How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • Go back-and-forth until satisfied
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ben Jones Your Own Question
Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 75057
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
29905560
Type Your Law Question Here...
Ben Jones is online now

Wanted an advise regarding an issue with not refunding of

Customer Question

Hi. Wanted an advise regarding an issue with not refunding of deposit
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: England
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: I paid a deposit for a garden job in February to be done in October. But have some issues so didn't want to proceed. So contacted the garden landscape company and requested for cancellation and the deposit back. I paid deposit of 850 pounds which was 10% of the quoted job. But the company refuses to return the deposit. I didn't sign any contract nor was mentioned to me
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: That's all
Submitted: 10 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 days ago.

Hello, I’m Ben. It’s my pleasure to assist you today. I may also ask for some preliminary information to help me determine the legal position.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 days ago.

Why are they refusing to refund you? Please note this is not always an instant service and I may not be able to reply immediately. However, rest assured that I am dealing with your question and will get back to you as soon as I can. Thanks

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Thanks
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Chat is ok
Customer: replied 10 days ago.

They mentioned that because of not proceeding with the garden job they won't pay back. I had informed in May which is 5 months before the proposed job

Customer: replied 10 days ago.

I never signed any contract nor they mentioned at the time of payment that the deposit is non refundable. I wanted to know if legally they can refuse this

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 days ago.

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.

Generally, when a person places an order for something, be it goods or services, and pays a deposit, they enter into a legally enforceable contract with the other side. It is implied that the provider has accepted the deposit as security and as proof that the customer wants to proceed with the contract.

Unless the provider subsequently commits a serious breach of contract, such as failing to supply the goods or services, they are the ones cancelling the contract, or there was a cancellation clause, the customer would have no automatic legal right to cancel the agreement. If they do so they will likely be acting in breach of contract and potentially risk losing their deposit.

Whether the deposit can be retained will depend on what the effects of the cancellation were. In general, the deposit can only be used to cover any actual and unavoidable losses incurred as a result of that breach. It could be administrative costs, some loss of profit, etc.

If this was a business retailer, they will be subject to the Consumer Rights Act 2015. That will make retaining part of the deposit, over and above the losses which they have incurred, unlawful as it would be an unfair contractual term.

If initial negotiations to return the deposit have failed, the customer can consider threatening formal legal action if the deposit is not returned. Sometimes exerting such pressure can have the desired effect in getting at least part of the deposit returned. If they still refuse, then the only way to challenge this would be by making a claim in court. This can be initiated online via https://www.gov.uk/make-money-claim.

Finally, it is worth informing them that they would be expected to mitigate their losses by trying to find a replacement customer following the cancellation. So if they are able to do that, it would mean they have reduced their losses and the deposit, or at least part of it, may no longer be required to cover such losses and should be returned.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 days ago.

Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand. If anything remains unclear, I will be more than happy to clarify it for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 days ago.

Hello, I trust that everything has now been dealt with to your satisfaction and your original question has been resolved. If you have any further queries about it, please do not hesitate to get back to me on here. In the meantime, I wish you all the best.