Many thanks for your patience, I am pleased to be able to continue assisting with your query now. First of all, I am sorry to hear about the issues you have experienced in your situation.
Sadly the law will not look at what-if scenario, such as what if you had not yet paid them the full amount and that you would not have been liable in that case. The fact of the matter is that you had already paid them and you are then still bound by the terms at the time.
Of course that does not give them the automatic right to charge you what they want and to issue a no-refund policy without an consideration as to the reasons for the cancellation and how that would have impacted them (i.e. are they covering genuine losses which they cannot recoup, or are they making a profit from you for nothing).
In any event, you can potentially try and rely on the law of frustration to push a cancellation with a refund, at least in part. The legal principle of ‘frustration’ can sometimes be used to discharge the obligations of both parties to a contract and allow them to walk away from the contractual relationship without any further liabilities to each other. However, the circumstances when this may occur are relatively rare and certain factors have to be satisfied for it to be applicable. The most relevant ones are:
- an unforeseen event occurs after a contract is entered into; and
- this event is outside the control of the parties, and makes the contract impossible, illegal or radically different to perform.
Therefore, the event which is relied on must fundamentally change the performance of the contract, to such a degree that it basically makes it completely different to what was originally intended. It is not enough for the contract to have only become more expensive or more difficult to perform, there has to be a fundamental change to the original purposes of the contract.
If a contract is deemed to have been frustrated, the parties to it do not need to perform any future contractual obligations. In addition, they cannot claim damages for non-performance of these future obligations. Additionally, any money already paid under the contract before the frustrating event occurred is repayable to the other side. However, if a party has incurred expenses before the frustrating event occurred and such expenses are non-recoverable, they can seek to offset these from any money due for repayment.
Whilst either party can try and argue that frustration has occurred, it is important to note that this is a relatively rare occurrence and if challenged by the other side, only a court an decide if it can be applied in these specific circumstances. That does mean that if the parties cannot agree to it, it may have to be taken to court for resolution.