Terminating letting agency but i want to keep tenant's please advise

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    #16
    Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
    The whole idea of the UTCCR is to protect people from unfair terms whether they are aware of them or not. It is recognised that consumers often fail to read contract terms or are not given a proper opportunity to read them, and, if they read them, that they do not understand them fully. The only exception is if the provision is individually negotiated and it is for the supplier to show that that was the case by proving that the provision was not pre-drafted.
    I don't think this is as far as the statute goes. In English Law there's still the liberty of parties to enter into a bad (but valid) deal. As long as there is no misleading, no hiding of terms, nothing to that extent, I think you will fail in trying to argue that you were simply too lazy to read through a document so it is not binding upon you.

    Comment


      #17
      I helped a friend get out of her agreement with an estate agent. Same sort of reasons as the OP, but the contract had been running for 3 years so the agent had had a nice earner for a good while.

      She sent a letter stating the terms of the contract was unfair and that she would not pay them £600 (same figure!) but she would give them the two months notice. The estate agents did not pursue a claim against her for not paying the £600.

      Comment


        #18
        Originally posted by mattl View Post
        I don't think this is as far as the statute goes. In English Law there's still the liberty of parties to enter into a bad (but valid) deal. As long as there is no misleading, no hiding of terms, nothing to that extent, I think you will fail in trying to argue that you were simply too lazy to read through a document so it is not binding upon you.
        Lady Hale summed the position up in the bank charges case:

        As a very general proposition, consumer law in this country aims to give the consumer an informed choice rather than to protect the consumer from making an unwise choice.

        The general point is therefore not whether the consumer was misled nor whether he took the trouble to read the contract, but whether he understood the full implications of the contract. The UTCCR though goes further than that so that the question to be asked is: Is the term fair? The wording of regulation 5 is clear:

        5. (1) A contractual term which has not been individually negotiated shall be regarded as unfair if, contrary to the requirement of good faith, it causes a significant imbalance in the parties' rights and obligations arising under the contract, to the detriment of the consumer.

        (2) A term shall always be regarded as not having been individually negotiated where it has been drafted in advance and the consumer has therefore not been able to influence the substance of the term.


        In a given contract either a term is unfair or it is not. It cannot be fair where the consumer has read the contract, but unfair where the consumer has not read the contract.

        It is only when a term which would otherwise be unfair is genuinely individually negotiated that it stands a chance of being enforceable.

        Comment


          #19
          Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
          In a given contract either a term is unfair or it is not. It cannot be fair where the consumer has read the contract, but unfair where the consumer has not read the contract.

          It is only when a term which would otherwise be unfair is genuinely individually negotiated that it stands a chance of being enforceable.
          I agree with you on those points. However, I struggle to see how this termination term could be deemed unfair. That's the simple matter of it. It isn't particularly onerous or puts the consumer into an unbearable situation. It is a simple term of the contract that the consumer is free to give notice at any time, but needs to pay a final fee for this.

          I really struggle to argue unfairness with this.

          Comment


            #20
            It's possibly disproportionate.
            Assuming a rent of (say) £600 a month, with the agent taking 10% i.e. £60 a month, the termination fee is 10 times the monthly fee.
            That's a lot (although it isn't so onerous as to make it automatically a non-starter).

            The practical problem is that the issue of whether the landlord was acting as a consumer and or the contract contained unfair terms will only be decided in court -
            if the agent sues for the fee on the basis of the contract as the OP has declined to pay and the landlord uses either argument as a defence.
            That's a lot of time and energy.
            When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
            Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

            Comment


              #21
              I agree. I think it's safe to say the agent would probably not sue on the £600 unless he is particularly cross that he is being left. But then you never know - they may need the money and have someone who does cheap small claims track cases for them.

              My advice can't be based on the chances of being sued for something. It will have to be on the basis of the chances of winning in court

              Comment


                #22
                On a practical level, there comes a point where £600 plus costs
                is less than the pain of continuing.

                In this case, I'd probably decline the £600 initially,
                and, if they sued, I'd pay it.
                When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                Comment

                Latest Activity

                Collapse

                Working...
                X