Consent to spend

A sample consent to spend letter. Instructions to proceed with consent to spend are sometimes referred to as 'if' contracts, and usually take the following form:

'if you commence works pending preparation of the contract documents, then we will reimburse you your reasonable costs should the contract not be entered into.'

These agreements are legally binding contracts which pre-date and are superseded by the principal contract when it is executed. They must be entered into by a duly authorised representative of the party procuring the works. Consultants often make the mistake of issuing such letters on behalf of their clients. Unless the practitioner has authority to enter into contracts as the agent of his client, he or she should not sign such letters, but should leave it to the client to do so.