Kicking a man when he’s down?

It’s no secret that estate agents are having a tough time in the current market, with the credit crunch popping the property bubble. However, the Court of Appeal might be accused of putting the boot in to an already stricken estate agent, Foxtons, in a case reported recently.

In The Office of Fair Trading -v- Foxtons Limited, the Court of Appeal has allowed an appeal by the OFT against a ruling in the High Court that the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 do not apply to existing contracts, even if a term has been ruled to be unfair. [2009] EWCA Civ 288

This is a very important decision. It means that where the OFT successfully challenges a consumer supplier’s standard terms in court, it can obtain an injunction from the court against the supplier enforcing any unfair terms.  In effect, any term ruled to be unfair ceases to be enforceable by the supplier, even in existing contracts.

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