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babnye

Oft Advice On Contract Terms

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I thought my agency was a fairly legitimate agency but it has broken some of the clauses. It is quite clear on access too. LondontoManchester should ask someone to read it to him (I don't think his literacy skills are up to this document but some government documents are available in easy English).

Edited by HPCbeliever

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I thought my agency was a fairly legitimate agency but it has broken some of the clauses. It is quite clear on access too. LondontoManchester should ask someone to read it to him (I don't think his literacy skills are up to this document but some government documents are available in easy English).

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OFT Guidelines are not the law, and frequently ignored by judges.

I would agree but also add that many of the guidelines are based on the law particularly the Unfair Terms and Conditions in Consumer Contracts act (what a mouthful but can in to effect in 1999) the three Landlord Tenant acts (1977, 1985 and 2004) and three Housing acts (1926, 1987 and 1988).... I think that is it off the top of my head

Sadly though with input from so many acts it is not clear the average reader what can be used in defence and what is just the musings of the OFT

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No, they are not the law but they are persuasive 'soft law' i.e. statutory guidance.

As a lawyer, I cannot see judges (especially district judges who are only part-time practising lawyers) ignoring these easily.

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I should also add that there at least are two separate legal contexts in which these would apply:

(a) you might be disputing the landlord's/LA's ability to rely on a particular clause and you might want to argue it is an unfair clause and therefore void - a court will decide but will take this guidance (based on the law) into account

(B) the OFT has its own separate enforcement powers based on a variety of Acts and if the OFT feel clauses are unfair, they can advise a LA to make appropriate amendments under threat of enforcement action.

Tenants can, and should, make the OFT aware of clauses which clearly go against their guidance

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Tenants can, and should, make the OFT aware of clauses which clearly go against their guidance

I would agree though through personal experience they are not interested in individual cases and prefer to take on LA "chains" if they have terms which conflict with the guidance

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That's interesting to hear but not unsurprising in view of limitations on resources etc.

I suppose though that the more tenants complain, the more statistical information OFT gain about the prevalence of these terms

As a lawyer, I am very disappointed to see other lawyers draft these unnecessary charges (e.g. compulsory insurance) in view of the clear guidance against their use. It borders on the unethical as if a client is advised to stick such a clause in and is later unable to rely on it to their deteriment, in view of this guidance, there could be a clear claim for negligent advice

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That's interesting to hear but not unsurprising in view of limitations on resources etc.

I suppose though that the more tenants complain, the more statistical information OFT gain about the prevalence of these terms

As a lawyer, I am very disappointed to see other lawyers draft these unnecessary charges (e.g. compulsory insurance) in view of the clear guidance against their use. It borders on the unethical as if a client is advised to stick such a clause in and is later unable to rely on it to their deteriment, in view of this guidance, there could be a clear claim for negligent advice

I suspect they are not drafted by lawyers and either by estate agents or landlords, my last contract was a travesty and Knight Frank tried to argue it was lawful until their lawyers got involved, suddenly we had a major climb down.

Some tw*t tried to argue the Aga which heated the house was a cooker and therefore not covered by section 11, they tried to make us pay £400 to get the damn thing serviced, they tried to enforce the gutter cleaning clause, the painting the outside of the house clause, the daft gardening clauses and we beat them on every count.

It was the pompous you are not a country gentleman attitude that got me.. at least I can be smug in knowing that will earn more than they ever will but I rather wish they would meet with a high velocity bus one day ;-)

Edited by Matt Henson

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Don't surprise me. When my cooker kept shorting I contacted the agent. They sent an engineer who said he couldn't find anything wrong. When they tried to send me the bill, I was incensed, and after verbally expressing my displeasure, sought some legal advice. I was, of course, correct. It happened several more times and the landlord (who I don't think was to blame) purchased a new cooker. The agents still referred to the "allegedly shorting cooker". However with some of the landlords we get on here (not all of course). I am not surprised

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