Hermit Offices Limited (“Hermit”, “we”, “us”, or “our”) provides a facilitation service and an online platform (the “Service”) that connects homeowners (“Homeowner”, “you” or “your” as appropriate) who list part of their property (each an “Office”) for occupation on an ongoing basis by businesses (“Businesses”, “you” or “your” as appropriate). The Service is provided through our site www.Hermitoffices.com (the “site”) and persons who register and use the Site for the Service understand and agree to these terms and conditions and understand that (a) Hermit is not a party to any agreements entered into between Homeowners and Businesses for facilitating use of an Office (an “Occupancy”); and (b) Hermit has no control over any occupancy made through the Site or takes any responsibility for such an occupancy.
We have the right to change these terms and conditions and we will always give you reasonable notice of any changes. Please refer to the Site for our latest copy of these terms and conditions.
2. Definitions of other terms
“Office” (“Office space”, “Hermit office”) means the space in someones home, which shall be used by a business for work purposes.
“Occupancy” means the use of a Hermit office by a business.
“Office Fee” means the agreed monthly payment that the Business makes to the Homeowner for the use of the homeowner’s Office space.
“Service Charge” means the percentage of the Office Fee charged by Hermit to the Homeowner and Business, as calculated by Hermit.
“Indication of Interest” means the initial contact made by a Business (or Homeowner) to a Homeowner (or Business) to indicate that they would be interested in an occupancy with that party.
“Service Misuse” means using the Site and/or Service to contract with a Homeowner or Business (as the case may be) in relation to the use of an Office without completing such contract through the Site.
“Content” means text, graphics, images, electronic conversations or other materials;
“Fraud" means fraud, dishonesty and includes knowingly supplying incorrect information to Hermit and/or the Site, and knowingly benefiting from the Fraud or Misconduct of another user of the Site.
“List” means to make an Office available on the Site.
“Listing” means making an Office available on the Site;
Causing damage whilst using an Office through Hermit, either purposefully or through negligence
Behaving in an offensive manner to our staff or any homeowner or business
Misusing electronic communications, including the use of spam, automated software to collect data from the Site, offensive language or offensive content;
Generating offensive, illicit or unlawful Content or data;
Copying or storing Content or data taken from the Site;
Infringing any rights of any other users of the Site;
Using the Site to sell any goods or service other than offering Office(s) for usage by other users and the provision of any item connected with an occupancy through the Site;
Using the Site and/or Service in a manner that is not for the intended purpose of Homeowners providing Businesses with the use of Office in their home, as determined by Hermit, in our absolute discretion; and Service Misuse.
“Tax” or “Taxes” mean any sales taxes, value added taxes, goods and services taxes, income tax or other taxes that may arise in relation to an occupancy;
“Licence Agreement” means the contractual agreement (i.e. contract) between a Homeowner and Business for usage of an Office in respect of an occupancy and including standard terms as set out here. This document is signed online by both parties, before the start of an occupancy
“Hermit Content” means all Content that Hermit makes available through the Site.
“Your Content” means all Content published by you on the Site and/or supplied for publication through the Service.
When we use the words ‘electronic’ or ‘electronically’ in this agreement we mean any form of message made by any type of telecommunication, digital or information technology device (including the internet, digital television, email and text message).
3. How the Site and Service works
The Hermit site can be used to facilitate the listing of office space (in residential properties), and the listing of businesses looking for office space; with a view to the subsequent use of part of the residential property as space to work by said businesses. A homeowner registers on the site, giving details including capacity, features, location, photos and the date the space is available from, as well as the requested monthly rental fee. Businesses looking for space may browse the office spaces on the site, and if wish to view a space, they can get in contact (after registering on the site with various details about the business and team. Equally, homeowners looking for a business may browse the list of businesses (those which have made their profile public), and can get in contact if they think the business would be a good fit for their space. Once the two parties have met, they can agree on any stipulations and specific details to be included in the license agreement. Once this license agreement is signed by both parties and the first month’s rental fee has been paid, they commence the occupancy.
