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JGM
JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 11545
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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, I own a small hotel in Scotland and have a question about

Resolved Question:

Hi, I own a small hotel in Scotland and have a question about contract law. The situation is as follows:
- I signed a contract for annual lift maintenance on 18 Dec 2008 with an effective start date of 1 Dec 2008 (1.5k per annum)
- Term of contract says "5 years. Unless notice given in writing at least 3 months prior to the end of the term the contract will automatically extend for a period equivalent to the initial term"
- The contract therefore should have terminated in Dec 2013 had I given notice on or before Aug 2013
My problem is that I did not give this notice. I gave notice that I wanted to stop the contract in Oct 2014. The counterparty then sent me the contract, reminded me of above and told me I'm on the hook for the remainder of the 2nd 5 year term.
My view is this is not fair - I'm not using the service and it seems to me unreasonable for it to automatically extend for 5 years. 1 year rolling maybe would be fair but 5 years. What if it had said 100 years and I hadn't noticed... Am I correct in thinking that I have protection from "unfair contracts" and is this unfair - or am I in the wrong. So far I have cancelled the direct debit but they are now threatening me with a debt collector. Thanks for your thoughts!
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Scots Law
Expert:  JGM replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question.
I'm afraid that this type of contract is valid and binding. The courts take the view that business people can and should look after themselves (this is not a consumer contract) and the court won't intervene in this situation on the ground of fairness.
Happy to discuss further.
I hope this helps. Please leave a positive response so that I am credited for my time.
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