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Architect Quote To Pay Or Not

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getpooh | 15:41 Fri 26th Jun 2020 | Law
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I got a quote from an architect and they said its.
A ) To measure existing and prepare as existing drawings: £700 plus VAT
B) To prepare design drawings and submit a planning application to the local authority: £600 plus VAT
They did the existing drawings (A) and the design drawings of part B but did not put in planning submission as the project was spiralling out of control and I couldn't afford it.
I never asked them at any time to submit planning permission. However they have charged me for both parts A and B total £1300. I don't believe I should pay for any of part B as it clearly says "and" submit planning application. I have offered to pay part A but not part B. What does the law say?

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I'd send a polite reply to say that you do not accept the invoice as not all of part B was carried out and would therefore like an appropriate reduction. It would have probably taken them a couple of hours to fill out the forms and submit on line, so don't expect too much of a reduction.
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Many thanks for that. I was considering to pay for all of part A and negotiating a lower fee for part B. But I don't see why I should have to pay anything for part B as my understanding is as it says in the contract "prepare design drawings AND submit a planning application" which they haven't done. I'm willing to pay all of part A but not part B.
No but they have done the drawings which is 80% of part B. You'd be on a sticky wicket trying not to pay for all of part B
Did you specifically tell them not to do any of Part B when you accepted the quote and entered the contract?
Did you prevent them from submitting the planning?
Check online with your local authority to establish the fee for submitting a planning application and deduct that plus a couple of hours work for filling in the form. We have to assume the design and drawings element of part B is complete although not acceptable to you, so you might want to argue that work was proceeding without your approval. It depends on how it actually happened.
I'd also check with Local Authority that planning permission has actually been submitted and what's it status.
TonyV, getpooh has stated that the plans were not submitted to the council.
barry do you know if you need to submit plans for planning permission? Can you still submit for outline planning permission?
The usual procedure is for the architect to carry out A and B, but ask you to provide payment for the Planning Application fee as an extra cost.
This is largely because, until the plans for submission are finished, the fee can't be determined. (It's on a sliding scale depending on the size and scope of the work to be done. So it's left until the time of actual submission.)

The only saving here for the architect is the time needed to fill out the form.
To be fair, you did enter a contract with them when you told them to go ahead with A and B. The B part represents a great deal of work with design etc. This surely should be paid for.
Maybe they'll give you a token reduction for the sake of goodwill, but I honestly don't think it would amount to much.
They've done their job. Surely you must agree that they deserve paying.
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They have definably not submitted any form of planning permission at any time. Same question. The contract they sent me says "prepare design drawings AND submit a planning application" £600 plus VAT. Do I have to pay anything for this part at all as they have not fulfilled their contract. I am willing to pay the part "To measure existing and prepare as existing drawings" £700 plus VAT as they did that.
Probably best to settle up and make sure you get all drawings.
I think you're making a very good point getpooh. After all if, say, a garage quoted you £1200 for replacing your car tyres, front and back, and only did the front you wouldn't pay £1200 would you.

Whether "learned friends" would agree is another matter.
If you don’t pay the majority of part B, the architect could use the small claims court to regain their money. I’ve already explained that the actual submission part is quite minor. If I were the architect I’d have no problem making a claim against you.
If they shouldn't have sent in an application, ask them what the charge for (B) includes.

If it includes an application, challenge it and ask for a reduction and a new invoice.

If it doesn't include an application and the inclusion on the invoice was a mistake, ask for a new invoice and pay the whole amount.
‘ If it includes an application, challenge it and ask for a reduction and a new invoice’

I already made that suggestion.
I was giving the options dependant upon the answers to my suggested question to the architect.
They gave a quote to do a job and did that job as far as they were allowed to. The only reason they haven't submitted a planing application is you prevented them from doing so as you decided not to proceed. You admit they did the vast majority of the work for Part B. The actual work in submitting it (filling in some forms and sending it off) is pretty trivial. The work is in the designs. It's not the architect's fault you chose to cease the application but you seek to link the work with the word AND to avoid paying them for work they legitimately did?

Unless there was a specific clause giving you the right to cancel unilaterally at any point without having to pay Part B, I think they will be entitled to be paid and the best you could do would be to force them to actually submit an application pointlessly to complete the work first. It would be far better to agree a moderate reduction but I don't think they are under any obligation to agree it.
As others have said, the act of submitting the Planning Application (Forms and Plans can be quickly e-mailed to the Planners) takes about 5 minutes.

Preparing the Plans and forms ready for submission takes about 30 minutes.

Preparing the scheme (plans, reports, etc.) for submission can take many hours.

We are well used to clients who, starting off with big proposals, suddenly find that the cost of realising their dreams far outstrips their budget. Unfortunately, that also means that we are similarly acquainted with clients who wish to find reasons not to pay for the services they have received.
I imagine you received the design drawings before you decided you couldn't afford the cost of the scheme (it is unlikely that you would have pulled the plug after seeing the Existing drawings, only)?

As it stands I would offer to pay your Architect 'something' towards (B) because they stand a pretty good chance of securing a claim against you in the Small Claims Court.

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