When booking a venue for an event, such as a wedding, birthday or family get together, it is all too common for the excitement to take over and for paperwork to be signed before the Terms and Conditions have been read!
But what happens if the event needs to be cancelled? How much do you really owe to the venue hire Company? It is a common misconception that once you have signed on the dotted line then there is not much that can be done. However, if the terms are ‘unfair’, they are in fact, not enforceable.
Say for instance, you have booked a wedding venue for a date two years in advance, before cancelling the booking with 18 months to go before the contracted date. You review the cancellation policy and notice there are fees for the cancelled food and drink; is this fair? In short, they are not fair and therefore they are unenforceable. Indeed, the Competition and Markets Authority themselves have suggested that substantial advance payments or deposits, being ‘non-refundable’ upon cancellation, may be classified as unfair.
Any terms in a contract for venue hire must be clear, easy to read and not overly advantage one party; if these criteria are not met, these terms are not legally binding.
Next time you decide to hire a venue for an event, check whether or not you feel the cancellation policies in place are ‘fair’.