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F E Smith
F E Smith, Solicitor
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 9348
Experience:  30 years in General Practice
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We signed a sole agency contract to market our property on

Customer Question

We signed a sole agency contract to market our property on premises, after receiving the contract the previous afternoon. The notice of right to cancel references the Consumer Contract Regulations (Information, Cancellations and Additional Charges) 2013, and 14 day right to cancel but does not give any other information. We informed the estate agent of our intention to cancel the contract with immediate effect, within 24 hours of signing. The estate agent posted our details on their website based on photography and details taken 12 months ago. No viewings took place prior to cancellation or since. My question is whether or not the contract (or estate agent) should have been more explicit regarding the cooling off period and the fact it does not apply to contracts signed on premises. Our details have removed from the agents website. Thank you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Contract was emailed to us but we signed on premises.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 1 year ago.

Are you asking whether, because you signed the contract on the trade premises, you have the right to cancel?

Expert:  F E Smith replied 1 year ago.

Unfortunately, the limitation period under the Limitation Act 1980 for breach of contract is 6 years from the date of the contract or from the date that you became aware of the breach but, that is subject to a long stop date of 15 years.

Unfortunately therefore as you were given this advice in 1981 the statutory limitation period applies which the accountant could use in their defence.

Had it not been for the timescale, then you could have brought a claim against the accountant in negligence.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Please do not forget to rate the service positive. It’s an important part of the process whereby experts get paid.

Best wishes


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
my question is whether we can cancel the contract with immediate effect as we are in the cooling off period, despite the fact that we signed the contract on the estate agent's premises.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 1 year ago.

I apologise. I am having problems with cut-and-paste whereby the cut does not pick up the current reply. For some reason, it’s posted a previous reply.

This is the answer you should have had:

The right to cancel only applies in respect of contracts which have been sold at a distance which are subject to a credit agreement. The relevant legislation is the Consumer Contracts (information Cancellation and Additional Charges) regulations 2013

If the seller has failed to provide you with the statutory information under the Distance Selling Regulations, including your right to cancel, then your right to cancel “thinking time” does not start until they let you have that information subject to a long stop of up to 12 months. Assuming that you had all the information and it was a distance contract, you have 14 days to cancel provided the service has not been commenced in the interim.

The information they must give you is a description, total price, cost of delivery (not applicable in your case) the right to cancel, sellers details including address and telephone number.

If they didn’t do all that but you have the right to cancel if it is an “off premises contract”.

There is a definition of what is an off premises contract in the regulations. Paraphrasing it, if all the negotiations were of trade premises but the actual signing of the contract was trade premises then it’s covered by the regulations you have the right to cancel within 14 days of receiving all the statutory documentation provided the service has not already commenced.

The agent is going to argue that by putting the details on the website, the service had commenced.

If they took you to court to try to enforce this they are not going to be on good grounds particularly in view of the fact that you cancelled so early in the process.