In accordance with National Planning Policy Guidance, the use of spare space in residential property for business use will be classified as an Ancillary Use. Homeowners agree that for the duration of the occupancy of their property by a business, they continue to live in the property as per usual, and the primary use of the property must remain as a residential dwelling. In addition, both the homeowner and the business must agree not to partake in any activities which would result in disturbance/noise to the surrounding environment. If the authorities take issue with an occupancy and believe that it represents a material change of use (or any other legal issue they may have with an occupancy involving Hermit), they may commence enforcement proceedings. If this happens, the Homeowner must notify Hermit within 24 hours of these proceedings, and subsequently Hermit retains the right to enforce the termination of the occupancy in the following month.
The Site is a platform for Businesses and Homeowners to meet online, with a view to organising an ongoing occupancy using Hermit’s services. We are not an owner or operator of properties and our role is limited to making the Site available, providing the Service and acting as a payment collection agent on behalf of Homeowners. Hermit is not a party to any agreement between a Homeowner and Business for the usage of an Office or Offices.
We accept no liability or responsibility for the accuracy of information provided on the Site by Homeowners, and Homeowners acknowledge and agree that they are responsible for any and all Content and their respective Listings. By making a Listing each Homeowner represents and warrants that any Content and or Listing provided by them (i) will not breach any existing agreements entered into by the Homeowner with any third parties, such as a lease or articles of association; and (ii) will be in compliance with relevant local laws. Hermit has no responsibility for Homeowners complying with existing legal requirements as outlined above.
In order to deliver the Service (such as to confirm an occupancy or verify your identity), we may contact you by telephone, electronically or post using the contact details provided by you (including any electronic address that we agree with you will be used to send you electronic communications). When we use the words ‘electronic’ or ‘electronically’ in this agreement we mean any form of message made by any type of telecommunication, digital or information technology device (including the internet, digital television, email and text message).
You must tell us if your name or contact details change. If you do not tell us, we will continue to use the details you last gave us, and we will not be responsible if we fail to contact you or if we send confidential information to the wrong address using out of date details.
Hermit offers home insurance as part of its service. If you choose to use an insurance policy negotiated by Hermit, you recognise that Hermit does not act as an insurer, but as an intermediary and/or a master policy holder for such insurance, but you will be the insured person. In the event of a claim, you will make your claim from the insurer. Please ensure that you have read and understood our full insurance policy before beginning an occupancy, which we will make available to you in due course.
All Homeowners and Businesses who wish to use the Service are required to register for the Service by using the Site. In using the Service, you agree to provide us with current, accurate and complete information as part of your registration and you will update us of any changes to ensure such information remains current, accurate, and complete. We will create your Hermit account and a profile page for your use of the Site based upon the personal information you provide to us. You may not have more than one Hermit account and we reserve the right to terminate or suspend your account and deny you access to the Site should you create more than one account or in the event any information provided by you proves to be not current, inaccurate, or incomplete.
Unless otherwise agreed, only persons who are 18 or older are eligible to use the Service and any access to or use of the Services by anyone under 18 is expressly prohibited. All Homeowners and Businesses using the Site and the Service represent and warrant that they are 18 or older.
6. Property Responsibility
Responsibility for ensuring a property is appropriate for an occupancy is at all times the responsibility of the respective Homeowner. Each Homeowner and Business using the Service acknowledges that Hermit is not qualified to provide advice on health and safety or fire risk matters. Each Homeowner is responsible for their property’s compliance with any Health & Safety regulations and/or other legal requirements.
Each Homeowner also warrants that he or she has authority for their property to be let and/or licensed to Businesses.
The businesses using Hermit acknowledge that they may not incorporate their business at a Hermit office, and are simply using the Hermit office as a space to carry out their business activities.
As part of the Listing process, all Homeowners will be required to post photographs of their Office or Offices. All photographs relating to your property used on the Hermit site must reflect accurately the nature and extent of the Offices available; ensuring the photographs are accurate is the responsibility of the respective Homeowner.
