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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Myself and my fiance recently paid deposit of £887 for

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Myself and my fiance recently paid deposit of £887 for our wedding venue and paid a further £1085 for hotel rooms for our quests. The venue is called the Ruskin Hotel, Newham. The wedding date was Saturday July 16th 2016.
Before signing paperwork, we were told that their car park held 65 spaces, which we were apprehensive about, however they offered us further parking outside of the hotel and more permits for street parking. So we accepted and signed paperwork, paying the deposit.
After this, we were then told that actually there had been a mistake with the information that had been given regarding the spaces in the carpark. They actually only have 35! My partner and I of course panicked and the booking manager there said that if we are not happy we can have a full refund of our deposit but NOT the hotel room money. We said that we understood and then booked in time to see the car park oursevles and make a decision as they did say to us that you can squeeze in extra cars and block people in etc.
After seeing the car park and taking a week to think about everything, we contacted the venue and asked for full refund. In fact we told them that we would only ask for the refund of the deposit. The hotel money they had explained that we cannot have returned. The manager called us back and then refused any money being returned! Explaining to us that they can offer us more parking on the street and give us 6 hour permits etc! Both myself and my partner have driven around for 10-15 minutes before looking for parking in that area on a Saturday. How will dozens of cars find spaces on our wedding day! I think the fact lies with that they cannot gaurantee us the 65 spaces plus the spaces gauranteed directly outside the hotel. We signed paperwork under false information! If they had told us that there would be only 35 spaces in their car park and the rest we could have with 6 hour permits on the street parking, we would not have signed the paprwork or paid any money.
As you can imagine, I am very angry at all of this and I would like to take Ruskin Hotel to court and ask for FULL reimbursement of the deposit and also the hotel room fees.
Of course I am worried of the costs in this, even though I am certain would win this case. Could you please contact me on *********** I would like to gain the opinion of a solicitor to ask if they think that this case is a definite winner for us. And to see how much the initial outlay of the court fees and solicitor fees would be.
Thank you ***** ***********
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified solicitor and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Have they offered to pay back anything at all?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Ben, no. Nothing.
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
Many thanks for your patience. First of all to clarify you will not find any solicitor who will tell you whether your case is a definite winner or not. Solicitors do not do that because no one can ever predict the outcome of a case and there will always be risks involved with pursuing a court claim. So you will see that you may be told you have good prospects of winning a claim, but you won’t ever be told that you will definitely win a case.
In your circumstances, you can claim for misrepresentation because you were told misleading information before you made the booking and were induced into booking because of that information. Had you known the true facts before making the booking you would have probably not gone ahead with it. So based on these factors you would have reasonable prospects of success, especially as a refund was promised to you if you were not satisfied.
You should also be able to get money back for the rooms because the only reason you booked them was for the wedding, which as we know was booked on false pretences. Also they cannot just keep the money unless they have suffered losses and the best way to avoid these is to open up the rooms for bookings. If someone else book the same dates then no losses would have been suffered so keeping the deposit is going to amount to a penalty clause which is illegal.
In terms of costs, assuming you will be pursuing them for the total cost of just under £2,000 you will have to pay:
• Claim fee of £105
• Hearing fee of £170
I would not advise using a solicitor for this claim – it will keep the costs down and as the claim will go to the small claims court it will be heard in a venue designed for small disputes, where the parties are often unrepresented. The whole aim of the small claims court is to try and keep costs down and allow small businesses or individuals to pursue a claim without having to pay large fees on legal costs.
This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the exact steps you need to follow to try and progress your 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, leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you
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
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Ben, sorry I had a very busy weekend. Could you please detail further the next steps that you believe that I need to take in order to get the ball rolling to progress the claim towards getting this money back?
Hello Saj, whenever a dispute arises over money owed by one party to another, the debtor can be pursued through the civil courts for recovery of the debt. As legal action should always be seen as a last resort, there are certain actions that should be taken initially to try and resolve this matter informally and without having to involve the courts. It is recommended that the process follows these steps: 1. Reminder letter – if no reminders have been sent yet, one should be sent first to allow the debtor to voluntarily pay what is due. 2. Letter before action – if informal reminders have been sent but these have been ignored, the debtor must be sent a formal letter asking them to repay the debt, or at least make arrangements for its repayment, within a specified period of time. A reasonable period to demand a response by would be 10 days. They should be advised that if they fail to do contact you in order to resolve this matter, formal legal proceedings will be commenced to recover the debt. This letter serves as a ‘final warning’ and gives the other side the opportunity to resolve this matter without the need for legal action. 3. If they fail to pay or at least make contact to try and resolve this, formal legal proceedings can be initiated. A claim can be commenced online by going to Once the claim form is completed it will be sent to the debtor and they will have a limited time to defend it. If they are aware legal proceedings have commenced it could also prompt them to reconsider their position and perhaps force them to contact you to try and resolve this. Whatever correspondence is sent, it is always advisable to keep copies and use recorded delivery so that there is proof of delivery and a paper trail. The court may need to refer to these if it gets that far. If your original question has been answered I would be grateful if you could please quickly rate my answer by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page - it only takes a second to do and is an important part of our process. I can still answer follow up questions afterwards if needed. Thank you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Wonderful thanks so much. I have already been emailing their general manager, who has expressed that they will not refund any of the money because they believe that they can still provide us with what was sold (which is of course not true, they cannot provide us with the 65 parking bays that they had promised us upon signing paperwork and paying the deposit).Their general manager has advised me that the final decision lies with their directors, therefore it is an email address from their directors that is required? Would you agree with this? The general manager seems to be a third party and it slows down the whole process? I have sent them several email asking for the deposit to be repaid. And I have told them that if they refuse, I will pursue the entire amount (£2000) rather than just the £887 deposit. I did expect them to accept this. Very frustrating. If I request the email address of one of their directors, and they refuse, should I continue to keep liasing with the general manager? He has given me written address of their director, but not an email address.If I go on will they ask for an email address from their side or will the written address be ok?ThanksSaj
Hi Saj, you can of course request that you are directed to the directors and communicated with them personally, although cannot force that. If that is not possible then you can just continue with the manager as you have until down, even if not the fastest method. To be honest you do not need to communicate via email, a postal address is fine and you will not have to supply an email address when you make the claim. Hop this clarifies?
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