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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 48190
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Hi Our company was employing a new member of staff and part

Resolved Question:

Hi
Our company was employing a new member of staff and part of the package involved buying the new incumbent a company car so he could ‘hit the ground running’ on his first day, the 13.10.14
The candidate chose the car himself, a BMW costing £ 31,500 and £1,000 as a holding deposit was paid to the car dealer (a main dealership) by me on a company credit card on Friday 12th of September at 5pm and the candidate test drove the car on Saturday 16th September.
The candidate informed his current employer he was moving on but was invited to a de-brief on Monday 15th September. He text me after the meeting to reassure me he was still joining us saying
“I won’t change my mind so don’t worry on that. Just a case of going through the motions now, thanks”
We had a steady exchange of text messages covering car insurance and other minutia right up to 9pm last night and then at 10am this morning I have received several texts informing me that despite his previous texts insisting that he would not change his mind…..he has and he will not be joining us!!
So my question is…..
Will I lose my £ 1000 ?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.
Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Ben Jones :

Did you have an agreement over the deposit? For example did it have any terms over if and when it may be refundable?

JACUSTOMER-o603m6kj- :

no the car salesman just said i should pay £ 1000 to take the car of sale

JACUSTOMER-o603m6kj- :

off sale

Customer:

hello ?

Customer:

hi. how does this work ? do you email me an answer ?

Ben Jones :

Generally, when a person places an order for something and pays a deposit they enter into a legally enforceable contract with the seller. It is implied that the seller has accepted the deposit as security and as proof that the buyer wants to proceed with the contract.

Unless the seller subsequently commits a serious breach of contract, or there was a cancellation clause, the buyer would have no legal right to cancel the agreement and if they do so they will be acting in breach of contract and risk losing their deposit. This is especially true if the deposit was described as non-refundable.

However if the contract has been cancelled after a deposit has been placed you are entitled to have the deposit returned in full, unless the seller has spent time, effort and money, in which case they can deduct reasonable expenses. Even if some expenses have been incurred, if these are subsequently recovered, for example by selling the item to someone else, the deposit should still be returned in full. It follows that a blanket non-refundable clause that entitles the seller to keep the deposit in all circumstances is most likely going to be unfair and unlawful.

If you are having difficulties in recovering the deposit when you believe you are entitled to have it returned, advise the seller that you will not hesitate reporting them to the Office of Fair Trading and, if necessary, pursue the matter further through the county court. Exerting such pressure could often work in changing the seller's position in this matter.

Finally, you may even consider pursuing the employee over this because it was their breach of contract (not going ahead with an offer they had formally accepted) which caused you such losses.

Hope this clarifies your position? If you could please let me know that would be great, thank you

Customer:

Hi. thanks for the reply. i'll start the porocess with the car dealership so fingers crossed.

Customer:

i might attempt to contatct the potential employee although to be frank i'm not sure what he said by text is a 'formal acceptance' so your commetns on that would close the matter for me ?

Ben Jones :

well it does not have to be anything specific in writing, signed, etc - even a verbal acceptance can be formal if he had clearly notified his intentions of his acceptance and you had relied on that to proceed

Customer:

super, thanks, bye

Ben Jones :

bye, all the best

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