In the event, you remove your Office(s) from the Site, we will store the photographs for 6 months in case you decide to re-list your Office(s). If you do not re-list your Office(s), we will delete the photos at this time. If you would like us to remove the photographs sooner, please let us know.
Consent to use of Photos – Own Upload
If you choose to upload your own personal images to the Site you are granting us a licence in all jurisdictions to use and publish the images to market your property and/or Office on our site and across our social media channels including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
Consent to use of photos – Use of Hermit photographer:
If requested by you, we will arrange for a professional photographer to take appropriate photographs of your property and/or Office for listing on the Site. The copyright in these photographs will belong to us and we will use these images on our site to promote your property and/or Office, across our social media channels (including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn) and in media promotions. If you do not wish your pictures to be used for any or all of these purposes, please let us know by emailing us at contact@Hermitoffices.com
There is a cost to this professional photography service and we are happy to pay this cost providing you use the Service. In the event that your Office is not made available on the Hermit site for a reasonable length of time following the photography, or you cancel the appointment with the photographer at short notice, you will be liable for this cost (including any cancellation charge) (“Photography Charge”) and we reserve the right to either (a) invoice you in respect of such Photography Charge (with payment due within 14 days of the respective invoice being issued); or (b) deduct such amount from any payment card we may hold from you.
8. Your Content
You acknowledge and agree that you are solely responsible for Your Content generated and published on the Site or directly to any users of the Site or the Service. Hermit reserves the right to remove or amend any Content generated by you and published on the Site.
You confirm that you are the sole owner of any information or Content posted by you and published to the Site. In providing Your Content for the use of the Service, you hereby grant to Hermit an irrevocable and non-exclusive worldwide licence for such content.
We are not liable for any loss arising in relation to any of Your Content. In the event that Hermit suffers any loss in relation to Your Content you are liable and indemnify Hermit in respect of such loss.
9. Organising an occupancy, Fees and Payments
As a homeowner, a business may contact you through the site, giving an Indication of interest, and you may decide whether or not to respond to this. If upon viewing the business details you decide that you would not like to proceed with their Indication of Interest, we will inform them that there is no availability for that property. If you wish to proceed with a potential occupancy, you may converse through the Hermit site, and organise to meet at your property, for the business to view the property, and to discuss any potential stipulations or specifics of a potential occupancy. If you both decide to proceed with the occupancy; you stipulate the terms of the occupancy in Hermit’s License Agreement - this will include the monthly rental fee, the start date of the occupancy, as well as any other potential stipulation. Once both have signed the License Agreement online, Hermit will confirm the Occupancy with you and request payment from the Business for the deposit (equal to one months Office Fee). The License Agreement will be binding from the time the contract is signed online.
We will act as a payment collection agent of the Homeowner for any occupancy and will accept payments of the Office Fee from the Business on behalf of the relevant Homeowner (as well as the Service charge paid by the Homeowner, which Hermit keeps). We will also charge Homeowners the Service Charge for any organised occupancy using the Site as consideration for providing the Service and the use of the Site. The structure and specifics of this Service charge will be outlined in the specific licence agreements.
If you are a Business and you choose to enter into an occupancy, you agree and understand that you will be required to enter into a License Agreement with the Homeowner in respect of that occupancy and you agree to accept any terms, conditions, rules and restrictions associated with the License Agreement. You agree to pay the Office Fee, together with any Service Charge to Hermit (acting on behalf of the Homeowner) at the agreed payment date, as per your License Agreement for the occupancy.
Homeowners and Businesses will be required to provide their payment card details and/or bank account details to Hermit and/or a third party payment service provider retained by the Company (the “Payment Provider”) for payment for occupancies. This may require registering with the Payment Provider and agreeing to any terms of service of the Payment Provider.
In the event details are provided to the Payment Provider, please note that Hermit is not a party to any agreement between you and the Payment Provider.
A Business may withdraw an Indication of Interest or potential occupancy at any time before the License Agreement is signed by both parties, and Hermit will cancel the potential occupancy. An occupancy cannot be cancelled by a Business after the signing of the License Agreement, other than with the consent of the Homeowner. After the License Agreement has been signed by both parties, the cancelling/termination of an occupancy will be subject to the rules outlined in the specific License Agreement.
