Terms and Conditions
Hector and Finch is the trading name of “Hector Finch Ltd” (Company No. 10806715). Registered office is: 10, Broad Walk, Crawley, United Kingdom, RH10 1HQ. Hector Finch Ltd is hereinafter referred to as “Hector and Finch”, “us” or “our”. Payment by you for any of the services offered by Hector and Finch is deemed acceptance by you that you have read and understood our terms and conditions and that you fully understand and accept them. In addition, where you instruct Hector & Finch 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.
Tenant Eviction Cases – Fixed fee Stage I Notice (s) – We will prepare and serve either a section 8 notice and or a section 21 notice 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 accurate and fully accounted for. Errors regarding rent arrears can lead to disputes which can lead to a defence being filed by your tenant. It is not nor will it be our responsibility to check any rent schedule provided by you. A defence will invariably lead to any subsequent court possession hearing being adjourned thus leading to delays and further 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 information which you provide us with is correct. We do not carry out an advisory review of your papers. 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. Hector & Finch will not be held liable should the notice be deemed invalid by reason of reliance on inaccurate information provided by you. In the event that your claim becomes defended our fixed fee service will no longer apply.
Service of notices is by first class post and by first class recorded delivery. If you require service by a process server an additional fee will be applicable. We strongly recommend a process server should be employed to affect service of the eviction notices. Our Guaranteed Eviction will not apply if a process server was not employed. Your continuing instructions will amount to your acceptance of these terms & conditions.
Eviction Cases – Fixed fee Stage 2 Court Proceedings – We as your agent will support and assist you in preparation of your possession claim in order to commence the property possession claim in the county court strictly in accordance with your instructions. Therefore if you instruct us to support an action based on a section 8 notice we shall do so as your agent. If you instruct us to support an action based on a section 21 notice we shall do so. We will assist and support you with the necessary witness statements and we will make a referral for your court advocate. any contribution awarded by the court is unlikely to match the total you have paid. As no solicitors are on record as acting for you, you will not be able to claim solicitors costs. Our Stage 2 fixed fee is limited to one court attendance. Should the court adjourn the hearing for any reason whatsoever and you require a subsequent attendance a further fee will be required from you. Hector & Finch will not accept responsibility or liability if a process fails on account of defective documentation and or information 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 2 of the eviction process. If you are relying on rent arrears grounds you should ensure that the rent arrears you are claiming are accurate and fully accounted for.
By instructing us you hereby agree and consent for us to liaise, pass, share, and divulge through us all information, correspondence and evidence in relation to your case with our agency lawyers and any other relevant party. You hereby authorise us to instruct solicitors or advocates to take instructions from us on your behalf in relation to all aspects of your claim. You will not be charged separately by them. Your continuing instructions will amount to your acceptance of these terms & conditions. You must provide a signed copy of our advocates referral letter to us in order for us to arrange court representation for you. Your failure to provide a signed copy of our referral letter within 7 days of the court hearing may result in you not being represented in court. Any loss by you as direct or indirect result of your failure to provide a signed advocates referral letter is one that you will alone be responsible for and Hector & Finch will not compensate you in anyway.
Fixed fee Accelerated Procedure – As your agent, on your behalf we will support you with all the necessary court papers in order for you to commence your possession claim in the county court strictly in accordance with your instructions. If for whatever reason and in the rare event that the court requires the necessity for a hearing Hector & Finch will require a further payment to support you in arranging advocacy service. In the alternative the landlord can attend the hearing in person and Hector & Finch will have no further involvement with your claim. In the event that the claim becomes defended please see our terms and conditions for defended claims below.
Defended Claims – a last minute surprise defence at the 1st hearing while in court will not be covered by our fixed fee service, our charges are based upon the time we spend in supporting you in your claim and we will continue to support and assist you to defend your case. Anything that you can do to support us and our instructed solicitors in dealing with your case will minimise your potential charges. All extra work will be charged out at £98 per hour and in units of 1/10th of an hour. In addition to time spent we may take into account any of the following factors, which could include: the complexity of the issues and the speed at which action must be taken. Your continued instruction will amount to acceptance of our terms and conditions and that you wish for us to continue to act as agents on your behalf. You can however instruct a solicitor of your choice and Hector & Finch will no longer be required to support you. Hector & Finch 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 Hector & Finch to ensure a successful conclusion to your case, due to the very nature of defended claims Hector & Finch can not 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, checked and in order. We will not accept responsibility or liability if a process fails on account of defective documentation submitted by you. 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 ours. If your opponent has Community Legal Service Funding you are unlikely to be able to recover any of your costs from them.
