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JimLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 9977
Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
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I hired in 16/05/2019. A company that helps

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Hello,I hired in 16/05/2019. A company that helps businesses check and challenge their business rates. This service is advertised on their website, yet they have failed to take the next step by submitting a challenge after we received the VOA's decision 4 months ago. I paid them over 800.00 GBP as a fixed fee to be my agents and file the VOA challenge on my behalf even though they advertise a no win no fee option on their website as they wanted to help out a small business like mine. Upon the first meeting, their surveyor said I had good grounds to appeal the rates as the premises was overvalued. He also made it very clear that the VOA normally refuse checks and that challenges are the way forward.They only did the first step which was the "check" but failed to submit the "challenge". There was no mention whatsoever from them that no challenge was going to be submitted. Ever since we received the VOA's check response, they kept telling me to wait as the next step "challenge" will take time to prepare and process. I am left with no choice now but to take them to Claims Court and recoup the fees including damages as they falsely advertised a service and failed to log in a challenge within the allocated 4 month window. I am no longer able to challenge my business rates by doing it myself or appointing a new agent as it is now past 4 months.Should I send them a ‘Letter before claim’ in this case? As I have already paid and will ask them to pay back the fees in full? If so, then can you issue one for me to sign? I would like it on the lawyer's or firm's headed paper please for formalities.If they fail to respond within the 14 day window, can I ask the court to also claim for damages caused on top of recouping the fees paid?Thanks

Hello, this is Jim and I am a dual-qualified lawyer (UK and Republic of Ireland) and happy to help you today.

Yes, the court will expect you to give the defendant notice of your intention to issue county court proceedings. The pre-action protocol states that a letter does need to be sent. It gives the defendant an opportunity to avoid court proceedings too.

I have uploaded a letter for you to use - if you are a consumer, the Consumer Rights Act 2015 applies and you would argue breach of contract due to the service not being as described. If you are a business then the Sale and Supply of Goods and Services Act 1980 applies instead - again, breach of contract due to misrepresentation. This is not a law firm so we cannot do the letter for you or act for you I am afraid. You would need a regulated law firm to instruct for that purpose. But we can answer any questions you have about the court case and the dispute.

I hope this helps – if you can please give a positive rating by clicking 5 stars (at the top of your screen), I can answer any follow up questions at no extra charge and I will be credited for helping you today.

Many thanks,


Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Dear *****, Thanks for this response. Is it enough for me to send them the letter on my co. headed paper then? Or must it be lawyer issued?

Hi there, it's fine to come from yourself. It would also be a small claim and indeed the Money Claim website is set up for people to use without a lawyer. It's just a letter which complies with the pre-action protocol and can be used by either yourself or a lawyer if one is to be instructed.

JimLawyer and 2 other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Great service. Thanks Jim!

Many thanks! and if you need any more assistance with the case going forwards then please do come back to the site.

Have a good day