A Homeowner may cancel an occupancy up until the signing of the License Agreement. If a Homeowner cancels an occupancy after the signing of the License Agreement (a Homeowner Cancellation), Hermit will refund the Office Fee and the Service Charge to the Business for such occupancy within a commercially reasonable time of the cancellation. In the event of a Homeowner Cancellation, the Homeowner will be liable to Hermit for the Service Charge.
In certain circumstances, Hermit may decide in its absolute discretion, that it is necessary to cancel an occupancy (for example, but not in any way limited to, reasons of security, criminal activity or following an event that is outside Hermit’s control). Businesses and Homeowners agree that Hermit will not have any liability for any such cancellation and Service Charge will be payable in the event of such a cancellation.
11. Account Deactivation
We may terminate this agreement and deactivate your account without notice, and terminate your right to use the Site as a Homeowner or a Business in the event of:
Inactivity of your account for a period of 2 years;
The death of a Homeowner or a Business;
If we reasonably believe that you have committed an act of Service Misuse, Fraud or Misconduct against us or any Homeowner or Business.
We may also terminate this agreement and deactivate your account if you request to receive communications from us in a manner or form that is not possible for us to deliver the Service to you.
In the event of a deactivation for Service Misuse, Fraud or Misconduct, you shall be liable and indemnify us for any loss arising as a result of such Fraud, Service Misuse and/or Misconduct including but not limited to loss of revenue and/or profits, legal fees and other costs.
Where we have reasonable grounds for suspecting that you have engaged in Service Misuse, you shall be liable and indemnify us for the respective Service Charge (as appropriate) as though the transaction had been made through the Site and we reserve the right to: (a) invoice you for the respective Service Charge (as appropriate and with payment due within 14 days of the respective invoice being issued); or (b) deduct such amount from any payment card we may hold from you.
Homeowners understand and agree that they are solely responsible for determining any applicable Tax arising from the Office Fee, Taxes that should be included in the Office Fee, any reporting requirements relating to Tax and payment of any Tax to the relevant authority. Hermit does not at any time offer Tax-related advice to any Homeowners or Businesses.
Hermit reserves the right to issue a valid VAT invoice to Businesses and Homeowners as may be necessary or applicable.
Businesses must leave any property and/or Office(s) used during an occupancy in the condition as at the commencement of the occupancy, and accept that they are responsible for any damage arising during the course of an occupancy. Businesses are also responsible for any damage caused by individuals who may be invited to the property and/or Office(s) during an occupancy by the relevant Business. Each Business agrees to pay the cost of any damaged items including the cost of any replacement with an equivalent item. Upon being notified of a claim and given 72 hours to respond, the payment for such damage will be charged to and deducted from any payment card details held by Hermit and/or the Payment Provider. In the event that recovery is not possible for any reason, we will issue an invoice in respect of the damage with payment for such damage due within 14 days of the invoice being issued.
Businesses and Homeowners involved in an occupancy agree to assist Hermit in good faith and take all reasonable action as may be requested by Hermit, in connection with any claims or complaints made by a Homeowner and/or a Business.
15. Limitation of Liability
We are not liable for any loss arising in relation to an occupancy. Any contractual, tortious or other liability relating to an occupancy is between the relevant Homeowner and Business.
We will not be liable for any loss resulting from providing the Service, except for loss caused by our own negligence or wilful misconduct. In the event that we are liable, the limit of our liability shall be the value of the relevant Office.
We will not be liable in relation to a Homeowner’s property including, but not limited to, any loss arising in connection with the safety, suitability or usage of the property.
Should a dispute arise between a Homeowner and a Business in relation to a License Agreement, the Homeowner and Business agree to use best endeavours to resolve such dispute and appoint us to mediate any dispute that arises. Any mediation undertaken by us shall be non-binding and you hereby release us from any and all liability in connection with such dispute and agree that we will not be liable or responsible in any way in respect of that dispute.