Statutory Declaration procedure- solicitor to witness it?

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  • Statutory Declaration procedure- solicitor to witness it?

    I had a tenant leave one the properties I manage owing £700 in rent. There is £160 deposited in the DPS. The landlord has decided not to try to get the rent from the tenant but I have requested that she receives the £160 deposit.She has not responded to the initial email from the DPS. I am now entering the single claims process and have had a form from the DPS. Most of it is straightforward but a solicitor/commissioner for oaths/magistrate need to sign and stamp the form.
    Does anyone know the best way to go about this and how much it's like to cost? e.g. is it worth pursuing to get just £160 for the landlord ?
    Thanks for any advice.
    Alidee

  • #2
    Originally posted by alidee View Post
    I had a tenant leave one the properties I manage owing £700 in rent. There is £160 deposited in the DPS. The landlord has decided not to try to get the rent from the tenant but I have requested that she receives the £160 deposit.She has not responded to the initial email from the DPS. I am now entering the single claims process and have had a form from the DPS. Most of it is straightforward but a solicitor/commissioner for oaths/magistrate need to sign and stamp the form.
    Does anyone know the best way to go about this and how much it's like to cost? e.g. is it worth pursuing to get just £160 for the landlord ?
    Thanks for any advice.
    Alidee
    I believe it is a fixed fee of £5 for the 1st document and an extra £2 for any attachments. Not a huge amount. Many high street solicitors will do it on a 'walk-in' basis.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Snorkerz View Post
      I believe it is a fixed fee of £5 for the 1st document and an extra £2 for any attachments. Not a huge amount. Many high street solicitors will do it on a 'walk-in' basis.
      Indeed, just £5 - I had to do it myself yesterday... worth phoning to confirm first though.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Snorkerz View Post
        I believe it is a fixed fee of £5 for the 1st document and an extra £2 for any attachments. Not a huge amount. Many high street solicitors will do it on a 'walk-in' basis.
        Yes, except that the £5 fee is per signatory- i.e. cost is £10 if two declarants sign the same Statutory Declaration.
        JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
        1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
        2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
        3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
        4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
          Yes, except that the £5 fee is per signatory- i.e. cost is £10 if two declarants sign the same Statutory Declaration.
          Jeffrey, is it compulsory for solicitors to provide this service? The effort/hassle factor involved clearly can't reflect hourly rates etc, as evidenced by my solicitor waiving the fee until I pressed a fiver into her hand!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Ericthelobster View Post
            Jeffrey, is it compulsory for solicitors to provide this service? The effort/hassle factor involved clearly can't reflect hourly rates etc, as evidenced by my solicitor waiving the fee until I pressed a fiver into her hand!
            No, solicitors do not have to.
            The fee is fixed by law. It cannot be increased by the solicitor!
            JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
            1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
            2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
            3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
            4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

            Comment


            • #7
              Many thanks for all your replies. Am quite shocked that they only charge £5 but certainly not complaining
              Would any solicitor provide this service or would it need to be one specialising in Housing Law etc?
              Thanks
              Alidee

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by alidee View Post
                Would any solicitor provide this service or would it need to be one specialising in Housing Law etc?
                1. Any solicitor who holds a current Practising Certificate [NB: but not a non-solicitor employed by a solicitor] will be able to do it.
                2. Also be aware that the solicitor who administers the Statutory Declaration cannot give legal advice about it.
                3. The Declarant's own solicitor cannot fulfil the role, either; it has to be someone not involved with the Declarant as client.
                JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
                  The Declarant's own solicitor cannot fulfil the role, either; it has to be someone not involved with the Declarant as client
                  Really? The one I just got signed was done by my own solicitor; I've only ever used her for conveyancing though and haven't seen her in ~2 years, and she has never had anything to do with my lettings stuff. Should she still not have signed it under those circumstances, then?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The following persons are entitled to exercise the powers of commissioners for oaths:

                    Solicitors

                    Barristers

                    Fellows of the Institute of Legal Executives

                    Licensed Conveyancers

                    Notaries

                    Justices of the Peace, Judges and some court officials whilst not technically Commissioners for Oaths (unless they otherwise qualify) can also administer oaths but cannot (if I recall correctly) charge a fee.

                    It is not quite the case that your own lawyer may not act as a Commissioner for Oaths for you, but rather that he may not if he or his firm is acting in the matter to which the oath or declaration relates.

                    Historical note

                    Before section 81 of the Solicitors Act 1974 came into force solicitors were not automatically entitled to be Commissioners for Oaths. They had to apply to the Lord Chancellor and had to wait two years after qualification before they could apply. After the section came into force solicitors who had not applied to the Lord Chancellor were entitled to exercise the powers of a Commissioner for Oaths, but were not Commissioners for Oaths, describing themselves in documents as "a solicitor empowered to administer oaths".

                    Section 113 of the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990 extended the power to other lawyers. Section 183 of the Legal Services Act 2007 replaces that section though whether it is yet in force I have no idea.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Ericthelobster View Post
                      Really? The one I just got signed was done by my own solicitor; I've only ever used her for conveyancing though and haven't seen her in ~2 years, and she has never had anything to do with my lettings stuff. Should she still not have signed it under those circumstances, then?
                      Eek! I wouldn't have. In the Solicitors' Code of Conduct 2007, it says [Rule 10.03], "You can administer Oaths or affirmations or take declarations if you are a solicitor or an REL [= Registered European Lawyer]. You must not do so where you or your firm is* acting for any party in the matter."
                      Her excuse might be that she was not acting for any party in the matter, even though she had previously acted for you.

                      *- the grammar sounds odd, doesn't it (you...is)? I'd have written 'where you act or your firm is acting...' or 'where you are (or your firm is) acting...'
                      JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                      1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                      2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                      3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                      4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
                        Her excuse might be that she was not acting for any party in the matter, even though she had previously acted for you.
                        Not an excuse, but a valid reason.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The normal arrnagement for solicitors is that you pop across the road to A.N.Other firm, pop a quid into their charity tin and ask for them to witness. You then return the favour when required.

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