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 counterclaim.
By instructing us you hereby agree and consent for us to instruct if appropriate at our discretion Solicitors and us liaising with them in respect of all matters relating to supporting you with your claim. You hereby agree, consent and authorise these solicitors to liaise, pass, share, and divulge with Hector & Finch all information, correspondence and evidence in relation to your claim. You hereby authorise Hector & Finch as your agent to instruct solicitors and hereby authorise these solicitors to take instructions from Hector & Finch 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 Hector & Finch. You will not be charged separately by our instructed Solicitors. You understand, accept and agree without reservation any lawyer, solicitor employed or instructed by us will in no way be personally liable for any errors mistakes. You accept and agree that Hector & Finch alone will remain liable for errors mistakes and that you waive any right you may have in taking action against our lawyers and or solicitors on your behalf. Your continuing instructions will amount to your acceptance of these terms & conditions.
Payment of fees – We do not accept payments in cash in any form from anyone or organisations. We accept payment by cheque or debit/credit card. Payment made by credit cards will carry an additional charge by us of 0.8%. Debit cards are free. Payment by cash or by other means may be consider as an example of money laundering which would delay us in our actions on your behalf. Payment of fees in relation to Defended actions is strictly on the basis of 3 days from date of our invoice. Your continuing instructions will amount to your acceptance of these terms & conditions. Cheque that have been returned unpaid by clients bank will incur another additional £35 to cover bank charges and or our administration fee. Situations in which clients cheque that has been returned unpaid by clients bank we and anyone we have arranged to represent you will stop doing any further work. Client will remain liable for the work done and or fees which we have paid or carried out.
PCOL ” Possession Claim online” – Where we have been instructed by you to do so we in turn will assist you upload your data online to obtain the earliest hearing date. We will strictly only assist you if we hold signed copy of the appropriate claim form(s). We can only guide and or assist you with a PCOL provided we are in possession of a signed hard copy of a claim bundle. Our assistance and guidance to upload data to PCOL will be conducted by telephone or in very rare cases by email. We cannot and will not give or offer advice on any aspect of the data where we are assisting our client uploading the data lifted from the hard copy of the signed claim provided by the client. From the outset you will have and continue to have conduct of your claim.
Guaranteed Eviction Offer – Is strictly subject to the landlord complying with their legal obligations as landlords. It shall not be the duty of Hector & Finch to explain the obligations of a landlord in law contractual or under any Act of parliament.
Guaranteed eviction offer shall not apply if the eviction notices have been drafted and or served by the landlord or if drafted by us but the landlord has not used our process server to affect service. We hereby put all landlords on notice we strongly recommend that a process server should be employed to serve all eviction notices to avoid contention. Guaranteed eviction offer shall not apply if the tenant has raised any issue of alleged or actual disrepair to the property which possession is claimed. Under no circumstances shall guaranteed eviction offer be applicable if the issue of disrepair of any nature be raised by the tenant. If there is a remote chance of the tenant claiming disrepair we strongly advise you do not issue a claim under section 8. Guaranteed eviction shall not apply if the claimant does not attend court in person or is late for a court hearing. Guaranteed eviction shall not apply where the landlord has provided or failed to provide a rent schedule and this is being challenged by the defendant as it is incorrect, is incomplete, is missing or contradicts any other information held by the court, the defendant or us. It is not nor shall it be our duty to check the accuracy of any rent schedule or any contradictions between the rent schedule, the section 8 notice and any other information held by us, the tenant or the court. Where the landlord does not have the locus the right to issue a claim for possession guaranteed eviction offer shall not be applicable. Where the landlord has failed to comply with the
“TDS” (tenant deposit scheme shall not be applicable if the landlord has not complies with his/hers obligation for guaranteed eviction). For Section 21 possession claims where the rent is not contractually payable monthly or where it is not contractually payable on a set date of each month the guaranteed eviction offer will not be applicable. Where the rent is payable every 4 weeks our guaranteed Eviction offer shall not apply. Where there are alleged further tenancy agreement(s) or the terms of the tenancy is challenged by the court or the defendant the guaranteed eviction offer shall not be applicable. Where the landlord has failed to provide accurate, complete information, documents or instructions at all or in a timely manner the guaranteed eviction offer shall not be applicable. Guaranteed eviction shall not apply where we have put the landlord on notice and informed the landlord before the claim for possession is issued that possession maybe be granted by the judge at the judge’s discretion. All the terms and conditions on this page apply to the guaranteed eviction offer.
