What are your terms & conditions?

The following are the Terms and Conditions under which you agree to engage the services of HollandGreen Ltd:

1. Costs and Timescales

At the outset we will provide you with an estimate of the likely costs associated with your project including our fees and VAT. Our fees are quoted excluding the prevailing rate of VAT (currently 20%) and disbursements. All disbursements will be shown separately on your invoice. We will also give you guidance about the likely time-scale for each Stage.

The structure of payments is specified in your estimate or invoice, no variance from this structure is permitted save for the express agreement of HollandGreen Ltd.

The work indicated in each stage is not relative to the fee charged for that Stage. Fees are chargeable for the time HollandGreen devotes to your project. Should you choose to stop work on your project, HollandGreen Ltd reserves the right to calculate the fees due based on the hours logged to your project, not exceeding the full value of the estimate, up until the date we are told to cease work. This will be charged at our current hourly rate of £85 + VAT per hour.

All fees are payable within 14 days from issue of an invoice. HollandGreen Ltd retains the discretion to charge interest on late payments at 8% above base rate per month or part thereof. We may issue court proceedings against you to recover the outstanding debt, interest and our costs.

If a bill is not paid within 14 days, we may not continue dealing with your project until the bill is paid in full and we may not accept further instructions from you on this or any other matter. We will also exercise a lien over any relevant papers, plans or goods until the bill is paid in full.

Any Fixed Fee estimated by HollandGreen is based on an assumption of hours charged at our standard rate of £85+VAT per hour. For example a flat fee of £8500+VAT is based on the assumption of 100 Hours work at £85 + VAT per hour. As such if time spent on a Stage exceeds the estimated time by 20% or over, HollandGreen reserve the right to charge for any additional hours at our standard rate of £85 + VAT per hour in 1 minute increments.

Any work undertaken on an Hourly Rate basis is based on an estimate for the time taken to generate that particular Stage based on previous experience and the assumed complexity of the Project. Whilst our endeavours will be focused on delivering the Stage for the hours estimated if there is more complexity, additional options or more interaction than with a ‘typical project’ there may be a requirement to undertake more hours to deliver the Stage.

Clients can expect to be kept informed of progress on each individual Stage and if it looks likely that there will be in excess of 30% more hours required they will be informed as soon as this situation becomes apparent so that they will have the opportunity to de-scope the project stage if possible or agree to the additional fee.

In agreeing that a design should be submitted to the Council for approval you are confirming that it is considered ‘fit for purpose’. Within reason, significant changes to the design after this point may result in additional chargeable time at our hourly rate. It should be noted that changes to the design after approval may invalidate your Local Authority Planning or Building Regulations approval. We cannot guarantee approval for any submitted application.

We will always explain to you the basis upon which we charge. We will inform you of our hourly rate and give you an estimate of our fees based on that hourly rate. We review our hourly rates from time to time and we will communicate any changes with you.

1a. Expenses

In addition to the fees charged HollandGreen will be reimbursed for all expenses and disbursements properly incurred in connection with the Project. We will maintain records of all such expenses and disbursements and will make these records available to the client on reasonable request.

2. Payments on account and interim billing

Unless otherwise agreed, it is our practice to ask you from time to time for a sum on account of our fees and/or disbursements that we may incur on your behalf. The amount paid on account is generally for between 25% and 50% of the estimated charges for the initial Stage and invoices will be generated at the end of each calendar month thereafter and/or at the end of the Stage – whichever comes sooner.

We expressly reserve the right to render “interim statute bills” where appropriate. An interim statute bill is a final bill for the work done during the period which the bill is state to cover.
What Does this mean – This is simply saying that if a project is put on hold for an extended period – or a client decides not to proceed before finishing any particular stage we will invoice for the hours consumed up to that point.

3. Exclusions

HollandGreen Ltd are not members of The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). We do however employ a number of ARB and RIBA registered Architects.

What Does this mean – We have set up the company with a view to be a breath of fresh air and break away from what we saw as an over-complicated and confusing processes in following the various RIBA stages for residential works. We believe (and hope to have shown!) that it can be made far simpler and less onerous for residential clients. As such whilst we have a team containing registered Architects we are not tied to the cumbersome RIBA process.

HollandGreen Ltd reserves the right to use suitably qualified sub-contractors or any other third parties to fulfill aspects of our work.

You acknowledge that your records may not necessarily be stored or located at HollandGreens premises for the duration of the assignment.

HollandGreen Ltd will endeavor to source, vet and appoint suitably qualified and experienced sub-contractors for any element of the contracted works that they are not able to generate ‘in-house’ but can accept no liability for the quality of work produced by subcontractors and consultants we have instructed on your behalf.

What Does this mean – We very rarely require sub-contractors (external Architects or Technicians) – we have not called upon one in over 2 years. But if we were to, they would have their own insurance and fall under our umbrella.

Local Authority fees are not included in the fee payable to HollandGreen Ltd. Local Authority fees are payable direct to the Council. We may on occasion however pay these fees on a clients behalf to expedite the process of submission and validation of an application. A budget figure will be provided with your quotation.

4. Drawings

All drawings & documentation will be kept on record for six months after which they may well be removed from our archive. Where printed copies of drawings are required, or changes required outside of the quoted works HollandGreen Ltd reserves the right to levy a charge for the cost of generating these.

HollandGreen Ltd excludes responsibility for losses due to work based on dimensions, drawings or other materials supplied by the client, or for losses due to work carried out from drawings reproduced by third parties.

