The Office Of Fair Trading v Foxtons Ltd: ChD 10 Jul 2009

The OFT alleged that certain standard terms in the defendant’s letting agent contracts were unfair. The agent had withdrawn the former terms, but relief was still sought on those terms and their effect, and as to the fairness of the new ones. The terms had sought continued remuneration after any tenancy renewal even if they had not been involved.
Held: The renewal commissions were not obvious from the agents literature, and nor would a landlord see this as part of the core of the service offered. The old terms were not exempt, and the new wording created no different presentation or effect. Furthermore, the terms relating to renewal commission are not drafted in plain and intelligible language, with the result that even if the renewal commission might otherwise have been part of the core bargain between the parties, it does not escape a fairness inquiry on that basis. The consumer landlord would be surprised by the effect of the clause in relation to renewals; the consumer’s notional lawyer would be likely to object to it and press for its deletion. These factors demonstrate the unfairness of it.


Mann J


[2009] EWHC 1681 (Ch), Times 29-Jul-2009, [2009] 29 EG 98, [2009] NPC 92




Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999, Council Directive 93/13/EEC on Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts


England and Wales


CitedDirector General of Fair Trading v First National Bank HL 25-Oct-2001
The House was asked whether a contractual provision for interest to run after judgment as well as before in a consumer credit contract led to an unfair relationship.
Held: The term was not covered by the Act, and was not unfair under the . .

Cited by:

CitedOffice of Fair Trading (OFT) v Abbey National Plc and Others SC 25-Nov-2009
The banks appealed against a ruling that the OFT could investigate the fairness or otherwise of their systems for charging bank customers for non-agreed items as excessive relative to the services supplied. The banks said that regulation 6(2) could . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 23 July 2022; Ref: scu.347488