant does have a legal right to apply to the court for ‘relief’ from forfeiture. In order for a tenant to be successful with a relief from forfeiture application, the tenant must clear the rent arrears and pay to the landlord the costs the landlord has incurred in order to undertake the forfeiture action. A tenant has a legal right to make such a court application within 6 months from the date of the forfeiture.

Should the Landlord Group and/or the agents of The Landlord Group be unable to carry out the forfeiture by reason of claims or other legal difficulties or should the forfeiture be abandoned or withdrawn for reasons outside of The Landlord Group’s control, the landlord agrees to pay on demand any reasonable fees and costs together with bailiff and locksmith charges which have not already been paid.

Trespasser and Squatter eviction

On your behalf and acting as your agent we will instruct our lawyers* prepare all the necessary court papers and ensure that the papers are issued in the correct county court and that the issued papers are correctly served on the trespassers/squatters. Our fixed fee also includes the court issue fee which we will ensure is paid to the court on your behalf on issue of the papers. We will liaise with the court and deal with all the court papers ensuring that the matter is listed for a hearing adhering to the appropriate civil procedure rules. We will prepare all necessary witness statements and will make arrangements to attend the first hearing on your behalf. Possession of a property involves a hearing in front of a District (or sometimes a Deputy or sometimes a Circuit) Judge where evidence is given either by way of witness statement given in your name or by oral evidence by you on oath. The possession hearing will be listed to last for 5-10 minutes. Ordinarily this hearing will take place within 2 weeks of the court receiving and issuing the action. It is important to note that some courts can list hearings several weeks after issue depending on how bust they are. This is entirely at the courts discretion and is totally out of the hands of The Landlord Group. It is important that you attend this hearing. The fixed fee service assumes that the matter will not be defended. In the event that the matter becomes defended we shall notify you of the same and take your further instructions. You should refer to our terms and conditions for defended actions for details of our fees should the matter become defended. Upon securing a possession order The Landlord Group, with your instruction and payment, will appoint a county court bailiff to attend your land/property. The Landlord Group will request the appropriate warrant for a bailiff within 24 working hours of receipt of your further instruction. The county court bailiff will then set a date in the future when they will attend the land/property to physically evict the trespassers/squatters. It can sometimes take several weeks from the date the county court bailiff is instructed before the actual eviction takes place. Depending on a client’s specific circumstances, it might be more appropriate to instruct a High Court Sheriff Officer to enforce the court order and attend the eviction as they can generally carry out the eviction within a matter of days rather than weeks. The instruction of a High Court Sheriff Officer is not included in our fixed fee service. We recommend that you call us to discuss this possibility before you book our service. The Landlord Group will happily discuss with you whether this is appropriate in your particular case. If a High Court Sheriff Officer is requested to attend your property they will charge an extra fee. This fee will have to be met by you. If the matter is defended please see our section below headed ‘Defended trespasser/squatter cases’.

Your continuing instructions will amount to your acceptance of these terms and conditions.

Defended trespasser/squatter cases

If the tenant/defendant raises a defence the judge is likely to issue directions (which will include a court set timetable for the parties to follow) for the resolution of the dispute and set the matter down for a further hearing at some later date when there will be more time available. Defended cases are not covered by our fixed fee service. Further work and preparation will then be necessary, the extent of which will depend upon the tenant’s defence and/or counterclaim. At your further instruction we shall instruct our solicitors to review the defence/counterclaim and they will provide a fee quote for dealing with the defence and for taking the matter forward.

Rent Arrears

The Landlord Group will instruct their appointed solicitors to prepare a single letter before action to be sent to your tenant. The content of the letter will be based on the information which you supply and no assumptions will be made by The Landlord Group or their appointed solicitors in respect of any of the information which you provide. This is not an advice service. This service assumes that your tenant will not contest the information which you have provided. Should your tenant contest the matter The Landlord Group and or its appointed solicitors will not respond to the same without your further instruction for which there will be an additional fee payable. The additional fee will be based on the time spent, however this can be agreed with you prior to any further work being carried out.

