- THE COMPANY
1.1. Quantock Ecology Ltd is a private limited company, Companies House registration number 10261056.
1.2 Quantock Ecology Ltd is registered for Value Added Tax (VAT), registration number: GB 265048403.
- REGISTERED OFFICE
2.1. Homefield View North, Prockters Farm, West Monkton, Taunton, Somerset TA2 8QN.
- OUR AIM
3.1. We aim to offer a professional and efficient survey and consultancy service at a fair cost.
- OUR COMMITMENT TO YOU
4.1. We will:
- Give you independent advice
- Provide no-obligation quotations
- Explain our work clearly and avoid using technical ‘jargon’
- Ensure you are advised in writing of any costs associated with our work
- Survey and report with scientific integrity
- TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS
5.1. The following terms and conditions of business (“Terms”) give details of the basis upon which we will provide our consultancy services and should be read in conjunction with any accompanying correspondence.
5.2. Any dispute or legal issue arising from them will be determined by the law of England and Wales and considered exclusively by the English and Welsh Courts.
5.3. Unless otherwise agreed in writing, or unless superseded by a later edition of these Terms, these Terms establish and represent the entire agreement between us and supersede any previous or other agreement and shall apply without variation to all present and any future instructions given to us by you.
5.4. These Terms and any documents referred to in them are made for the benefit of the parties to them and their successors and permitted assigns, and are not intended to benefit, or be enforceable by, anyone else.
5.5. The rights and obligations of the parties shall continue for the benefit of and shall be binding upon their respective successors and assigns.
5.6. We shall not be in breach of these Terms nor liable for delay in performing, or failure to perform, any of our obligations under these Terms if such delay or failure results from events, circumstances or cases beyond our reasonable control.
5.7. Nothing in these Terms is intended to, or shall be deemed to, establish any partnership or joint venture between any of the parties, constitute any party the agent of another party, or authorise any party to make or enter into any commitments for or on behalf of any other party.
5.8. Although your continuing instructions will amount to acceptance of these Terms, it may not be possible for us to start or continue work on your behalf until one copy of them, signed by you, has been returned to us.
- HOURS OF BUSINESS
6.1. The normal hours of opening are between 9.00AM and 5.00PM on weekdays. Messages can be left for us by e-mail outside of these hours and will be responded to within one working day.
- RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR WORK
7.1 We do not accept any responsibility to store your data or files and our work, including any communications between you and us, in hard copy or using digital media. Any storage of your data or files and our work is on the clear understanding that we have the right to destroy your data or files and our work after such period we consider reasonable, which may be less than one year. During our engagement we will not store or make available for retrieval your data or files and our work, whether in hard copy or digital media.
- FEES AND EXPENSES
8.1. Quantock Ecology Ltd is VAT registered and therefore, all of our fees and expenses (“Fees”) are subject to VAT at 20%.
8.2. If we have given you a fixed quote or estimate for our Fees, this will be based on the information available to us now and assumes that our work will not prove to be substantially more complex, require more resources or be more time consuming than is normal for that type of work. We reserve the right to revise our fixed quote or estimate for our Fees if we are required to do work that is additional to that which can be anticipated at the outset, or if you instruct us to carry out further work. If we have to carry out additional work; suffer disruption in our performance because the project is varied by you; because additional services are performed by agreement with you; because of any delay by you in fulfilling your obligations; in taking any steps necessary for the execution of our work; because we are delayed by others (or by events which were not reasonably foreseeable); because of other reasons beyond our control then you shall make an additional payment to us in respect of the additional work carried out and additional resources employed.
8.3. In other cases, our Fees will be calculated mainly by reference to the amount of time actually spent by our surveyors and other staff carrying out any work which we are instructed, expected or required to do on your behalf. This will include time spent travelling to and from our place office or home; meetings with you and others; reading and working on papers; preparing and approving documents and drawings; correspondence; e-mail; making and receiving telephone calls; preparation of any detailed costs calculations. Hourly and daily rates for Fees on a time charging basis are quoted or estimated unique to each instruction to reflect the diverse demands of our work.
