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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 47907
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I answered an advert to a pub company that said they had a

Customer Question

I answered an advert to a pub company that said they had a pub that was taking over 8.5k a week and I would get 20% of this after VAT was taken off. I would be self employed and would be responsible for paying any staff I hired. I got the pub and they took a 4k deposit from me. the pub after 2 weeks has taken £124 in the first week and £240 in the second week. which means I and my partner are making no money. I signed a contract saying that I would give one months notice but I cant stay for a month. can I get out of this as the company advertised an 8.5k pub and its far from being that
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I think they will attempt to keep some of my 4k as I have given them one weeks notice
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. What did they base their figures on? Can they justify these claims with any evidence if challenged?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
they have figure dating back to last year
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
as in barrage figures from the brewery
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
So technically they can back up the figures they have provided? Just to let you know I am mobile today and may not be able to respond immediately but you will get my full response this afternoon, thanks
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
yes but would you not agree that irrespective of wheather they can back these figures or not, can they force me to remain for the duration of this notice when I am not earning
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Are you willing to forfeit the deposit?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
a 4k deposit definitely not
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
this company surely cannot rip me off from 4k when the details they have provided me were not accurate in the first place. it was on these details that I took the job
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
would a judge in county court not look at this and say to the company that even though they have previous details of earnings in the pub, how do they expect me to continue working for nothing?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I would like to add that if you read the rent assessment the figure on food can only be hear say as the brewery had no control over food as it was the operators own business
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello again, you say that the details they have provided you with were not accurate but it is important to consider he following - they gave you figures based on past performance, from what I understand they can justify these by providing you with evidence of takings, etc? Your complain is that since taking on the pub you have had nowhere near the same level of business. However, that does not mean that the information they provided you with is inaccurate - it means that it has not matched previous performance but that does not make it inaccurate. So based on what I have said, is my assessment correct? Did they supply you with figures of past performance which they can back up?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I will be happy to pay a lot more if you can help me find a way out of this
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I sent you a file called the Royal and ancient with all the details they provided. Did you receive this ?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Yes I did, but do you agree with my last comment or not?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
They provided me with the figures and nothing more but these are barralage fugures
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
ok but are they accurate?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
This I cannot say as they may say that the brewery provided them with these figures
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I was put here by a holding company who took on a leases from a brewery. The pub had been closed for 2-3 weeks
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
ok so here is the issue - you were provided with certain figures on which you based your decision to purchase. These figures may indeed be accurate and be based on past performance. Just because these figures had occurred in the past is no guarantee that they will occur again in the future. You are not guaranteed a specific level of income - whenever a business changes hands you often have to start from scratch, for example in a pub people may decide against visiting if they know there has been a change of management, there could be other all sorts of other factors that could affect the state of the business. So the key is whether they had provided misleading or inaccurate information, based on which you decided to take on the business. That is really the only grounds on which you will be able to challenge them. You will have to show that they had misrepresented the state of the business and that you had been induced into getting involved in the business based on inaccurate or misleading data. If you cannot show that, then you will be expected to adhere to the terms of the contract, meaning you would have to serve a month's notice. If you do not, then they could potentially use all or part of the deposit to cover themselves for any losses or costs incurred by your breach in leaving early. No one can force you to continue working there for nothing, but at the same time if you were to leave and breach your contract by not serving the notice period required, they can offset any losses with your deposit. So the key here is to try and show that they had misrepresented the figures to start with and that is the best way of challenging this situation and arguing that they had been the one in breach, not you.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No no I was put here as a pub manager, not an owner
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
What was the deposit paid for?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Security against damage, lost of stock or cash
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Did u read the contract I sent to you?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Yes but I thought it was in addition of taking over the business. Not to worry, I will amend advice and reply shortly
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Many thanks
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