HollandGreen is not responsible for any building work that is carried out using these drawings. All dimensions on drawings or in documents are to be checked on site before work commences. Any discrepancies found in drawings are to be reported to HollandGreen Ltd immediately.

HollandGreen Ltd excludes responsibility for any losses where this procedure is not followed.
All drawings, documents and information remain copyright of HollandGreen Ltd, or remain the property of the supplier of the original material. CAD (dxf/dwg) files will not be supplied to clients and can only be supplied to external agencies with the express permission of one of the Partners.

What Does this mean – This is very standard. We have spent years setting up templates and CAD files that we now use which could be very valuable to a competitor so we will only issues plans as PDFs and not the raw CAD (DWG etc format files). It can also result in problems if kitchen designers, interior designers, or others take our plans and then start working on them. If later there is a problem with a dimension it becomes very difficult to then understand where liability lies.

All physical drawings, notes and documentation or electronic documents produced remain property of HollandGreen Ltd until all fees relating to that work are paid. Copyrights remain with HollandGreen Ltd.

HollandGreen do not accept any responsibility or liability for any work undertaken by Builders, Contractors or other individuals using out of date drawings or drawings not showing Approved by either the Council or notified Authorised Inspector annotations. It is the responsibility of the Client to ensure, at the point where building work commences, that their builder is provided with Approved Plans. Failure to build to approved plans may lead to Council enforcement action for which HollandGreen will not be held responsible.

Should additional detail be required to be generated to satisfy a Party Wall Surveyor this will be undertaken at our usual hourly rate.

5. Your responsibilities

You will provide us with clear, timely, comprehensive and accurate instructions.
You will provide us with information regarding the site / building such as boundary lines, easements, covenants and legal description in a timely manner. HollandGreen Ltd excludes all liability for losses that arise from the Client(s) failure to provide such information.

You will let us know promptly of any changes to your name, address or other contact details and if any other information you have given us has changed.

Your Local Authority or Building Control Department may request that structural, wildlife or similar surveys are carried out by hired professionals. Should this happen, HollandGreen will not cover these costs but will aim to make you aware of these requirements as soon as possible.

HollandGreen will always work closely with clients and the Council Planning Department to generate designs that will be acceptable to both, however we can make no guarantees that Planning Permission or Building Regulation Approval will be granted for your proposed building work.

The client will employ a contractor under separate agreement to undertake the construction or other works. The client will hold the contractor, and not the architect, responsible for the contractors operational methods and for the proper execution of the works.

6. Authority you give us

You expressly give us authority:

  • to take all steps that we consider reasonable in the conduct of your project and to incur disbursements (ie fees to third parties for the conduct of your project)
  • to keep your documents in electronic format only
  • to deliver our invoices to you using electronic communication

7. Our service levels

We pride ourselves in delivering on our level of service. It is our aim to exceed your expectations at all times.  We will update you with progress on your Project regularly and communicate with you in plain language by phone or email. If you prefer a a particular mode of communication please let us know.

If at any time you want an update please ask. Usually we will respond to an email or phone call from you within one working day. If the person dealing with your project plans to be out of the office for more than 3 working days, you will be told in advance who will be covering in their absence.

If at any time you are not happy with any aspect of our service please contact one of our Partners Ben Holland or Stephen Green at ben@hollandgreen.co.uk or stephen@hollandgreen.co.uk

At the end of each Stage of your project we will endeavor to email you with a request to provide feedback on our service. We very much appreciate this feedback – it assists in making continual improvements in our service and tailoring subsequent Stages to fit your particular requirements.

8. Ending our relationship

You may end your instruction to us at any time.

We may decide to stop acting for you only for good reason eg if you do not pay an invoice or any monies requested on account within a reasonable time, if we identify a possible conflict of interest or if the professional relationship has broken down. In any event we will give you reasonable notice that we will stop acting for you.

If we decide we should stop acting for you, you must pay our charges up to that point. If we have agreed an estimate of charges for a Stage our charges will be a proportion of that estimate according to how many hours have been consumed.
If we decide to cease acting for you we will explain possible options to you.

9. Customer protection regulations

If we have met with you away from our office and agreed to undertake your Project or if we have agreed to undertake your project following a telephone conversation or by exchange of emails (or other electronic communication), and if we are acting for you for purposes which are outside your business, the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 apply to our agreement with you. That means that you have the right to cancel our agreement without charge at any time within fourteen days of your acceptance of these terms. If you wish to do so you must inform us of your decision to cancel in writing. Your right to cancel our engagement will not apply if you agree to us beginning work in relation to your Project during the relevant 14 day period.

10. Complaints

We hope that you will not have cause for complaint but if you do, please contact one of our Partners: Ben Holland (ben@hollandgreen.co.uk) or Stephen Green (stephen@hollandgreen.co.uk) who will investigate your complaint.

11. Equality and Diversity

HollandGreen is committed to promoting equality and diversity in all aspects of its practice.

12. The legal contract between us

Delivery of these Terms of Business to you, at any time during the period we are instructed by you, forms part of the contract between us from time to time. Subject to any prior agreement between us these Terms will apply to work undertake by both before and after these Terms have been delivered to you. Any dispute arising from this agreement is to be governed by the law of England and Wales and considered exclusively by the English and Welsh Courts.

HOLLANDGREEN LTD. REGISTERED OFFICE: HollandGreen Ltd: Belmont House, 13 Upper High Street, Thame, Oxfordshire. OX9 3ER

REGISTERED IN ENGLAND AND WALES. COMPANY REG. NO: 07428883 VAT NUMBER: 127609704