8.4. If, for any reason, your instructions do not proceed to completion, then unless we have agreed otherwise in writing, we will be entitled to charge you for our work done, including work of an administrative nature and any expenses incurred. Our minimum Fees in those circumstances is one hundred Pounds Sterling.
8.5. Should you instruct us pursuant to clause 9 of these Terms, and cancel for whatever reason before we have carried out a survey (without prejudice to clause 12 of these Terms), you will be liable to pay an abortive fee of £150, or 50% of our quote or estimate (pursuant to clause 8.2), whichever is the greater, to cover the cost of our consultant not being engaged on a survey, plus any disbursements already incurred (pursuant to clause 9).
9.1. We will not undertake any work without being instructed to do so in writing.
9.2. The only acceptable method of instructing us is to complete and return our survey booking form, in hard copy or online, which constitute your unequivocal agreement to these Terms.
9.3. In the highly unlikely event of any dispute, you accept that a returned e-mail from your account including our survey booking form as an attachment and our original quotation in the e-mail chain, is considered as binding as a physically signed copy.
- LIMITED COMPANIES AND LIMITED PARTNERSHIPS
10.1. When accepting instructions to act on behalf of a limited companies and limited partnerships, we may require a director/partner/controlling shareholder to sign a form of personal guarantee in respect of our Fees. If such a request is refused, we will be entitled to stop acting and to require immediate payment of our Fees incurred to that time.
- CONSUMERS AND DISTANCE SELLING
11.1. If you are a “Consumer” (as defined by regulation 4 of the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 (“Regulations”)) then you will be deemed to have instructed us in accordance with clause 10.
11.2. If these Terms have been entered into as a “Distance Contract” (as defined by regulation 5 of the Regulations) then under normal circumstances, you have a right to cancel your instructions within 14 days of instructing us.
11.2.1 Such cancellation must be made in writing to us.
11.3 If you are a Consumer and cancel in accordance with clause 11.2, we will reimburse any payments received from you, unless you have supplied us with your “Express Request” (as defined by regulation 36 of the Regulations) for us to begin your work immediately or within the 14-day period, pursuant to clause 11.4. Such payment will be made without undue delay and not later than 14 days of receipt of your written cancellation.
11.4. If you are a Consumer and require us to carry out any work within the 14-day period pursuant to clause 12.2, then you must supply us with your Express Request before we can undertake our work.
11.4.1 The following action taken by you shall be understood by us to be your Express Request for us to begin your work: instructing, requesting, or agreeing for us to begin your work in written correspondence (including by e-mail) originating from you, or from an Agent acting for you, in accordance to clause 12 of these Terms.
11.4.2 Usually, that means we will have begun our work within the 14-day period.
11.4.3 For the avoidance of doubt: your cancellation rights under the Regulations will end if we receive your Express Request for to us to begin work within the 14-day period.
11.5 If you are a Consumer, we reserve all rights to recover full payment for our work in circumstances where you attempt to cancel your appointment or require us to cease work after the 14-day period has expired, or in the event you gave your Express Request for us to being your work within 14-day period, pursuant to clause 11.4.
11.5.1 If you are a Consumer and provide your Express Request for us to commence work pursuant to clause 11.4, and we have completed the work as instructed, then we are entitled to charge you our full Fees plus other costs pursuant to clause 8.
11.5.2 If you are a Consumer and provide your Express Request for us to commence work pursuant to clause 11.4, and you then cancel before we have completed our work as instructed, you shall pay us an amount which is in proportion to what has been performed until you have communicated to us your cancellation of our work.
12.1. You are an Agent if you are instructing us on another party’s behalf (“Agent”).
12.2. For example, the Agent might be an architect instructing us on behalf of a client. It could also be a consultant, lawyer, friend, relative, or business associate.
