Ambiguous CMA guidance over student letsMake Text Bigger
that its recent pandemic emergency guidance could cover students lets where public health instructions under lockdown have precluded the use of rental property.
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, consumer contracts, cancellation and refunds g:
Where a consumer receives regular services in exchange for a regular payment as part of an ongoing contract, the CMA considers that consumer protection law:
- will normally require the consumer to be offered a refund for any services they have already paid for but that are not provided by the business or which the consumer is not allowed to use because of Government public health measures (this may be a partial refund of the total amount the consumer has paid, to reflect the value of the services already provided);
- will normally allow the consumer to withhold payment for services that are not provided by the business or which the consumer is not allowed to use because of Government public health measures;
- may allow a business to require payment of a small contribution to its costs until the provision of the service is resumed, but only where the contract terms set this out clearly and fairly.
The CMA said: “in most cases, businesses should offer refunds where a consumer isn’t allowed to use a service as a result of lockdown restrictions.”
However, government coronavirus legislation did not say student, or ideed any type of tenants, were not liable for the contracts they signed. The legislation only added a 3 month extended notice to any evictions thus making the CMA’s response to Landlordzone very ambiguous.
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