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NewExpertAS4920
NewExpertAS4920, Solicitor
Category: Law
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Experience:  Experience in Litigation, Property, Family and Employment Law matters
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My daughter who is a self employed hairdresser has left the

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Hi,My daughter who is a self employed hairdresser has left the salon she has been working at due to poor relations and communication issues with her boss. She felt that she had no choice but to leave. During the pandemic , a clause was added to her contract stating that if she were to leave the salon before April 2023, then she would be liable to pay back the difference between reduced chair rent rates which were paid during that time and her previously agreed chair rent. The first month was specified as free . The salon owner has now told my daughter that she must pay him £6275, in a lump sum as she is leavingAs the first month was specified as free and as she was unable to actually work at all during the lockdown, does she have to pay this amount? She has a slip of paper which specifies it was free but he is now demanding £1800 for this period as part of the lump sum. During the entire lockdown period she only received £6967 in grants. She is unable to pay this sum.Any advice would be fantastic
JA: The answer cost depends on the issue and time to respond. You'll see the exact amount on the next page and can decide then. It's way less expensive and more convenient than any face-to-face visit. Where are they? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Ok
JA: What steps have they taken so far?
Customer: None… we have received the demand for payment today
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
Hi! I am a qualified solicitor in England and Wales. I will be assisting you with your query today. I may need to ask a few questions before I can address your query. Please bear in mind this is a chat service and there may be delays in responding due to assisting other customers.
Are you able to share a copy of the contract/ clause referring to this chair and it's costs?
Customer: replied 4 days ago.
Customer: replied 4 days ago.
File attached (6TM5GV5)
Customer: replied 4 days ago.
The agreement was signed in 03/21 and the period it refers to is from 03/20 until the end of the last lockdown. I’ll try and attach the text which sets out payment
Customer: replied 4 days ago.
MarthaCOVID-19 contract signed in 2021 states the following;The stylist agrees that if they terminate their chair rental agreement at Seven Ivy hairdressing before 12th April 2023 they will pay the difference between the chair rent paid during salon closure and their standard agreed chair rents. The difference charged will cover all periods the salon was forced to close due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the earlier one commencing in March 2020. This must be paid in one payment.For information your standard agreed chair rent is £450pw.The salon was closed from 23rd March 2020 until 6th July 2020 (lockdown one)For the period 23rd March 2020 until 19th April 2020 you were given four weeks free chair rentYou owe £1800 for this period (£450 per week x 4 weeks)For the period 20th April 2020 to 14th June 2020 (8 weeks) you were charged £50 per week chair rent.You owe £3200 for this period (£450pw - £50pw (already paid) x 8 week period)For period 15th June 2020 to 6th July 2020 you were charged 50% of standard agreed chair rent.You owe £675 for this period (£450pw- £225pw(already paid ) x 3 week period)The salon was closed again from January 2021 until 12th April 2021.For period 8th February 2021 to 12th April 2021 you were charged 50% of standard agreed chair rent.You owe £1800 for this period (£450pw - £225pw(already paid) x 8 week period)As per the contract you have paid back £1200 to cover some chair rent costs therefore the final outstanding amount is£7475 (chair rent owed) - £1200 (already paid) - total amount outstanding £6275.
Thank you. At the time, did Martha understand what she was agreeing to?
Customer: replied 4 days ago.
I doubt that she fully did… it was posted out to her to sign and send back and she didn’t receive a copy and had forgotten about it until he sent it today
Customer: replied 4 days ago.
She was so unhappy that she just wants to be away from the salon, but has no money herself to pay… if we could at least question the ‘free’ period then we may be able to help her out financially
Customer: replied 4 days ago.
Can something be ‘free’ and then suddenly not free???
Customer: replied 4 days ago.
I shall look out for your answer in a short while… I appreciate that you are busy
Customer: replied 4 days ago.
File attached (5S1LVVG)
Thank you for the information. I will set out my advice below
As the contract has been signed it will be difficult to argue that she did not understand the terms she was accepting. Especially since the contract has been on going for one year. If your daughter cannot afford to pay it back, I suggest she formally explains her financial position that she cannot afford to pay the amount and see if they will negotiate and propose a lower amount.She could also offer to pay in installments i.e. £50 per month or something.
If something was initially free, they can claim indeed claim it if you terminate the contract before the end date.
Customer: replied 4 days ago.
The salon owner is saying he wants it all in a lump sum. If she offers to pay a percentage then is the chance of him taking her to small claims court reduced???
If she explains to him in writing her financial position and makes a reasonable proposal to settle the debt the judge will consider her reasonableness even if the matter proceeded to court. If anything the judge may penalise him for not accepting reasonable offers.
NewExpertAS4920 and 3 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Even if he submits a claim, she can explain in her defence that she tried resolving this amicably
Customer: replied 2 days ago.