12.3. In the event that the Agent instructs us, then the Agent agrees to Joint and Several Liability for our Fees.
- JOINT AND SEVERAL LIABILITY
13.1. In the event that two or more individuals or parties are instructing us, including Agents instructing us on behalf of their clients, the individuals or parties shall be jointly and severally liable for their respective obligations and liabilities arising under this agreement.
13.2. Quantock Ecology Ltd may take action against, or release or compromise the liability of any person with Joint and Several Liability or grant time or other indulgence without affecting the liability of any other person.
- BILLING AND PAYMENT
14.1. Unless otherwise agreed in writing, a minimum of 50% payment is due immediately upon receipt of your instructions. Any outstanding balance is due on completion of the work/survey.
14.1.2. Any report or final ‘product’ will not be released until payment has been made in full.
14.2. On receipt of your instructions we will normally contact you promptly to obtain a payment over the phone, by credit or debit card. Depending upon the type of card, card issuer and the amount, we may levy a small administrative charge for payments by credit or debit card.
14.3. We require payment in full prior to accepting instructions from or on behalf of overseas clients.
14.4. In all other circumstances, including for example reports and drawings of an urgent nature, we will issue our work to you once we are in receipt of your payment, which must be within 15 days of the tax date of our invoice.
14.5. Invoices shall not be re-assigned without the prior written consent of a director of Quantock Ecology Ltd.
14.6. We are entitled to charge you interest on the amount of our bill until the date of payment, if payment of the bill is not made within 30 days of your invoice tax date. Interest is charged at 8% over the Barclays Bank PLC base lending rate from time to time in force.
14.7. You are liable for any costs (including but not limited to interest; compensation; our Fees; disbursements) involved in recovering outstanding Fees including those levied by the us in accordance with The Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998 as amended and those levied by third parties including but not limited to Debt Collectors, Solicitors and the Courts.
14.8. Interim bills for our Fees and disbursements incurred may be raised at any time during the course of our work on your behalf.
14.9. Alternative payment methods are: bank transfer to our nominated bank account.
14.10. Our nominated bank account details are available upon request.
14.11. We only accept payments in cash made directly into our nominated bank account. Cash payments made directly into our nominated bank account must be confirmed to us in writing, otherwise we have no means of identifying your payment.
14.12. Receipt of your payment does not constitute our acceptance of your instructions and we reserve the right to return your payment and decline to accept your instructions.
14.13. We are under no obligation to release any report or other work until payment has been received in full in accordance with the Terms.
14.14. The title to our intellectual property and copyright covering all work issued by us (whether hard copy or digital media) remains in our ownership until paid for in full, and can be subject to withdrawal from either public or private domain if our payment terms are exceeded. The continued use of our intellectual property, by any party following withdrawal shall be considered a breach of the Terms and copyright.
14.15. All Fees and disbursements for next working day services require payment immediately upon booking for all elements of your quotation including both the service you are booking, our disbursements and the next working day delivery charge.
14.16 We may decide to stop working for you if there is or may be a conflict of interest, where you fail to produce satisfactory evidence of identity, or where there is another good reason (such as failing to pay a bill in accordance with these Terms). We will give you up to 24 hours’ notice in writing (which may be by e-mail) if we decide to stop working for you. If you or we decide that we will no longer work for you, you will pay our Fees up until that point with immediate effect.
14.17 We do not accept payment by instalments unless a director of Quantock Ecology Ltd has agreed this at the outset in writing.
- CIS SCHEME AND RETAINERS
15.1. There will be no CIS deductions in respect to our invoices as the type of work undertaken by us is explicitly excluded from the scheme.
15.2. Retainers will not apply to your instructions. Our invoices are due without deduction, demand or set-off.
16.1. It is our aim to offer you an efficient and effective service at all times and we hope that you will be pleased with the work we do for you. However, if there is any part of our service you are not happy with, please raise your concern in the first instance with the person you are dealing with. We aim to rectify the occasional mistake promptly and at no charge to you. Along with a sincere apology, this action is generally sufficient to satisfy our clients.
