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james bruce
james bruce, Solicitor-Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 5895
Experience:  Owner at James Bruce Solicitors
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My question is related to nursery fees, N70RE London,

Customer Question

Hello, my question is related to nursery fees
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: N70RE London
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: Nothing
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: My child's nursery charged me for month during coronavirus for services they didn't provide. I've just read the CMA guidance. Can I ask for a refund now?
Submitted: 16 days ago.
Category: Law
Customer: replied 16 days ago.
I am leaving the nursery and have been assessed a large penalty that is also not transparent. I'll look at the contract but my initial question is about the coronavirus monthly charge.
Expert:  james bruce replied 16 days ago.

Hello, I hope you are well. My name is***** am a solicitor advocate and  I will be assisting you with your question today. I am very sorry to hear of the problem you are experiencing and I will do my best to help you with this matter.

The starting point for this is to look at your contract carefully, to see if there is any force majeure clause that would allow them to still charge for the fees during cover 19.

If there is not such clause, then you can rely on a frustration of contract if they did not provide services and are still trying to charge you.

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
The charge was for April 2020.
Customer: replied 16 days ago.
I can take a look at the contract.
Expert:  james bruce replied 16 days ago.

April 2020, UK in full lock down with covid19 at its worst.

You do need to take a look at your contract to see what it says.

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
I've checked the contract and I don't see much about fees
Expert:  james bruce replied 16 days ago.

It is unlikely to be in a section about fees, it is likely in a section about interruption of service etc.

How big is the contract?

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
File attached (L44VZ5Q)
Customer: replied 16 days ago.
File attached (M1ZQ7Q5)
Customer: replied 16 days ago.
File attached (GP242ZV)
Customer: replied 16 days ago.
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/nursery-and-early-years-sector-covid-19-restrictions-and-consumer-law/nursery-and-early-years-sector-covid-19-restrictions-and-consumer-law-advice
Expert:  james bruce replied 16 days ago.

There is nothing in those pages to show a force majeure. in which case you should not need to pay for a service not provided.

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
The photos are directly from the contract. All items related to fees, liabilities etc.
Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Thank you. Can I ask for a refund from 2020? Is there an expiration on that?
Customer: replied 16 days ago.
At the time I was unaware that of the CMA guidance and felt I needed to pay to keep in good standing with the nursery for when we returned normal
Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Apologies for the many typos
Expert:  james bruce replied 16 days ago.

The link you attach I have seen before. Unfortunately, like many of the governments policies during cover, it is only guidance rather than law. Had they actually taken a firm stance and made this law, many people like yourself would not be in this position.

However, the guidance is good guidance and any reputable school etc would follow this rather than take advantage of the situation.

The bot***** *****ne is, they did not provide the service to you, there is no "force Majeure " clause in the contract, therefore it should not be enforceable to make you pay for a service not provided.

You could argue frustration of contract Law Reform (Frustrated Contracts) Act 1943. They were unable to provide the service to you as lockdown was firmly underway. There was no knowing when that was to end.

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Okay thank you. This is helpful. Do I have a recourse against the nursery if they insist on no refund?
Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Is there a complaint body or adjudication service for nurseries?
Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Private nurseries?
Expert:  james bruce replied 16 days ago.

You would need to take them to court for small claims.

https://www.gov.uk/make-money-claim

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Oh dear. I'll try to not have it go there. Based on my calculations it would be an almost even swap taking into account all of the leave terms.Thank you. Have a good evening
Expert:  james bruce replied 16 days ago.

Your welcome.

Thank you for using Just Answer and for allowing me to assist you with your legal enquiry. I am pleased I was able to be of assistance. Please do not hesitate to come back to me for further advice on this or any other legal matter. It will be my pleasure to be able to assist you again.