Cancellation of instruction – Hector & Finch will endeavor to commence your instructions within 24 hours of receipt of your instructions. You have a right to cancel your instruction within 14 days of instructing us. However, if work has already commenced on your case you will remain liable for all costs to date. To cancel your instruction please E-mail to Hector & Finch at the contact details found on the ‘contact us’ page of our website or contact details as per our letterhead or invoice. if you cancel your instructions to proceed with your claim by E-mail after 48 hours of your instructions and 14 days before the court hearing you will receive a refund of your court advocate fee of £98 less 20 % administration charge. The court fee will not be refunded. if you cancel your instructions within 5 days of the initial instructions and provided the court has not issued your claim, you must contact the court to cancel your claim and request all papers to be returned to you. Provided the papers and the cheque for the court fee has been returned you will in addition to the advocate fee receive a refund of the court fee.
Our Complaints Procedure – If, you have any queries or concerns about our work then it is important for you to raise them immediately in writing by E-mail or fax 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 endeavor to respond to it in writing within 7 days of receipt. We will attempt to resolve problems and or complaints 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 Hector & Finch 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 Hector & Finch 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 our service. Your continuing instructions will amount to your acceptance of these terms & conditions.
Our Status – We are not solicitors, we do not purport to be solicitors, we are not regulated by the law society or the SRA. We are an organisation that assists and supports landlords that may have difficult tenants. At our sole discretion where we deem a private landlord may not be able to pay for a defended claim and has no means of obtaining justice we will fully fund a claim out of our own company funds. Our aim as an organisation is not to make a profit but to provide a service for landlords who may not be able to obtain legal aid or have funds to pay for legal representation. In such cases we will pay for all court and Counsel fees. We will also provide full support free of charge until the matter is dealt with. Our funding is only available to and applicable for private landlords. We are not a charity nor do we draw funds from the government directly or indirectly.
Contractual obligation – All services provided by Hector & Finch on this website and requested by an individual or organisations will only form a binding agreement upon confirmation by Hector & Finch Such confirmation will take the form of an E-mail, 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 Hector & Finch to proceed in your required service and agree to compensate Hector & Finch against any liabilities incurred by them in acting for you.
General –In a valid complaint or a claim if you are taking action against Hector & Finch, you accept and agree you are not entitled, never the less as an alternative you waive any right to take action against Hector & Finch staff, senior management or solicitors for Hector & Finch whether they are employed by Hector & Finch or instructed by them to act as agents directly, indirectly in part or thereof for you. For avoidance of doubt, you agree you can only bring a complaint or a claim against Hector & Finch. Your continuing instructions will amount to your acceptance of these terms & conditions.
Terms and conditions – You accept and agree without reservation anything said orally or in an E-mail by Hector & Finch which directly contradicts these terms and conditions that these terms and condition shall apply alone. Payment by you for any of the services offered by Hector & Finch 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 Hector & Finch 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.
Disclaimer – Hector & Finch alone will be responsible for the provision of the services under these terms & conditions as set out above. You therefore agree that you will not bring any claim in respect of or in connection with any engagement for the services Hector & Finch provides whether in contract, tort (including negligence), breach of statutory duty or otherwise against any director, member or employee or consultant of Hector & Finch or of any company which is connected with Hector & Finch. Any remedies available to you exclude liability for indirect losses flowing from a breach of duty by a member of Hector & Finch. The types of losses excluded include (but are not limited to) loss of profits, loss of goodwill and loss of opportunity). In all cases, whether in contract or tort, you have one year from the date of awareness of a loss to bring a claim subject to a long-stop of two years from the cause of action accruing. This exclusion does not apply to any liability which cannot be excluded under the law of England and Wales.