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.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask JGM Your Own Question
JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 12187
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
Type Your Scots Law Question Here...
JGM is online now

, I own a small hotel in Scotland and have a question about

This answer was rated:

Hi, I own a small hotel in Scotland and have a question about contract law. The situation is as follows:
- I signed a contract for annual lift maintenance on 18 Dec 2008 with an effective start date of 1 Dec 2008 (1.5k per annum)
- Term of contract says "5 years. Unless notice given in writing at least 3 months prior to the end of the term the contract will automatically extend for a period equivalent to the initial term"
- The contract therefore should have terminated in Dec 2013 had I given notice on or before Aug 2013
My problem is that I did not give this notice. I gave notice that I wanted to stop the contract in Oct 2014. The counterparty then sent me the contract, reminded me of above and told me I'm on the hook for the remainder of the 2nd 5 year term.
My view is this is not fair - I'm not using the service and it seems to me unreasonable for it to automatically extend for 5 years. 1 year rolling maybe would be fair but 5 years. What if it had said 100 years and I hadn't noticed... Am I correct in thinking that I have protection from "unfair contracts" and is this unfair - or am I in the wrong. So far I have cancelled the direct debit but they are now threatening me with a debt collector. Thanks for your thoughts!
Thank you for your question.
I'm afraid that this type of contract is valid and binding. The courts take the view that business people can and should look after themselves (this is not a consumer contract) and the court won't intervene in this situation on the ground of fairness.
Happy to discuss further.
I hope this helps. Please leave a positive response so that I am credited for my time.
JGM and other Scots Law Specialists are ready to help you