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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 25358
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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I SIGNED AN AGREEMENT AT THE BEGINING OF DECEMBER 2014 FOR

Resolved Question:

I SIGNED AN AGREEMENT AT THE BEGINING OF DECEMBER 2014 FOR A GARAGE CONVERSION FOR WHICH THEY GAVE ME A PRICE OF £22000 AND THEY TOOK A DEPOSIT OF £5000 THEY GOT THE PLANNING PERMISSION THE BEGINNING OF FEBRUARY 2015 AND ON THE 13 MARCH 2015 THEY PHONED ME TO TELL ME IT WILL NOW COST ME OVER £40000 AND IF I DONT WANT TO GO AHEAD THEY WILL BE STOPPING £3450 FROM MY DEPOSIT DO I HAVE ANY RIGHTS
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
Joshua :

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.

Joshua :

May I ask if you signed the agreement at home or in the company's office please?

Customer:

at home

Joshua :

Thank you. Did a rep visit you at home to agree the paperwork or was this done by post/email without a personal visit?

Customer:

rep visited

Joshua :

Thank you. Did the rep give you at the time or afterwards a notice detailing any rights to cancel the agreement?

Customer:

the terms and cancellation had to be done within 7 days of signing the contract in writing this is on the back of the agreement

Joshua :

Thanks and for the avoidance of doubt this was signed in December 2014 not December 2013. Is that correct?

Customer:

December 2014

Joshua :

Perfect thank you. Finally is your preference to try to force them to go ahead or do you prefer at this stage have your money back and look for someone else?

Customer:

I think i would prefer to have my money back

Joshua :

Thanks. In the middle of last year, there was a radical overhaul in consumer protection legislation with the coming into force of the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013. These regulations replaced two sets of earlier regulations that have been in force since 2003. The old regulations required that you are given 7 days to cancel. The new 2013 regulations which were in force at the time you signed your agreement, require a minimum period of 14 days to be given for you to cancel and require a prescribed notice to be handed to you at the time you sign the contract setting out this and significant number of other rights you have under the regulations

Customer:

do i also have the option of pushing them to carry out the work at the original price

Joshua :

it would appear that the company which you are dealing with has failed to update its terms to reflect the requirements of the 2013 regulations. There are strict liability on the part of the company to do so and it is a criminal offence not to comply with the 2013 regulations. Besides the criminal offence however, if the company fails to comply with the regulations as is the case here, your right to cancel the contract is extended to the earlier of 14 days from the date the company does give you a valid notice or 12 months and 14 days if they fail to give you a valid notice

Joshua :

accordingly, based on what you say, you have an absolute right to change your mind and cancel the agreement. You do not have to give a reason that you must notify them of your cancellation in writing and keep a copy. Email is the simplest way to do this as a copy will be retained as evidence you have sent you notice there are if you prefer to use post, ensure that you keep a copy and proof of posting from the post office

Joshua :

you will need to mention in your cancellation notice that they have failed to provide you with the prescribed 14 day notice as required by the above 2013 regulations and accordingly you are exercising your right to cancel the agreement and ask that they refund you in full within seven days failing which you will notify trading standards of their criminal offence in failing to comply with the regulations and seek recovery through your bank or the courts

Joshua :

the company must refund any and all monies they have taken from you. If they refuse to do so, if you pay by card, you can contact your bank and ask your bank to carry out a chargeback on your behalf. The bank will wish to see a copy of the notice they provided you and a copy of your cancellation notice. The bank can then reclaim monies from the supplier and credit them back to your account. If you paid by cheque or bank transfer, you would need to issue proceedings in the small claims court to recover monies. If this is the case, please let me know and I'll be pleased to outline how this is achieved

Joshua :

as to whether you have a right to force them to complete the work, could you confirm whether the price they gave you was an estimate or quotation? If it was a quotation, is the quotation made subject to any conditions - e.g. subject to survey?

Customer:

the survey was carried out the same day that I signed it says on the agreement BOB AS DUN SURVEY WILL ALL BE DUN + BUILDING REGS

Joshua :

Thanks - so is it a quotation (rather than an estimate) not subject to any conditions?

Customer:

NO CONDITIONS

Joshua :

Thanks. if you have a quotation rather than an estimate and equitation is not made subject to any conditions then as an alternative to the above cancellation rights which stand, you can notify the company that you have accepted an unconditional quotation from them and you have not altered the specification agreed and as such, you have a binding contract and you can require them to complete the work or if they are not prepared to do so, you can reserve the right to claim the difference between their quotation and a competitors quotation to complete the work

Joshua :

In order words if they charge you £22,000 to carry out the work and the cheapest quote you can find from a competitor is £25,000, you could seek to claim £3000 difference from the original contractor. If you decide to cancel using your cancellation rights, then you will not be able to claim any difference because that would have the effect of cancelling the contract.

Joshua :

Has the above answered your questions satisfactorily?

Customer:

yes you have answered satisfactorily and is it possible for you to email this conversation for me to peruse through?

Joshua :

I'm glad I was able to assist. Yes certainly, I can ask customer services to email you a copy of the thread of that would be convenient?

Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 25358
Experience: LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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