Rent arrears claim

Before considering pursuing a claim for rent arrears, The Landlord Group will need to see the original or a true copy of the tenancy agreement. The Landlord Group and/or its solicitors reserves the right to claim all legal costs from the tenant, these will be significantly higher than our fixed fee charge for this service.

Service Charge, Ground Rent, Debt Collection

Before considering pursuing a claim for service charge, ground rent or debt collection, The Landlord Group (reference to The Landlord Group also includes reference to their appointed solicitors) will need to see a copy of the original tenancy/leasehold agreement. In the absence of such a document The Landlord Group will not be able to act for you. The Landlord Group reserves the right to refuse to act for you/decline your instruction in the event that the property is not mortgaged. As this is a free service, The Landlord Group reserves all rights in respect of the amount of work which it carries out on your behalf and can without notice cease to act or carry out any further work on your behalf without reason or notice. All work that is carried out is done so on the understanding by you that if your tenant contests or defends any part of the claim that any incidental costs of the same will be met by you in full. The Landlord Group and or its appointed solicitors accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever for any claims brought by a tenant as a result of work carried out by the The Landlord Group which has been based on the information which you have provided. Should The Landlord Group issue court proceedings they will do so only with your prior approval, you will be responsible for the court issue fee. The court claim will not be issued until receipt of the court fee has been confirmed by The Landlord Group. This service assumes that the court action will be undefended. In the event that the action becomes defended the free service will automatically be at an end and no further work will be carried out by The Landlord Group or its appointed solicitors without your further instruction. The Landlord Group and or their solicitors accept no responsibility or liability in the event that a matter becomes defended. Any further work in dealing with a defended claim will be charged on a time spent basis. The Landlord Group will discuss these costs with you when you will be free to decide whether or not you wish to continue to instruct The Landlord Group or its solicitors. If the matter is defended, this means that the defendant/tenant disputes what you are saying in your claim and is asking the court to consider it. As you will be the Claimant in these proceedings you may wish to file a reply to the defence but you are under no obligation to do so. You should consider replying to the defence if you wish to allege facts in answer to the defence which may not have been included in the original claim. A Claimant who does not file a reply to the defence shall not be taken to admit the matters raised in the defence. By instructing The Landlord Group and or its solicitors, you accept and understand that by bringing a court claim that your tenant is fully at liberty to defend and contest your claim. In some circumstances your tenant may wish to bring a counterclaim against you as a result of you bringing a claim against them. You accept and understand that by bringing a court claim that your tenant is fully at liberty to bring a counterclaim against you if so advised. The Landlord Group and or their solicitors accept no responsibility or liability in the event that a tenant/defendant raises a counterclaim. Should a counterclaim be brought the free service will automatically be at an end and no further work will be carried out by The Landlord Group or its appointed solicitors without your further instruction. If your tenant does bring a counterclaim you will have to file a defence within 14 days. The Landlord Group and or their solicitors will notify you immediately in the event that a counterclaim is brought. Neither The Landlord Group or their solicitors will prepare or file a defence on your behalf unless you further instruct them to do so and within 5 days of you being notified by them and upon payment of any agreed fee in respect of the same. If you fail to file a defence within the 14 day period your tenant/defendant may enter judgment in default on the counterclaim. If you require more time to file a defence to the counterclaim you should request an extension of time from the defendant. The parties can agree an extension of up to 28 days in addition to the initial 14 day period. Should your tenant successfully defend the claim or succeed in their counterclaim against you, you might be ordered to pay some or all of their legal costs for which you will be responsible. The Landlord and or their solicitors reserve all rights in recouping all of their legal fees from the tenant and or their mortgage provider.

Payment of fees

We do not accept payments in cash in any form from anyone or organisation. We only accept payment by our secure online website payment system by an authorised debit/credit card, or where agreed in advance by cheque. Otherwise the bank may consider your payment as an example of money laundering which would delay us in our actions on your behalf. Payment online by you is deemed as authority for the payment for the completion of your specific service.

