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Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 22599
Experience:  PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street practice
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Im currently in the process of closing my business however I

Customer Question

hello, im currently in the process of closing my business however I have 3 and half years left on a lease agreement for some electrical equipment, one of the leased items when it arrived was not what I ordered. I was intimidated and backed into a corner and given an ultimatum of take the equipment as it is or we take it all away, I had a launch party for my business booked for the next and the equipment was a crucial part of the business. Can I deny financial responsibility for this item as I have the order emails confirming what I had ordered and what was delivered was not it.
JA: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state the property is in?
Customer: we are in the UK
JA: What action has been taken so far? What's your ideal outcome?
Customer: the leasing company have ended my agreement and given me 30 days to try to sell the equipment failing that the end of lease buy out is £15,000 once they had passed the equipment back to the supplier at £1,000 a piece (when I paid £7,000 and £7,500) so I would be financially responsible for £15,000
JA: When we are ready I'll take you to the appropriate web page.
Customer: Ideally im happy to be financially responsible for the equipment I ordered but not what I was forced to use
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: not that I can think of right now
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Stuart J replied 7 months ago.

Good morning. Thank you for the question. It is my pleasure to assist you with this today.

How long have you had the equipment for?

Please explain exactly what you mean by that £15,000 buyout? It seems odd that the buyout at the end of the lease is £15,000 when it appears that you only paid £14,500 for the equipment .

I need to know the maths please.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I've had the equipment for 18 months and in total paid around £6,000 so far. the lease is for 5 years. To end the lease the buy out price is £17,000 the finance company have said they will sell the equipment back to the supplier for £1,000 each and I will be left to cover the short fall of £15,000
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
with high interest around £150 a month
Expert:  Stuart J replied 7 months ago.

Thank you.

You may be able to get out of the lease if the lease that you have is for a different piece of equipment.

However if the lease you have is for the piece of equipment that you have, albeit that it’s not the equipment that you initially wanted, it is unlikely that you could get out of the lease on that basis after 18 months.

The reason for getting out of the lease now after all is not because it’s the wrong equipment, but because your business is closing.

The amount of money that you seem to be being asked to pay seems to be out of proportion to the cost of the equipment although that is obviously a mathematical thing within the terms of the agreement and taking into account any early redemption penalty.

Selling the equipment back to the lease company for a small percentage of what it’s worth is not uncommon.

You are in a very difficult situation here because this could go either way in court (if it got that far) depending on the minutiae in the paperwork and the view the judge takes on the day in court.

I think you have probably got a 50% chance of getting away with it although, if you lose, you may have to pay considerable legal costs on top of the amount they are claiming. I wish I could give you a definitive answer to this but sometimes, there is no definitive answer. If there was a definitive answer to every legal question, nothing would ever end up in court. Litigation needs at least 2 parties and neither of them goes to court expecting to lose. Nonetheless, one of them does even though they have been told by their respective legal advisers that they have a good chance of success.

I am not certain whether that answers the question for you or not but I am happy to answer any specific points arising from this.

Please do not forget to use the rating service to rate my answer positively. If you don’t rate it positively, I don’t get paid.

You may get the impression that the thread closes after rating, but it does not, it remains open and we can still exchange emails if anything needs clarification.

Kind regards.