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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71041
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Hi There, we are fighting a case of charges applied to a payment

Customer Question

Hi There, we are fighting a case of charges applied to a payment for rent 10 days after the due date on a work place studio we rent. The amount in which the licensor is charging is not stated in the contract and how frequently they will charge for every day late, They then proceeded to lock our studio until the payment was made meaning we could not work. Because of them locking the studio and cutting electricity we could not deliver and order to a stockist of our product and the order was cancelled leaving us with stock we can shift. I would like to get advice on the legality of this?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your question. My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

I presume this is a commercial rent?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Its a commercial rent for a workshop and they have called a license.


They dont state any amount they will charge in the agreement. They cut our electricity and changed the locks until we made a payment for the rent that was due, although this was never mnore that 10 days past the due date.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.

I just need 10 mins to consider this if thats OK?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

ok thanks


Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
Thanks for the time.

Usually the licence specifies how many days they have to wait before peaceful re-enter into the property.

Normally it is 14 days.

If they act within the licence then I'm afraid you have no recourse as a result of the work you lost.

If they are charging you costs in respect of late payment, then the costs must either be reasonable and actually incurred.

However, if you are late every month, they are entitled to charge every month.

I'm sorry this isn't the answer you wanted but it is the position that you face and I have a duty to inform you truthfully.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The thing is they are not acting within the license. Stating a fee will be charged but no feee specifics.


Charging £30 every few days is not in line with that of commercial debt of 8% over the 0.5% statutory rate.


At no point in the license does it say they will evict.


The rent is not late every month.


There is no mention of fees that will be charged, Disconnection from services or eveictions etc and if it stops you from working does this not come into the territory of a baliff cannot remove goods deemed as essential, Things that you need for work?



Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
If they instruct solicitors then they can claim costs. That is unlikely to be under £100, so £30 is not unreasonable.

It does not have to be 8% per annum. Interest is 8% per annum but an interest and a late administration charge are completely different items. However, the charge must not be punitive.

They are not allowed to charge £30 every few days but they would probably be able to charge you £30 every time it is late.

You are correct that they cannot remove goods deemed as essential, such as tools of the trade, but they can lock you out and under the Torts Interference with Goods Act they can hold a lien over your goods pending you paying what money you owe them
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

They are chariging £30 every few days, but under the guidance of the


the debt has not even fallen into the late payment category?


The problem is they havnt stated an amount, so doesnt it have to stay within common law at at that point the said 8.5%? If there is no amount, could they charge whatever they fancy if there wasnt a law " We'll charge you £100 every 3 days its late etc"


Wouldn't it be contradictory to the law of the removal of good deemed essential if they locked you out from your studio therefore rendering all of your 'essential equipment' unusable?



Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
Under the late payment legislation it is annual interest at 8.5% and one fixed lump sum once any payment is overdue not every few days.

The single lump sum is fixed under the regulations depending on the amount due. For up to £999 it is £40