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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 46184
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I am having an issue with a virtual office company that I

Resolved Question:

Hi,I am having an issue with a virtual office company that I have been hiring virtual office space from for seven years.I signed an agreement 30th April for a monthly virtual office hire of £82 per month - the agreement stated start date 1st May 2015 end date 31st July 2015. I initially wanted this for a three month period only but have been paying now to date monthly. I now want to vacate the office imminently but they are saying that I have to wait until 1st January 2017 because my current contract runs until January and cannot be cancelled before this date and that this is a rolling renewal as per my original contracted terms. I have detailed the terms and conditions section below:2. This Agreement
2.1
Comply with House Rules: The Client must comply with any
House Rules which the Provider imposes generally on users of the
designated Centre. Such rules are developed and/or imposed to protect
Client’s use of the designated Centre for work. The House Rules vary
from country to country and from Centre to Centre and these can be
requested locally.
2.2 AUTOMATIC RENEWAL: THIS AGREEMENT LASTS FOR THE
PERIOD STATED IN IT AND THEN WILL BE EXTENDED AUTOMATICALLY
FOR SUCCESSIVE PERIODS EQUAL TO THE CURRENT TERM BUT NO
LESS THAN 3 MONTHS (UNLESS LEGAL RENEWAL TERM LIMITS APPLY)
UNTIL TERMINATED BY THE CLIENT OR BY THE PROVIDER PERSUANT
TO SECTION 2.3. ALL PERIODS SHALL RUN TO THE LAST DAY OF THE
MONTH IN WHICH THEY WOULD OTHERWISE EXPIRE. THE FEES ON
ANY RENEWAL WILL BE AT THE THEN PREVAILING MARKET RATE.
2.3
CANCELLATION: EITHER THE PROVIDER OR THE CLIENT CAN
TERMINATE THIS AGREEMENT AT THE END DATE STATED IN IT, OR AT
THE END OF ANY EXTENSION OR RENEWAL PERIOD, BY GIVING AT
LEAST THREE MONTHS WRITTEN NOTICE TO THE OTHER. HOWEVER,
IF THIS AGREEMENT, EXTENSION OR RENEWAL IS FOR THREE MONTHS
OR LESS AND EITHER THE PROVIDER OR THE CLIENT WISHES TO ***** NOTICE PERIOD IS TWO MONTHS OR (IF TWO
MONTHS OR SHORTER) ONE WEEK LESS THAN THE PERIOD STATED IN
THIS AGREEMENT.Am I tied into another 5 months ? This seems wrong to me.Warm Regards
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 6 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 6 months ago.

Did you receive any reminders or notifications to advise you of this at the end of July 2015, when your initial agreement ended?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
No but on the original agreement it says:Start Date 1 May 2015 End Date 31 July 2015
All agreements end on the last calendar day of the month.
Comments:
* No Retainer - Total Savings of £ 164.00
Customer is not required to pay the standard retainer for the initial term of this agreement.Terms and Conditions
We are Regus Management (UK) Limited , the "Provider". This Agreement incorporates our terms of business set out on the attached Terms and Conditions and House Rules which you confirm you have read and understood. We both agree to comply with those terms and our obligations as set out in them. This agreement is binding from the agreement date and may not be terminated once it is made, except in accordance with its terms. Note that the Agreement does not come to an end automatically. See “Cancellation” section of your terms and conditions.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I just paid rolling per month
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 6 months ago.

OK thank you, ***** ***** it with me. I am in court today so will prepare my advice during the day and get back to you at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Thank you.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thank you.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 6 months ago.

No problem at all

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 6 months ago.

Many thanks for your patience. This is a rolling contract which automatically rolls over for a new term unless cancelled with the specified notice. In certain consumer cases such rolling contracts have been deemed illegal and are banned. However, assuming you are a business customer and were using the space for business purposes, you will not be subject to the usual consumer laws and protection that individuals get, such as unfair contract terms. It is assumed that as a business you are well informed and able to read a contract given to you and understand the clauses you are signing up to. The law is specifically aimed at consumers, meaning someone not dealing in the course of a business. Therefore, you will be bound by this clause and failure to follow it will potentially place you in breach of contract. So if you renege on the contract they could pursue you legally for damages.

However, they are not entitled to the full amount of their service until the end of the contract. They are entitled to compensation/damages which is their loss of profit. So it would be the actual profit they may have made, not the direct cost of services to you. This will be less than the fees you would have had to pay for the remaining term. You can try and cancel the contract and send them a cheque or payment and tell them it is in full and final settlement of the fees you would owe them and if they cash or accept that payment then you can argue that they cannot claim further against you. At least try that, you have nothing to lose. I they reject that and wish to continue pursuing you there is nothing stopping them from doing so and even going to court. However, they would have to justify that hat they are after is fair and reasonable and also it may not be worth their time going to court for the amount they may be pursuing you for so you could take your chances in that respect.

I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you

Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 46184
Experience: Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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