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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I own a nursery school and a prospective parent paid a deposit

Resolved Question:

I own a nursery school and a prospective parent paid a deposit of £120 for the child to start in August, however this person emailed me today and said their child was no longer attending and requested the deposit back, I refused and they sent another email threatening me with court action and the conduct under the civil procedure rules paragraph 4 which I know nothing about. The reason deposits are paid are to secure the place and for the business not to lose out. should I stick to my guns and not pay it back?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Alex Watts :

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.

Alex Watts :

For now please let me know whether they signed any terms and conditions?

Customer:

yes they did, which states that a registration fee of £25 is non refundable and the deposit is refundable from their last invoice if 4 weeks notice is given. We have not had a case where a family has not started with us. During show rounds of the nursery it is verbally told that deposits are NOT refundable if the child does not start, this person says she was not verbally told this.

Customer:

hello

Alex Watts :

Sorry I was just in a client conference

Alex Watts :

Ok - so the terms do not say you are entitled to keep the deposit under circumstances such as this then?

Customer: No
Alex Watts :

Its bad news then I am afraid.

Alex Watts :

If your terms do not cover this then you are not entitled to keep the deposit.

Alex Watts :

If the terms said that they needed to give notice regardless of whether they had already been there, then you would be ok

Alex Watts :

But they do not and you are stuck with that.

Alex Watts :

I agree with your theory behind a deposit, but sadly your terms do not say it is non refundable.

Alex Watts :

You can keep £25 but that is it

Alex Watts :

I am sorry if this is not the answer you want and certainly not the one I want to give you, but I have a duty to be honest

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer: My ts and Cs state that the deposit is refundable with 4 weeks notice, but this deposit has secured the Childs place and the child has not started yet so they have lost the deposit according to myself. Verbal agreements are as valid as written ones and the parent was told verbally if the child does not start the deposit is not refunded! What did the patent think the deposit was for?!
Alex Watts :

Did anyone witness the verbal conversation?

Customer: Yes all the staff. Can you tell me what or where this person got the civil procedure rules and what paragraph 4 is?!
Alex Watts :

Ok, in that case you are ok. If it was witnessed you are fine.

Alex Watts :

The Civil Procedure Rules are here:

Alex Watts :

https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/rules

Alex Watts :

No idea what paragraph 4 is..... There is a Part 4

Alex Watts :

But that applies to forms!

Alex Watts :

So I think on that basis you should be fine in Corut.

Alex Watts :

If you can prove the verbal conversation you are ok

Alex Watts :

Does that help?

Alex Watts :

If this answers your question could I invite you rate my answer before you leave today.


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