16.2. If you still have queries or concerns, please ask the person you are dealing with to escalate your complaint through our formal Complaints Handling Procedure.
16.3. By forwarding any report, survey or other work to a third party (including but not limited to local planning authorities) and thereby using it for its intended purpose, you are deemed to have accepted the quality of such work and shall not be entitled to any set-off or refund.
- DATA PROTECTION
17.1. We will use the information you supply primarily to provide you with our services and for related purposes including: updating and enhancing client records; management and analysis of our company and its performance; statutory returns; legal and regulatory compliance. Our use of this information is subject to your instructions, the Data Protection Act 1998 and our duty of confidentiality. We may sometimes have to give your information to third parties such as your other professional advisors and local authorities and public bodies. You have a right of access to the data we hold about you. We may from time to time send you information we think may be of use to you. If you do not want to receive this information, please notify us in writing.
- LIMITATION OF LIABILITY
18.1. We maintain adequate professional indemnity insurance policies at all times, however, in no circumstances whatsoever, including negligence, shall we be liable to you or any other third party for indirect or consequential loss of revenue, profit or business opportunity (list is not exhaustive).
18.2. You acknowledge and accept that our Fees do not contain a sufficient premium to cover the risk of our unlimited liability and that a limit of liability is therefore reasonable in any and every circumstance or eventuality. Without prejudice to the remainder of this clause, our absolute maximum liability will be limited to an aggregate equivalent to no more than five times our Fees, up to a maximum of fifty thousand Pounds Sterling. We have no further liability to you or any other third party in connection with our work. You agree not to pursue any claim, issue or other legal proceedings against any individual including shareholders, directors and employees of Quantock Ecology Ltd for any reason.
18.3. We will not be liable to you for any losses, damages, costs or expenses (“Losses”) if such Losses are due to the provision of false, misleading or incomplete information or documentation, or due to the acts or omissions of any person other than a member of permanently employed staff at Quantock Ecology Ltd.
18.4 We will not be liable to you for any loss of revenue or profit whether potential or realised, or any potential or realised foregone economic or business opportunity, for any reason.
18.5. Details of our professional indemnity insurance cover and provider are available upon request.
19.1. We will provide you with an estimated programme for our works either in our quotation or shortly after accepting your instructions.
19.2 We will not be liable for any delays in performance caused by circumstances beyond our reasonable control and will be entitled to a time extension for such performance.
19.3 We may subcontract some or all of our obligations to a competent third party.
19.4 Where we request documentation or information from you or other parties we expect to be in receipt of this information within one working day, otherwise this will delay the performance of your work.
- HARD COPIES
20.1. We do not provide paper and other physical or hard digital media copies of our work or communications unless otherwise stated explicitly in our quotation at the outset. All works and communications will be electronic for speed and environmental sensitivity.
21.1. Information provided to us by you or third parties will be relied upon and will not be verified or checked for accuracy by us. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of survey data where there is no easy access to the subject or in the event we are supplied with inadequate documentation or information on which to base our work.
21.2 If we are unable to complete a report compliant to a recognised or industry best practice standard because of an absence or inadequate, a); information supplied by the client b); lack of third party data, goods or services, or c); lack of access to the survey subject, then we reserve the right to release your Report in draft only.
- SITE ACCESS
22.1. You are exclusively responsible for making all necessary notices and arrangements to grant us access to your site, and third-party landholdings (if any), and to secure it after we have left. We require free and unfettered access to relevant areas of your site or property. Access must always be arranged by you in an appropriate time frame and not less than one working day before we are due to visit your site. We do not hold, collect, drop off or post keys.
- SITE PLANS AND DRAWINGS
23.1. Depending upon the type of survey you are instructing, you may need to supply us with a topographical survey drawing in AutoCAD DXF or DWG format showing clearly all salient features of the site in addition to a drawing or plan showing clearly your expectation of the survey area extent. This drawing must be correctly geo-referenced. In the absence of an adequate topographical survey drawing, we may require your authority to procure an Ordnance Survey tile at an appropriate scale.