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Can you start a project without a signed contract?

The Code of Conduct requires from all members to enter an appointment only through a written agreement. There is a high risk in verbal agreements and should always be avoided.

The form of contract that will be used for this agreement depends on the type and size of the project. In the case of a major developer acting as a client there might be a contract that has already been prepared by the client and each consultant/sub-consultant will need to sign before getting on board with the rest of the design team. The terms and conditions of such a contract are set by the client and the consultant is in a disadvantageous position.

With repeated work from a trusted client involving small scale projects, there’s usually an exchange of letters between the client and the consultant confirming the appointment for a new job. This often works on the basis of the terms and conditions of the agreement to have been formally exchanged at some point early in the relationship but having been left aside due to the trust factor. It’s still however best practice to always have a thorough written agreement before committing to an appointment, since the relationship could fall out and financial matters can be hard to resolve without robust written evidence.

Standard 8:
The Landscape Institute expects members to organise and manage their professional work responsibly and with integrity and with regard to the interests of their clients.

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