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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 44874
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I have hired a school pool since February 2012 and set up a

Customer Question

I have hired a school pool since February 2012 and set up a swim school with full support of the head teacher initially teaching only children from that school. They converted to an academy on 1/6/12 and at that point the head teacher handed over total responsibility for hiring the pool and running the swimming club to me. The club was opened up to all children between ages 4-11 years. I have run it very successfully for over 4 years increasing the numbers and staff numbers have risen from 2 at start up to 9 currently. We book term by term via a letting sheet and although I have several times requested some kind of formal contract this has been ignored. Schools that I have previously taught have booked swimming lessons with us through the school bringing in extra income because they have experienced our teaching and are obviously happy with what we provide. 2-3 weeks ago I received a booking from a school for September which had been passed to me by Ardley Hill Academy so they obviously at that point had intended to hire the pool to us. On Friday 20/5/16 I received an email from them.
Dear Eileen,
Further to your request to hire the pool during the summer, we will be having building works at the school during the summer, and therefore you can continue to hire the pool until the last day of the academic year being 22 July 2016, but not during the summer holidays.
Also I wanted to inform you that we have no spaces available for pool bookings at any time from the 1st September 2016.
Should you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact me.
Kind regards,
Mrs Asha Morjaria
School Business Manager
Ardley Hill Academy
Lowther Road
Dunstable
LU6 3NZ
01582 667955 Ext 2
I rang the sscool on Monday 23/5/16 and a conversation with the head teacher during which the only information he would give me was we have a new booking for more hours that will benefit our children. I asked him if he had a problem with any of our practises and he said no and just kept repeating the sentence over and over like a mantra.
I have read their lettings policy and one line states 3. The academy will seek to treat hirers fairly.
In my opinion he has not treated me fairly. I have a thriving business which will be unable to run after July and 9 members of staff to lay off, not to mention the numbers of children who are very happy with the service we provide. I also feel that this has been done without any discussion or reasons given.
Any advice would be gratefully accepted.
Eileen conway
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 6 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 6 months ago.

Did you have a verbal agreement only or did you agree anything in writing at some point; not necessarily in contract form?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
It was a verbal agreement backed up by a lettings form with times and dates in advance of the term. I was told that the people that had hired the pool over me had filled out a lettings form for a year which I would have been willing to do given the chance
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 6 months ago.

OK, thank you for your response. I will review the relevant information and laws and will get back to you as soon as I can. Please do not respond to this message as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 6 months ago.

Many thanks for your patience. Your rights here will be somewhat limited unfortunately. This is because the pool is the property of the academy, it is their premises and they have the right to choose who to let it out to. If they no longer wish a party to use their pool, they have every legal right to prevent them from doing so. In the circumstances, the party they no longer wish to allow use of the pool to is you. It really makes no difference that you have ran successful classes there and there for a while and that there is still demand for these for some time to come. If they no longer wish to allow you to use their premises they can do this, regardless of the success or length of your use to date. It is exactly the same principle as having your own private pool at home and allowing someone to use that, however once you no longer wish to allow that, as it is your property and on your premises, you have every legal right to exclude them from future use of these facilities.

Your only rights here would be that you are entitled to receive some notice for the termination of the relationship you have with them. In the absence of a contractual notice period, you are entitled to a ‘reasonable notice period’ which is implied in law.

What amounts to a reasonable notice period will depend on many factors and in reality only a court can decide what that should be in each case. In general it will be determined by the frequency of payment of hire charges, what notice others in the same or similar position as you are expected to give, accepted industry practices, etc. It could well be that 4 months notice which you have been given is sufficient, but you could try and argue that if you had bookings for the beginning of the next academic year then the period should be extended to allow you to fulfil those, but any extension is only likely to be for another month or two at most. So a suitable notice period is the best you can expect here, you simply cannot force them to allow you to continue using the pool.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the rights you have should you beLieve that no reasonable notice has been given, 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, there I no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 6 months ago.

Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question and if you need me to discuss the next steps in more detail? In the meantime please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts from the top of the page. The question will not close and I can continue with my advice as discussed. Thank you

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 6 months ago.

Hello, do you need any further assistance or are you happy with the above response? Look forward to hearing from you.

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