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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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Can i cancel a written contract windows after the 7 day

Customer Question

Can i cancel a written contract for house windows after the 7 day cooloing off period, I cancelled by email after 19 days. Nothing had been done in this period and The company want 25% of the final price which is £2300.00. Thank you.
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 12 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 12 months ago.

Did you purchase them in store or online?

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
At Home
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 12 months ago.

OK thank you, ***** ***** it with me. I am in court today so will prepare my advice and get back to you at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Thank you.

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Thank you.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 12 months ago.

No problem at all.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 12 months ago.

Many thanks for your patience. If you had signed the contract at your own home then you would generally get a 14 days cancellation period, rather than a 7 day one. Also they must have given you certain pre-contractual information for the contract to be valid. So whilst you cancelled outside of the 14 day window, you should still first check whether you were issued with the required written information before you signed the contract. If this information is not provided then the consumer would not be bound by the contract and it can also be a fineable offence for the trader. Details of the required information can be found here: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2013/3134/schedule/2/made

If they did provide the required information, then as you cancelled outside of the formal cancellation period, you would technically be acting in breach of contract. They can therefore pursue you for any losses they have incurred as a result of this breach. They cannot just penalise you such as charging you loss of profit if they have managed to fit in another customer for the times when you were supposed to have the work done. In that case they have not really suffered losses because they have still carried out work.

Whether they take it to court is anyone’s guess. They have the right to do so if they wanted to and only they know if that is something they want to do. So I am afraid only time will tell in relation to this.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the rights you have should they issue a claim, 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 is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you

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Expert:  Ben Jones replied 12 months ago.

Thank you. As mentioned there is nothing topping them from issuing a claim if they wanted to but to be successful they need to prove that there was a breach on your part and that the costs they are pursuing are fair and reasonable.

So first of all you need to check if they issued you with the required pre-contractual information as failure to do so could easily mean the whole contract is void. That would probably be your best option for cancelling or defending a claim.

Another option to defend this is that if this was a business, they will be subject to certain consumer rules and regulations. For example, you will have some protection under Schedule 2, Regulation 1(d) of the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999. It states that if the contract has been cancelled after a deposit has been placed you are entitled to have the deposit returned in full, unless the seller has spent time, effort and money, in which case they can deduct reasonable expenses. Even if some expenses have been incurred, if these are subsequently recovered, for example by finding a replacement customer, the deposit should still be returned in full. It follows that a blanket non-refundable clause that entitles the seller to keep the deposit in all circumstances is most likely going to be unfair and unlawful.

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Good morning Ben,
Thank you for the info, but not sure what you mean by pre-contractual information. We did sign a form with T & C's on the back, is this it. Thanks
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 12 months ago.

Yes it can be, basically it means you must have been given these details before you entered into the contract, before you signed it. So it could have been part of the written agreement you were signing