Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.
May I ask how long ago this occured please?
From what you say they called at his home?
Do you hold power of attorney for your father?
He was finally diagnosed with Vascluer Dementia in April 2012 after months of hospital appointments. To meet him you knew within seconds he was not with it. The work was carried out in the summer of 2012. Either knocked on or they telephoned. As said, the work was unnecessary. We put up a 'No cold callers' sign up after this but I have stopped 2 telephone transactions as I do have Power of Attorney and was regularly checking his bank account.
Many thanks. Have the companies involved provided notices of your fathers rights to cancel the agreement (a cooling off period) to your knowledge please?
No. These were taken out 2/3 years ago and I was unaware of them. Only came across them as he went into a Care Home on 11 December 2013 and had to go through all his finances with Social regarding fees. It dawned on me then that he was 'ripped off' as so mentally ill and why should he be paying fees and direct debits for work that should never have been done. Been onto Wetherseal who took on the work today. The £2500 house alarm and the £1500 roof lining direct debits have been paid off. It is just the £4800 for guttering and new facias and he is paying £101 per month. This is the one that affects his £350 fees and they will not tell me how much is left. As you can see rather extortionate prices and what the hell is a roof lining!!!
The simplest way to challenge the contracts which of course you can do on your fathers behalf if you hold power of attorney is to write to the companies involved and advise them that you consider that your father lacked capacity to enter the contracts at the time he was induced to do so and reserve your position entirely on the point in the meantime advising that you hold power of attorney for your father and requesting from them evidence that they provided your father with a right to cancel as none appears to have been provided. Consider asking them for evidence that one was provided.
The Doorstep Selling Regulations provide that your father is entitled to a 7 days cooling off period starting on the day he was provided with his notice of a right to cancel. The statement of cancellation must contain the following information:
-The identity of the trader including any trading name -The date it was issued -The trader’s reference number, code or other details to enable the contract to be identified -A statement that the consumer has a right to cancel the contract if he wishes and that this right can be exercised by delivering, or sending (including by electronic mail) a cancellation notice to the person mentioned in the next paragraph at any time within the period of 7 days starting with the day of receipt of a notice in writing of the right to cancel the contract -The name and address, (including any electronic mail address as well as the postal address), of a person to whom a cancellation notice may be given -A statement that notice of cancellation is deemed to be served as soon as it is posted or sent to a trader or in the case of an electronic communication from the day it is sent to the trader -A cancellation form in the prescribed form provided as a detachable slip and completed by or on behalf of the trader in accordance with the notes (see section 8) -If applicable an indication that the consumer may have to pay for the goods or services supplied if the contract has begun with his written agreement before the end of the cooling off period -A statement that the consumer can use the cancellation form provided if he wishes
If you find that they did provide the correct form of notice as above then addressing capacity if necessary in order to ascertain liability. Assuming your father had not formally been declared as lacking capacity at the time under the Mental Capacity Act, the law provides that a contract is voidable by a party not declared to be incapacitated under the Mental Capacity Act if he can prove that he did not understand the general nature of what he was doing, and his impairment was known to the other party.
There is a requirement of knowledge of his mental incapacity by the other party. If he was not aware then the contract would not be voided by virtue of her mental health issues alone. The testis one of balance of probability and may require examination of your fathers medical records and seeking medical opinion.
Is there anything above I can clarify for you any further?