Rental - Unfair terms

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Some contracts contain standard terms that the law says are unfair because they give the trader an unfair advantage over you, or take away your legal rights. The law which says these terms are unfair is called the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999.

A term setting the price of the goods or services isn't unfair just because the price is high. However, a term allowing the trader to increase the price after you have made the agreement might be unfair.

If the trader hides behind an unfair term then the contract with you may not be valid – complain direct to the trader before you break any contract with them. If there is any doubt about what the term means, the meaning that favours you will apply.

You should know
  • You can expect rented goods to be as described, of satisfactory quality and fit for purpose.
  • Safety legislation entitles you to expect that rented goods are safe.
  • The terms of the contract to be fair, clear and not restrict a consumer's rights.
  • When you rent goods you have a duty to take reasonable care of them.
  • The advice in this section does not cover Hire Purchase - where you have the option to purchase the goods at the end of the hire term.

The Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 sets out your rights when renting goods, which are that the goods supplied for rent must be

  • of satisfactory quality
  • fit for their intended purpose
  • as described

If the rental of goods breach your rights then you are entitled to redress which can be repair or replacement of the goods or even full or partial refund if the rental is cancelled or altered.

You may also be entitled to claim consequential damages (losses you incur as a direct result of the trader hiring faulty goods out to you). You are also entitled to expect that any advertising and labelling, about the specific characteristics of the hired goods are not misleading.

The Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 require state that terms in your agreement are fair and clear.

place duties on traders to supply goods which are safe. If a product has a defect, which causes death, personal injury or damage to property (over £275) then the trader is liable.

If you believe that goods you have bought or used are unsafe, report it to the Citizens Advice consumer service, for referral to trading standards. Trading standards enforces the laws which prevent the supply of unsafe goods.

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Helping you with Unfair terms

Resolver covers the issue Unfair Terms for 8 companies and organisations: