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1.       Definitions and Interpretation

1.1      In the booking form and these terms and conditions that combine to form the Agreement, unless the context otherwise requires and in addition to the terms defined in the booking form, the following expressions have the following meanings:

“Deposit” means an advance payment to be made by the Customer to the Venue Owner under Clause 2;

“Event” means the event or function which the Customer intends to host at the Venue subject to the terms and conditions of this Agreement, as detailed in the booking form;

“Hire Fee” means the sum payable by the Customer for the hire of the Venue as determined under the booking form of this Agreement;

“Hire Term” means the duration of the Venue hire as detailed in the booking form.

“House” means the house situated on and forming part of the Venue in which the Customer and its invitees will use as accommodation throughout the Hire Term;

“Venue” means the House of the Northern Gate, including the House and associated garden grounds, forming part of the Dunnet Estate, Caithness;

“Venue Hire” means the hire of the Venue which shall be subject to the terms and conditions of this Agreement, as detailed in the booking form.


2.       Price and Payment

2.1      The Hire Fee is detailed in the booking form, including VAT where stated. It is non-refundable save as stated below.

2.2      A Deposit of 50% of the total Hire Fees is due and payable immediately on booking. Once this initial Deposit has been paid, the Venue shall be reserved for the Customer for the agreed Hire Term, subject to the terms and conditions of this Agreement. (For Events where the start date of the Hire Term is more than 12 months after the date of this Agreement, we can discuss flexible options for Deposit payment)

2.3      The balance of the Hire Fees plus Good Housekeeping Deposit is payable on the later of the booking date and three months before the start date of the Hire Term.

2.4      The Venue Owner accepts payment by bank transfer or card with details provided separately.

2.6      A Good Housekeeping Deposit is payable to the Venue Owner together with the Hire Fee. The amount of the Good Housekeeping Deposit is detailed in the booking form. The Good Housekeeping Deposit will be used by the Venue Owner in the event of damage to the Venue, including fixtures and fittings. If any retention of the Good Housekeeping Deposit over £500 is needed, the Venue Owner will evidence of the costs incurred. If no damage, the Venue Owner will return the Good Housekeeping Deposit to the Customer within 30 days of the end of the Hire Term.


3.       Accommodation at the Venue

3.1      This Agreement confers on the Customer a right to occupy the Venue for the Hire Term for the purposes of the Event. In terms of section 12, and schedule 4, paragraph 8, of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1988 it does not create an ‘assured tenancy’.

3.2      The Customer must personally reside at the accommodation during the Hire Term.  Assignees and sub-tenants are prohibited.

3.3      No more than the Maximum Guest Number are permitted at the Venue at any given time other than up to four additional day guests who may not stay at the Venue overnight. 

3.4      The Venue Owner or their agents may enter the property at any reasonable time and may require compliance with this contract or vacation of the Venue.

3.5      The Customer shall be required to vacate the Venue at the end of the Hire Term.


4.      Restrictions on Use of the Venue (unless express written permission is provided by the Venue Owner)

4.1      Stag parties: Stag and hen parties (or similar) are not permitted at the Venue and the Venue Owner reserves the right to refuse admission to the property or to ask the Customer and guests to vacate the property with immediate effect if the Customer fails to adhere to this condition.

4.2      Furniture: The Customer may not move any furniture in the property or make any fixings or bring additional equipment into the property.

4.3      Gas cylinders: The Customer may not at any time have gas cylinders in the Venue nor any other containers of substances which are noxious, corrosive, toxic, explosive or hazardous.

4.4      Animals: The Customer may not, at any time, allow live animals into the Venue unless agreed in writing.  This prohibition does not include guide dogs for the blind, which are permitted at all times.

4.5      Candles: The Customer may not at any time use candles or other lighted flames inside the Venue other than a continuously monitored fire in the lounge fireplace. 

4.6      Fireworks: Fireworks and Chinese Lanterns are not permitted due to the risk of fire in the landscape.

4.7      Commercial purposes: The Venue is provided for private purposes. No sale of goods or services may take place during the Event.

4.8      Parking: Parking areas for contractors, suppliers and guests must be adhered to, so that access is available to emergency vehicles at all times.

4.9      Nuisance: The Customer shall not use the Venue or act in any way on the property in such a way as to cause any nuisance or damage to any adjoining or neighbouring property or such properties’ occupiers or users including keeping noise to reasonable levels. 

4.10   Recording and Broadcasting: No recording of sound or video for commercial reasons will be permitted during the Event.

4.11   Accidents and damage: Accidents and damage howsoever caused must be reported to the Venue Owner immediately so that appropriate action can be taken to minimise permanent damage and make the house fit for new guests.

4.12   Catering: If the Customer wishes to use a third-party catering service, the Customer must submit details of that service to the Venue Owner prior to the start date of the Hire Term for approval.

4.13   No-smoking: The non-smoking area comprises the House and courtyard and walled garden. Smoking elsewhere is permitted. If prohibited smoking is detected following the Event, the full Good Housekeeping Deposit will be withheld. The Customer will ensure that all residues are cleared up and removed.

4.14   Responsibility for guests: The Customer are responsible for the behaviour and actions of all guests, suppliers and contractors.  This obligation extends to noise levels, general behaviour and prohibition and management of disorderly conduct. Inappropriate behaviour may result in the event being stopped early or cancelled and guests being asked to leave the premises. Any damage caused by a guest is the responsibility of the Customer.

4.15   Departure: Upon departure, the Customer or their representatives should ensure that all external doors are locked, and windows secure are secure and locked. They should leave rubbish in the respective bins provided by the front gate. They should leave keys in the secured box provided at the rear entrance or with the Venue Owner’s representative as agreed.


5.      Liability and Insurance

5.1      The Customer will be liable to the Venue Owner for any damage or loss sustained by the Venue Owner or any third party as a result of any wilful or negligent act or omission by the Customer, their contractors, staff or invitees.

5.2      The Venue Owner accepts no liability for loss, damage to personal belongings, injury or accident that may occur as a consequence of the Customer’s use of the Venue.

5.3      The Venue Owner recommends that the Customer take out event insurance and that all guests have appropriate cover for their own personal belongings.

5.4      If an Event beyond domestic use of the Venue is specified (e.g. a wedding), the Customer must hold public liability insurance for the event with a minimum indemnity limit of £2,000,000 for any one occurrence. Evidence of insurance must be provided prior to the Hire Term.


6.       Force Majeure

6.1      The Venue Owner shall not be liable for any failure or delay in performing its obligations under this Agreement where that failure or delay results from any cause that is beyond the Venue Owner’s reasonable control.  Such causes include, but are not limited to: power failure, internet service provider failure, strikes, lock-outs or other industrial action by third parties, riots and other civil unrest, fire, explosion, flood, storms, earthquakes, subsidence, acts of terrorism (threatened or actual), acts of war (declared, undeclared, threatened, actual or preparations for war), epidemic or other natural disaster, or any other event that is beyond the Venue Owner’s reasonable control.

6.2      If any event described under this Clause occurs that is likely to adversely affect the Venue Owner’s performance of any of its obligations under this Agreement:

6.2.1 The Venue Owner shall inform the Customer in writing as soon as is reasonably possible and provide details of new dates or availability as necessary;

6.2.2 The Venue Owner’s obligations under this Agreement shall be suspended and any time limits that it is bound by will be extended accordingly (where such extension is reasonably possible);

6.2.3 If an event outside of the Venue Owner’s reasonable control occurs and the Customer wishes to cancel this Agreement, the Customer may do so in accordance with their right to cancel this Agreement;


7.       Rescheduling Venue Hire or Cancelling this Agreement

7.1      The Customer may cancel the Venue Hire for any reason at any time subject to the following conditions:

7.1.1 If the Customer cancels more than 3 months before the start date of the Hire Term, the Venue Owner shall refund all sums paid less an admin fee of 20% of the Hire Fee

7.1.2 If the Customer cancels less than 3 months before the start date of the Hire Term, then the Hire Fees will remain payable by the Customer

7.2      The Customer may request a change of date for the Venue Hire but this may be treated as a cancellation subject to the terms above. The Venue Owner will advise the Customer of the policy on being given notice in which instance the Customer may opt to retain their existing booking.

7.3      In the event that, following cancellation or rescheduling, the Venue Owner is able to obtain another booking for the proposed Hire Term, the Venue Owner may at their discretion refund a greater amount of the Hire Fees than stipulated in this Clause, subject to any costs that the Venue Owner may have incurred in obtaining another booking.

7.4      The Venue Owner may cancel the Venue Hire for unforeseen circumstances and, in such event, any sum(s) paid will be refunded to the Customer as soon as is reasonably possible, and in any event, within 14 calendar days of the Venue Owner’s cancellation notice.


8.       Other Important Terms

8.1      The Venue Owner shall have the right to transfer (assign) its obligations and rights under this Agreement to a third party (this may happen, for example, if the Venue Owner sells the property).  If this occurs the Customer shall be informed by Venue Owner in writing.  The Customer’s rights under this Agreement will not be affected and the Venue Owner’s obligations under this Agreement will be transferred to the third party who shall remain bound by them.

8.2      The Customer may not transfer (assign) their obligations and rights under this Agreement without the Venue Owner’s express written consent.

8.3      This Agreement is between the Customer and the Venue Owner.  It is not intended to benefit any other person or third party in any way and no such person or party will be entitled to enforce any provision of this Agreement.

8.4      If any of the provisions of this Agreement are found to be unlawful, invalid or otherwise unenforceable by any court or other authority, that / those provision(s) shall be deemed severed from the remainder of this Agreement.  The remainder of this Agreement shall be valid and enforceable.

8.5      No failure or delay by either Party in exercising any of its respective rights under this Agreement means that such right has been waived, and no waiver by either Party of a breach of any provision of this Agreement means that either Party will waive any subsequent breach of the same or any other provision.

8.6      This Agreement constitutes the entire agreement for the hire of the Venue by the Venue Owner.


9.      Governing Law and Jurisdiction

9.1      This Agreement and the relationship between Customer and the Venue Owner shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the law of Scotland and shall be subject to the jurisdiction of the Courts of Scotland.

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