Carter Jonas
Carter Jonas

Consumer Contract Guides - Keep the right side of consumer law

Many farmers and rural businesses who deal directly with consumers need to comply with rules set by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to ensure contractual conditions they employ are fair to all parties under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (CRA).

The CRA has prepared a series of guides that are useful in assisting businesses needing to understand what terms are likely to be considered fair or unfair.  Intended mainly for small businesses, the guides help to avoid common pitfalls when drafting contracts.

Some of the advice given, such as that all contractual terms should be “plain and intelligible” and “up-front and open” are common sense. But contract law can be contentious and while there’s no substitute for the advice of a lawyer, there are summaries on terms more likely to be categorised as unfair, such as cancellation charges.

The CMA emphasises that contracts are a tool in forming relationships with consumers. If the terms within them are not fair, then the terms will not form part of the contract with the consumer.

The guides do not operate to replace the CRA but highlight the CMA’s approach to how the Act operates.

You can find the guides at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/unfair-terms-explained-for-businesses-full-guide

Tim Jones

Tim JonesFRICS

Partner - Head of Rural Division

Tim is head of the firm's Rural Division and of the Cambridge office, although he spends a considerable amount of time in London.  He has over 20 years experience in advising institutional and pri...

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