Payment of fees in relation to Defended actions are strictly on the basis of 14 days from receipt of our invoice.

Your continuing instructions will amount to your acceptance of these terms and conditions.

Cancellation of instruction

The Landlord Group will endeavour to commence your instructions within 48 hours of receipt of payment and relevant documentation. You have a right to cancel your instruction within 7 days of making payment. However, if work has already commenced on your case your right to cancel will end and you will remain liable for all costs to date. To cancel your instruction please write to The Landlord Group at the contact address found on the ‘contact us’ page of the website.

Your continuing instructions will amount to your acceptance of these terms and conditions.

General

The information conveyed on the The Landlord Group website is intended to convey general information only. The contents of the website are not aimed at any person, individual or organisation specifically and nothing contained within it constitutes an offer to contract. The Landlord Group reserve the right to cancel, withdraw or change its services at any time. If you terminate your instructions or we stop acting for you with good reason, you will still have to pay our charges and expenses up to the date that we cease acting, including costs for removing our name our our solicitors name from the court record if court proceedings are involved and transferring our files to you or another advisor.

Your continuing instructions will amount to your acceptance of these terms and conditions.

Retention of documents

Original signed copies of documents created by The Landlord Group on behalf of a client remain the sole property of The Landlord Group. Copies are not distributed to clients. If a client requests such documents The Landlord Group reserves the right to refuse such a request or levy a charge of £55 per copy original signed document.

Our charges and other costs

All work where stated in this website (with the exception of defended cases and our consultancy service) is carried out on a fixed fee basis and includes disbursements. If a statement of service/certificate of service is required separately from one of our fixed fee services an additional charge of £75 will be levied.

Complaints Procedure

The Landlord Group are committed to providing you with the very highest quality service. We ensure that procedures are consistently followed by all members of the organisation and we are consistently looking to improve the quality of our service. If however, you have any queries or concerns about our work for you it is important to raise them immediately in writing (we do not accept complaints made by email) and in the first instance with the member of staff involved. Do not wait until the completion of a matter to raise a problem which occurred at a much earlier stage. If that does not resolve the problem or you would prefer to speak to someone else then please make this clear. Following receipt of a written complaint, we will endeavour to respond to it in writing within 28 days of receipt. We will attempt to resolve problems that arise with our services in-house. It is therefore important that if at any time you feel that quality is not being maintained please raise it the moment you feel that an issue has arisen. If you have a complaint about any aspect of our services or the way in which they are being delivered to you, you must raise it the moment it arises. To continue to instruct The Landlord Group after you later rely on a complaint which should have been raised earlier, it will be taken as evidence that a genuine complaint has not arisen. If you raise a complaint at the end of a matter which should have been raised much earlier and you continue to instruct The Landlord Group putting them to expense in terms of both time and disbursements after the date the complaint should have been raised you will remain liable for our costs in their entirety. We value your instructions and would not wish you to think that you have reason to be unhappy with us.

Your continuing instructions will amount to your acceptance of these terms and conditions.

Contractual obligation

All services provided by The Landlord Group on this website and requested by an individual or organisation will only form a binding agreement upon confirmation by The Landlord Group. Such confirmation will take the form of either an email, fax, or postal correspondence. That you understand that your continued instructions in any matter which we act on your behalf will amount to your full acceptance of these terms and conditions of business and that you fully understand that you may not be able to recover the full legal costs but nevertheless wish to instruct The Landlord Group to proceed in your required service and agree to compensate The Landlord Group against any liabilities incurred by them in acting for you.

Your continuing instructions will amount to your acceptance of these terms and conditions.

Terms and conditions

Payment by you for any of the services offered by The Landlord Group is deemed acceptance by you that you have read and understood our terms and conditions and that you fully understand and accept them. Alternatively where you instruct The Landlord Group prior to payment, receipt of your instruction is deemed acceptance by you that you have read and understood our terms and conditions and that you fully understand and accept them.

Your continuing instructions will amount to your continued acceptance of our terms and conditions.

The Landlord Group reserve all rights to amend and change its terms and conditions without notice.