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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 50169
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I entered into a franchaise for a driving school in April. I

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I entered into a franchaise for a driving school in April. I wrote yesterday to terminate as I am not making enough money for my living. They have now today pointed a clause which I did not see in the contract that says I am in a 12 month contract and have told me I will be charged £1700. I have explained I am not going into competition but leaving the industry and that I will pay £80 per week until the 15th of October but they will not accept this. In the contract they can cancel at anytime if Im in breach with no notice period.
Is there anything I can do? I cannot afford to pay I am £2200 over drawn in my personal account and in the account related to the business I have enough top cover costs and a payment at the end of this month of £1600.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Is it possible for me to see a copy of the contract please?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
please see attached Ben -

Thank you for the attachment. I will review the relevant information and laws and will 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. Also, please do not responded to this message as it will just push your questions to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you.

Apologies for not getting back to you sooner, I experienced some temporary connection issues and could not get back on the site until now. All appears to be resolved now so I can continue dealing with your query.

According to the agreement it does indeed state that this is a 12 month agreement which is for a fixed period and can only be cancelled with notice given within 30 days of the end of that fixed period. So you are basically tied in for a year. There would have been no obligation on them to specifically point this out to you, as long as they did not try and claim anything different. As a business you would have been expected to read the document and be satisfied with its contents before you agreed to it.

Therefore, unless you can shoe that they have acted in breach of contract somehow, you would be the one in breach by trying to terminate it early and not in accordance with the termination provisions.

Whilst there is nothing stopping them from pursuing this further by making a small claim court claim against you, you can point out that this would be a pointless exercise as you are overdrawn and have no money and assets to satisfy their claim so they will just be wasting their time and money pursuing you as they won’t get anything back and will simply incur further costs. Whether they do claim is up to them but legally you are likely to be in breach by terminating early.

I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you

Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. If this has answered your question please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars from the top of the page. I spend a lot of time and effort answering individual queries and I am not credited for my time until you leave your rating. If you still need further help please get back to me on here and I will assist as best as I can. Many thanks.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ben, that's as I thought but would I be liable for the court costs? I'm very concerned if getting more and more in debt? Ive paid them £80 this week instead of the £50 I should nd will pay £80 a week for the next weeks until wc 17th Oct that can then be deducted from the £1700 they say I owe. If I'm not on books then they have no costs associated for me going forward. If I offered to pay £20 a month after that, I know they won't accept what should my reaponce be? Tell them to peruse through courts? As I've said I'm 2200 in overdraft and have credit card bills over £1500 and will also be charged £1600 to return my lease car so have to put that on credit card too so you can see I rally don't have the money

If their overall claim is for less than £10k then you will not be responsible for their legal costs, such as lawyers’ fees. However if they win they could try and claim the court costs for making the claim, which would be in the region of £290. You can always try and send them final sum and make it clear it is sent as full and final settlement of anything you owe under the contract and if they accept it then they will find it difficult to claim for more after that. If they want to go to court you can basically tell them that you will simply have to declare yourself bankrupt and they won’t be able to get the amount from you anyway and will just incur further debts

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 1 year ago.
Just a final point- you say send a final sum? What do you mean?
I have no amount of money in quantity so can only pay some monthly so how do I make it a final payment? Should I out line that I will pay an amount per month for 6 months and that will be my final payment or just pay monthly and then stop and say that's my final payment? That are pushing for me to maintain the £50-£80 a week and I can't sustain it.

Happy to continue answering follow up questions, if you could please leave your rating for the initial responses I would be grateful, thank

Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you

Thank you. You can send a lump sum payment now if you can afford it. If you cannot then you can continue paying them monthly payments, without admitting to owing them any particular sum then when you are able to pay them the last payment you send that as a full and final payment for the contract in place.