I have a further question relating to this issue
Please go ahead
Customer: replied 2 day ago.
Hi… my daughter has offered to pay £4000 of the £6275 owed fir the Covid chair rent. She emailed the salon owner And specified that she had had no intention of stopping working at the salon on the Thursday that the final unpleasant discussion happened, but she had felt that she was left with no alternative.
During a telephone conversation with the salon owner on the Thursday evening, she said to him that she did not feel that she could continue to work at the salon, and he said to her in the hearing of myself and my husband “So you’re telling me that you’re quitting”… he said this 3 times and she said that she was… he was hectoring her….no mention was made by the owner about her needing to give notice
At the time, after this conversation about leaving the salon he said that he would support her in her leaving. He is now saying that on top of the Covid chair rent that she needs to pay three months chair rent as she has not given notice to leave. He says that she now owes over £10,000. She was expecting him to behave in this manner in light of previous experiences. He is now drip feeding more unpleasantness. I appreciate that the contract that was signed over five years ago will still be binding. But he has said that she cannot get access to her scissors or equipment until she has paid the money.
Are you free to have a telephone conversation?
Customer: replied 2 day ago.
I’m actually a nurse working a night shift..
Customer: replied 2 day ago.
Hi… I’m still here to chat online..
Customer: replied 2 day ago.
These are the emails that have been exchanged today
Customer: replied 2 day ago.
Dear Dan,When I arrived at work on Thursday morning, I had no idea or intention that it would be my last day working at Seven Ivy. After the discussion that morning I felt that it was going to be impossible to stay any longer for my own well-being.
This was not the first time that I had felt pressured and singled out for criticism, and felt at that point that if I were to stay then the cycle would continue. I have expressed to you and others that I have been making a conscious effort to improve our relationship and my presence in the salon, but unfortunately we have not been able to rectify matters.
I am very sad that my time at the salon is over and will be forever grateful for the skills and confidence that you have given me while working there.I appreciate your offer of support regarding informing my clients of my new location, but unfortunatly I do not have one in place at this moment. As a self employed person I would be grateful for the oppurtunity to retrieve some of my longstanding client's detail from the database to help start me off in this new venture. I do both colours and cuts for these clients and I have been looking after them for the past 4 years.Regarding the unpaid Covid chair rent, I appreciate that the money was lost due to lockdowns but unfortunately I am unable to give you the full amount as I don't have that sort of money readily avaliable. I do have records of payments sent to you on the 13th of July for £1000 and another payment of £1000 on the 20th of August.I am able to pay £3000, in addition to the outstanding money due to me from the salon. This will be all the money I can get together.It is gong to take a few days for me to get the money together as I will have to arrange a loan.Let me know if you agree to this and we can arrange a time for payment. With the collection of my personal belongings and colour, would I be able to collect them Tuesday afternoon or Monday around Midday.Yours sincerely, *****
Customer: replied 2 day ago.
Dear MarthaThank you for your message. It is bold and unfair statement to suggest that the reason you decided to leave Seven Ivy was because you were pressured and singled out for criticism. As a business and an individual I have offered you so much support over the years that you have worked with me. The issue that arose on Thursday morning was a result of your own actions witnessed by other members of staff and therefore had to be addressed.
Please make reference to your NHF contract which you have signed, photo attached, in particular determination 6.1, which states you are required to give not less than three months notice in writing.As per the contract you owe three months chair rent as you have not provided any notice to leave Seven Ivy, this totals £5850 and is in addition to the monies owed as per the COVID-19 contract.
Taking into account the £2000 you have already paid and £967.27 you were due to be transferred by Seven Ivy Hairdressing, this leaves the total amount outstanding at £10357.73.Once payment has been made then we can arrange the collection of personal belongings and colour. As previously advised please do not enter Seven Ivy Hairdressing, we will be in touch to arrange collection of your keys.
I'm free to talk now if you are available
Customer: replied 1 day ago.
Sorry.. me again. Does the salon owner have the right to demand she return her keys if her property is still in the building and it isn’t established yet if her notice has actually been tended??
You could propose to return the key on receipt of her property
Customer: replied 1 day ago.
Thank you
My pleasure
Customer: replied 13 hours ago.
Last one I promise
My daughters contract was amended by the salon owner 2 years after it was originally signed, but the change was just one thing scribbled out and another thing written in its place… there were no extra signatures to this change… are the terms still enforceable??
If the changes were not accepted by your daughter then they are not enforceable. However, there is not always a need for an extra signature. Even if there is an email where she confirmed the amendments are accepted then the clause will be enforceable.
Customer: replied 12 hours ago.
It was all verbal
Customer: replied 12 hours ago.
But the whole contract is still enforceable??
The original contract is indeed enforceable