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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 68928
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I was due to get married next September 2020 but I have

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I was due to get married next September 2020 but I have cancelled due to my brother attempting suicide, the venue are now saying they require 50% of my projected invoice which will be just over £2,500 as it is in the terms and conditions. I think this is an unfair amount and have told them I will seek further advice.
Assistant: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Redhill, Surrey
Assistant: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: None so far apart from contacting them and trying to negotiate, for example asking for a breakdown of costs etc but they just keep saying I have to pay the cancellation fee
Assistant: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Nope that’s it

Hello, I’m Ben, a UK lawyer and will be dealing with your case today. I may also need to ask some questions to determine the legal position.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Hi

So have you paid a deposit at all and if so, when exactly was this?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I paid a £750 deposit on the 19-09-2019

Thank you. I will get back to you with my answer as soon as I can, which will be at some point today. The system will notify you when this happens. Please do not reply in the meantime as this may unnecessarily delay my response. Many thanks.

Many thanks for your patience. Whilst putting such a term in their contract could potentially allow them to claim for it, they must ensure it is a fair and reasonable term and that it only goes as far as covering them for any losses they would have incurred as a result of your cancellation. So they need to be able to justify these losses and that they were unavoidable before they could charge you for them. Now that you have cancelled, they have a free date which they would be expected to fill. If they can do so and get at least the same amount as what they would have received from you, then they would have recouped most losses and they can only charge you for admin time for what has happened so far. Therefore you should be asking them for the necessary evidence that these costs were incurred and can even wait for some time before they know for sure whether this date can be filled and with what profits.

Does this answer your query?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thanks for your reply. I received an email from them today and they have said that now the date is free they would probably not fill it so therefore they predict there loss of earnings to be £8,000.Where do I stand with not paying the fee?
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
is the amount they are asking for a fair amount as I feel it isn’t. They have said it’s based on my current invoice which only included food and I know that wouldn’t have been ordered, I have also only had one meeting with them.

‘Probably not going to fill it’ does not mean anything until closer to the date when they know for certain if that is the case. They are expected to still try and get a replacement so it means advertising that date as free and offering it to prospective couples.

At this stage you can always hold off from paying the fee on that basis – they cannot force you to do so anyway. The only way to make you pay is if they eventually went to the Small Claims Court and won. However, they may never go that far and even if they did – there is no guarantee they will win. In the event they did win, you will only be liable to pay what the court has ordered based on what losses they have suffered but you won’t have to pay their solicitors’ fees as they pay their own in that venue

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I can fully understand why on the outside you would think its an unreasonable charge. You are correct that we haven’t spent money ordering food or ceiling drapes etc....The issue is the loss of revenue we will incur due to your cancellation. The average lead time to booking a wedding is easily on average over 12 months. With your wedding only 8 months away, your cancellation during our peak season means we will almost certainly have a day without revenue now. When you book our venue we reserve the day for you to host your wedding on good faith that we will get paid. In turn we turn away other enquiries as we have reserved the day for you. Now you cancelling means we earn nothing other than your deposit (£750), instead of a wedding of average revenue being £8000 to us. It really is no different to you cancelling your mobile phone contract half way through the term. Your provider would still charge you for the value of that contract despite you not using their services.As I said, we have not hidden the T's & C's from you. Quite the opposite in fact. You have signed them quite happily in full knowledge of our cancellation fees and had no issue with them at the time. They are very reasonable and transparent from the get go.Please remember that there is always the option remaining open to you to defer the wedding to a different available date if you wish. Please let me know if your final decision is indeed to cancel the event entirely.This is the email I received from them today.

Thanks, ***** ***** the above still stands - especially at this stage you can easily refuse to pay anything as you simply do not know if the date will get filled or not, there is plenty of time left

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Ok thanks for all your help.

Most welcome

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