So to confirm re you working as an employee or self employed?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The contract states that I am working on a self employed basis getting a % of turnover. I live on site also
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'm not sure the inland revenue would class me as self employed in this case
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
The £4k - was that the money mentioned in clause 2.26?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Ok this is described as a finder’s fee. It does not state they can withhold that in the event that you leave in breach of contract by not serving your notice period so they should not hold it for that specific reason. You can still rely on the misrepresentation argument I mentioned earlier as to why you are leaving early. In the event that they withhold your deposit then you can take steps to pursue that in the small claims court. The key here is whether they had the contractual right to withhold it n these circumstances and the answer would be no. This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the steps you need to follow to pursue this if it is withheld, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you
Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok rating done
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
They say the takings split was 60/40 and I have been here nearly two weeks and the kitchen is not fit to be open could that help
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It's not a finders fee but a security deposit. I'll send you a picture of the offer letter
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It only becomes a finders fee if I was to take on the lease on the actual premises if this company pull out
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Yes if you have factors which would affect the business, such as a kitchen unfit for purpose then you may indeed use this in your arguments. Also even if a security deposit it must only be retained for the specific purposes for which it was kept so you must check these carefully. If they do retain it then you an treat it as a type of debt. Whenever a dispute arises over money owed by one party to another, the debtor can be pursued through the civil courts for recovery of the debt. As legal action should always be seen as a last resort, there are certain actions that should be taken initially to try and resolve this matter informally and without having to involve the courts. It is recommended that the process follows these steps: 1. Reminder letter – if no reminders have been sent yet, one should be sent first to allow the debtor to voluntarily pay what is due. 2. Letter before action – if informal reminders have been sent but these have been ignored, the debtor must be sent a formal letter asking them to repay the debt, or at least make arrangements for its repayment, within a specified period of time. A reasonable period to demand a response by would be 10 days. They should be advised that if they fail to do contact you in order to resolve this matter, formal legal proceedings will be commenced to recover the debt. This letter serves as a ‘final warning’ and gives the other side the opportunity to resolve this matter without the need for legal action. 3. If they fail to pay or at least make contact to try and resolve this, formal legal proceedings can be initiated. A claim can be commenced online by going to www.moneyclaim.gov.uk. Once the claim form is completed it will be sent to the debtor and they will have a limited time to defend it. If they are aware legal proceedings have commenced it could also prompt them to reconsider their position and perhaps force them to contact you to try and resolve this. Whatever correspondence is sent, it is always advisable to keep copies and use recorded delivery so that there is proof of delivery and a paper trail. The court may need to refer to these if it gets that far.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
as it is only stated on the contract in 2.26 that it will be held as a finders fee if the company decide to pull out of the pub and this is the only place in the contract that this is mentioned is this all that the £4000 can be used for
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Yes unless there was another formal agreement which superseded that contract
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
There was no other contract and also the contract was not dated? Does this make a difference?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Lack of date will not make a difference, that will not make it invalid, you clearly had a contract in place and were working under it that is what matters
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I feel I should pay you more for all your help, how can I do this?Can you tell me, as the £4000 was only mention in 2.26 on the contract and only mentioned as a deposit elsewhere where do I stand if the company say they are keeping it if I don't fulfil my notice period
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry but £4000 is a big chunk of money to me right now
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for the kind offer - there should be a bonus option, maybe if you try to rate again or on the page somewhere... Now, the issue with the money is that even if there was no other mention of this amount elsewhere, there is nothing stopping them from keeping the deposit. That is even if they did not have the right to keep it. That means you will have to pursue them for it and ask a court to confirm that this was the case and that they should return it. So even if you are right in the end, that does not mean they cannot keep it in the first place and force you to pursue them for it
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for all your help
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
You are most welcome
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I would like to professionally use your services in the future do you have a law practice
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Sadly we are not allowed to recruit client through this site as it is against the rules so whilst you are more than welcome to come back here for future assistance, I cannot work with you outside of here. I am sorry
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
That's fine thank you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for your understanding
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'm still worried about this but thank you. This has been a learning experience that I won't get into again
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
We sometimes have to learn through our mistakes... It happens