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We aim to provide practical guidance on useful areas of busness law.  

By sfb solicitors, Nov 22 2019 11:50AM

Tenancy Deposit Schemes (TDSs) became compulsory for all residential assured shorthold tenancies (ASTs) created on or after 6 April 2007. The landlord does not have to protect the deposit if it was paid before 6 April 2007 and either the tenant did not have a fixed term tenancy, or the fixed term ended before that date.

TDSs were created under the Housing Act 2004 and are intended to prevent a landlord from failing to return a tenant's deposit and to ensure a landlord is not left out of pocket when a tenancy expires, and a tenant abandons the property.

Any money that is taken by or for the landlord as security for the tenant's liabilities in connection with the assured shorthold tenancy, will constitute a deposit that must be protected in a TDS.

In England and Wales, the deposit can be registered with:

• Deposit Protection Service

• MyDeposits - including deposits that were held by Capita

• Tenancy Deposit Scheme

The landlord or agent chooses which scheme to use and must provide the tenant with specific details of the deposit protection and a leaflet explaining how TDS works. This is called prescribed information; it must be issued within 30 days of receiving the deposit.

At the end of the tenancy the landlord must return the deposit within 10 days of you both agreeing how much will be paid back. If there is a dispute with the landlord, then the deposit will be protected in the TDP scheme until the issue is sorted out.

If a landlord fails to join a TDS, the landlord may be liable to financial penalties and may be prevented from recovering possession of its property from the tenant.

If a landlord or agent fail to protect the deposit or protect it out of the prescribed timeframe the tenant has 6 years to make a claim for compensation.

Summerfield Browne have offices in Leicester, Birmingham, London, Oxford, Cambridge and Market Harborough and assist with cases all over the UK.

By sfb solicitors, Sep 25 2019 12:55PM

If you’ve had work done at home and there’s a problem caused by the trader you are protected under either the Consumer Rights Act or the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982, depending on when the work was undertaken.

Under the Consumer Rights Act, which came into force on 01/10/2015, consumers entering into a contract for goods and services should expect work to be undertaken with “reasonable care and skill”, and materials should also be of satisfactory quality, as described and fit for purpose.

If the trader provided goods in addition to the service, you are legal entitled to ask the trader to fix the problem. If the trader just provided the service, you are legally entitled to get a refund and stop the trader from carrying out any further work.

What to do next:

1. Obtain estimates from other traders.

2. Request that original trader fixes the work and provide them with the estimates obtained. You will need to agree a final date for the work to be completed. You should make it clear that if they do not complete the work you will appoint an alternative trader and seek the additional costs incurred from them. You must give the trader the opportunity the opportunity to rectify their work within a reasonable time frame, if you do not and proceed to instruct an alternative trader to complete the works this could affect any claim you make.

3. Collect evidence in support of the claim for poor workmanship i.e. photographs. Should you proceed with a formal claim an expert’s report may be required to provide an independent assessment. Keep copies of all documents and correspond by email where possible in order to obtain an accurate record of communications

4. If the trader cannot or will not fix the problem you can ask for a full or partial refund, once an agreement has been reached the refund must be paid within 14 days.

If you withhold any monies owed this could make you in breach of contract, enabling the trader to take legal action against you.

If you are unable to reach an agreement other options available are Alternative Dispute Resolution or proceedings with a formal claim

Summerfield Browne have offices in Leicester, Birmingham, London, Oxford, Cambridge and Market Harborough and assist with cases all over the UK.

By sfb solicitors, Sep 18 2019 09:54AM

Nobody wants to get embroiled in a contract dispute. It is essential that when entering into any contract the correct advice is obtained to minimise any damage to you or your business. The contract itself should be clear an unambiguous as this will make it easier for the injured party to seek redress if the need arises.

A contract dispute arises when one party believes that the other has not adhered to some or all of the obligations set out and agreed between the parties. This can involve a failure or refusal to pay on the grounds that one party has failed to perform its obligations by supplying defective or incomplete goods or services.

If the terms of a contract are broken this is known as a breach of contract. Various remedies are available but the most common are:

1 - Damages – an award of damages is the usual remedy. The purpose of damages is to put the injured party into the same financial position they would have been in had the contract been performed correctly.

2 - An order will be made by the court requiring a party to perform a positive contract obligation, that is to do something that should have been done under the contract itself).

3 - Injunctions – this is a court order requiring a party to take specific steps or restraining them from certain activities. An example would be to prevent them from contacting a customer or supplier or from publishing a false or defamatory comment.

4 - Recission – this is setting aside a contract where the parties are put back into the position they were before the contract was made. This may be available where the contract was agreed as a result of misrepresentation, mistake, duress or undue influence.

5 - Rectification – this only applies to written contracts and its main purpose is to put right a genuine mistake made between orally agreeing terms and recording those terms into a written contract.

We can offer expert advice in both drafting contracts in an effort to protect you from pitfalls at a later stage and dealing with any disputes that arise as a result of a breach that has occurred.

Summerfield Browne have offices in Leicester, Birmingham, London, Oxford, Cambridge and Market Harborough and assist with cases all over the UK.

By sfb solicitors, Jul 29 2019 12:40PM

Summerfield Browne Solicitors has now represented numerous clients of the notorious business rate company RVA Surveyors.

Our latest victory is mentioned in the article below.


We are now asking for victims of RVA Surveyors to come forward with a view to bringing a group action against the company.

Legal action is being planned against RVA Surveyors in relation to the contracts that they have allegedly entered.

Our dedicated web page below gives details of how we can help and a contact form for you to leave your details.

Proposed group action against RVA Surveyors

Summerfield Browne have offices in Leicester, Birmingham, London, Oxford, Cambridge and Market Harborough and assist with cases all over the UK.

By sfb solicitors, Jul 5 2019 03:47PM

We had great news yesterday for one of our clients who was embroiled in a bitter battle with RVA Surveyors. They had taken her to court in relation to an unpaid invoice and the case was heard in the Yeovil County Court.

Our client’s barrister successfully argued that the agreement that RVA Surveyors was relying on was void and the Judge sided with our client. The Judge rescinded the contract, and this means that our client will no longer have to pay any more of RVA Surveyors’ invoices. In our client’s case this means that she will not have to pay years’ and years’ worth of invoices. This alone would have been fantastic news for our client, but our client was also awarded legal costs.

RVA Surveyors are based in Manchester but we understand that businesses up and down the country have been targeted by this company.

If you find yourself in a dispute with RVA Surveyors and want urgent legal advice regarding county court proceedings, we have a team of legal professionals that are ready to assist. Business rates relief is there to benefit small businesses and was NOT put in place to benefit companies like RVA Surveyors.

Contact our team on 01858 414284 or email enquiries@summerfieldbrowne.com

Summerfield Browne have offices in Leicester, Birmingham, London, Oxford, Cambridge and Market Harborough.

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