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Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.
Hi Ben, what do you think?
Even though you may never have signed a written contract, a binding contract is likely to be in place. The law does not require anything in writing for a contract to be legally enforceable – it can be implied in any event, if certain requirements were met. These are an offer, an acceptance and some consideration. There was an offer because the council offered you to use their premises for a fee, you accepted it, even if you did o verbally, and there is consideration – you started to use the parks. So a contract would most likely be in place anyway. The fact that they did not invoice you does not mean that the contract had ended or it was changed, especially if there was no specific agreement that they will have to continue invoicing you for the fees to be levied. In all likelihood you would be liable for the continuing fees to cover the time you had used the park, but as it was their fault that they had not invoice you for such a long time then you can approach them to try and agree a periodic repayment plan, rather than having to pay a lump sum as they want you to. Also if you wanted to risk it you could refuse to pay and see what they do – they cannot force you to unless they take you to court and win – so if at any stage it becomes apparent they may want to go to court and you do not want to defend the case here, just contact them and offer payment again.
Shit! So I am liable even if there was no signed agreement then. Would you advise chancing it? They have offered a payment plan; but it is still a significant monthly amount. I'm not earning anything from the business at all at the moment.
oh yes a written agreement is certainly not needed for there to be a legally binding contract. It is difficult to say whether to risk it or not - no one knows what their intentions are and how likely it is they will pursue it. You may wish to try and negotiate a more reasonable repayment plan first and remind them it was their failure to invoice you that ha resulted in these fees accruing
Ok Ben, thanks.
you are welcome