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The pitfalls of consumer contracts

2 mins
pitfalls of consumer contracts for roofing

Does your business involve domestic customers?

If so, Michael Green, Director at PGM Solicitors shares knowledge of a piece of legislation which is little known but of great significance: the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013.

These regulations apply where the contract is entered into away from your business premises, often the home of the consumer. Failure to comply with the regulations can have dire financial consequences for the trader—that is, you.

The regulations state that before a consumer is bound by a contract concluded away from trade premises; they must be provided with certain information. The list is extensive,
but includes your name (or company name), a physical address, the goods or services to be provided and, importantly, details of their right to cancel.

In addition to the right to cancel, you must provide a cancellation form. Regulation 19 makes it a criminal offence to fail to provide details of the right to cancel.

Where the required information has not been provided, Regulation 31 extends the time for cancellation to 14 days from when the information is provided, or up to one year.

You can only start the work before the end of the cancellation period if the consumer specifically asks you to in writing, and acknowledges that they are waiving their right to cancel. The consumer cannot be charged for work carried out in the cancellation period unless they have done this.

The upshot is that if you carry out the work without giving the information on cancellation rights, you will almost certainly do the work in the cancellation period, and may not be able to enforce the contract if the customer does not pay.

Finally, Michael adds “It’s worth taking this seriously and knowing exactly where you stand! PGM are here to give you advice”.

For more information or advice on consumer contracts visit www.pgmsolicitors.co.uk

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