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RJM Law
RJM Law, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3157
Experience:  LL.B (Hons)
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I would like some advise on a business contract hire

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I would like some advise on a business contract hire agreement
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: England UK
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: nothing as yet requested copy of agreement
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: no

Welcome and thank you for choosing our service, I will be the expert assisting you with this matter today.   I appreciate this matter is important to you and I shall try to resolve it as precisely and quickly as possible for you today.

Please note; there may be delays between messages as the experts on this website all work on a third party basis and are not online full time however, I shall endeavour to respond to your question as soon as possible.  I look forward to assisting you in this matter.

Thank you.

I wondered if you could outline your question specifically for me please.  Thank you.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Hi yes of course. It is a maybe a little complicated so I will try my best to explain everything

Thank you.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
My business has previously had 2 contract hire agreements with a company 1 for a van and 1 for a car. due to the pandemic we returned the van and was billed 55% of the final rentals. Unfortunately due to the pandemic we were not in a position to pay this bill in full at the time.Two weeks ago the car we have on a separate agreement was returned to the contract hire company for it to be serviced and have its tyres replaced. This contract was fully paid upto date but they have refused to return the car to us and have now said we have cancelled the contract on this car and billed us for 55% of the final 12 month rentals. Is this legal?
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
They telephoned to say they were not returning the car due to the unpaid bill under the other agreement.

Thank you I understand what you mean.   So what you will have to do is treat this initially as two separate agreement.  However, you will have to check the initial agreements to see if there is any provision in there for them to do this i.e merge the contracts.  I think it would be unlikely but still a possibility.  If this is not the case then you can view that they have breached on of the contract and potentially make a claim against them for any losses you have incurred as a result of the breach.  Prior to doing this, you will want to send them a letter stating if they do not return the car then you will take legal action and also seek costs against them.  It may be possible to do this via a small claims action.

You can complete the forms for a small claims action easily online.  You will have to highlight what the issues are and tell them how much you are claiming for, to be honest the first are straight forward and self-explanatory.   If you feel you can do this yourself then you don’t really need to hire a solicitor but I will provide details for you in case you feel you want to.  You will then receive a response to the claim and a court date.  On the day (unless they offer a settlement) you will appear at the local court and basically provide your evidence and give you claim to the judge and they will response.  The judge will assess the merits of the claim and defence and make a judgement this should be relatively easy for you to prove so the respondent may well offer a settlement in the meantime.

I hope this information has helped.  You can find a local solicitor who deals with this on the law society webpage which is;

https://solicitors.lawsociety.org.uk/

If you require any help moving forward on this matter in the  future,  please do feel free to come back to us and I would be more than happy to assist.

Kindest Regards.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
To be absolutely honest I am not that concerned about having the car returned as after the way this company has behaved I don't really want any further dealings with them, but I do not want to pay the final invoice they have sent me today for a car I don't have. What I was wanting to know if they had a legal case to chase me for this payment and would they be able to enforce payment in the small claims court they chose to go down this route. I have a copy of the agreement for the car.
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
File attached (SZ2T54G)
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I have settled the invoice for the other vehicle also I did this last week once I had received payment of a covid business grant.

If the contracts are severable and they are refusing to return the car then they are in breach of contract and you can raise an action.   However. you will have to check the agreement to see if they are severable or not.  I would think they are which would mean they are in breach.

RJM Law and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Ok thank you