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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I formerly ran a small franchise where the franchise agreement

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I formerly ran a small franchise where the franchise agreement ran out after 3 years (2009). I have had no contact from the franchiser since 2007 however I have just received an email requesting the return of a key piece of equipment which I no longer have as it fell in to disuse and stopped working. Are the franchise owners still able to make this demand? The only reference to the return of equipment is on the cancellation of the agreement which I take to have happened when the agreement expired (2009) - any guidance great fully received
Alex Watts :

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply as this is not an ‘on demand’ live service, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return. There is no need to wait here, you will get an email when I reply.

Alex Watts :

Did they not request it until now please?

Customer: Literally got the email an hour ago
Alex Watts :

Ok - do they say why they have waited so long?

Customer: No, they just said they were wondering if we were still operating and if not could they have it back - the piece of equipment is a chocolate fountain which was the main part of the franchise
Alex Watts :

Ok - did the original agreement say it was rolling or was it fixed?

Customer: fixed for 3 yrs - 2006 - 2009
Alex Watts :

Ok - well in that case I dont see why they have waited 5 years.

Alex Watts :

They should request it back within a reasonable time

Alex Watts :

5 years is not reasonable.

Alex Watts :

Therefore if it stopped working and you dont have it, the responsibility is on them to ask for a prompt return

Alex Watts :

They failed to do so

Alex Watts :

That is not your fault.

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer: That's great thank you - the contract was never formerly terminated does that make a difference? Sorry just re-read the contract - actual wording around duration is not as clear cut as I thought - it's says contract can be terminated after 3 years I suspect this is not fixed as I first thought?
Alex Watts :

What does it say about termination?

Alex Watts :

Does it says you need to give termination or it expires?

Customer: Can. Be terminated after 3 yrs with no penalty, then a bit about early termination on their part and then that all equipment
Customer: sorry meant to press delete! Doesn't say anything about how to terminate
Alex Watts :

But does it say it is rolling or expires?

Customer: found another statement which says the contract is for 3 yrs - this is a really badly written contract!
Customer: I would have had to pay again to renew
Alex Watts :

If it is not just for 3 years but rolling you are not ok

Alex Watts :

Ok - in that case it sounds like it expires,

Alex Watts :

So my answer is as above!

Alex Watts :

Does that clarify?

Customer: types thank you - it's quite hard to follow this contract - designed to confuse I think!
Alex Watts :

Yes of course.

Alex Watts :

If this answers your question might I invite you to rate my answer today

Alex Watts :

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