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Unfair Hire Contracts in the United Kingdom’s Law Case Study

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Updated: Apr 10th, 2021

Introduction

These pieces of advice to Garret are based on the English contract law and instances of case laws.

Unfair terms in the Contract Law

In signing the contract, Garrett was bound by all the Hoder’s standard conditions of hire printed on the back irrespective of whether Garret had seen and read the contract form or not. This claim is therefore dismissed, L’Estrange v Graucob [1934] 2 KB 394. The Court of Appeal held that when the contractual document is signed with no fraud and misrepresentation, then the signing party is bound – it is irrelevant whether they have read the contractual document or not.

Incorporation of Clauses

Garrett did not see a large notice displaying Hoder’s ‘standard conditions of hire’, some of which were printed in red. In the case law, Olley v Marlborough Court [1949] 1 KB 532, the Court of Appeal dismissed a notice on the back of the door because the plaintiff had no opportunity to see them before signing the contract. Likewise, in the case of Garret, he entered the showroom, but no terms and conditions were drawn to his attention. Thus, based on a large notice displaying standard conditions of hire, Hoder may not rely on them if they are not brought to the customer’s attention. The case law, Parker v South Eastern Railway (1877) 2 CPD 416 shows that when a client does not know or see the writing on the back of the ticket, then the conditions do not bind them. In the case of Garret, however, the Court would establish that GB has an account and dealt with Hoder before. Garrett must therefore prove that he did not know the receipt had writing on the back for conditions. Garrett is still bound if the receipt was delivered in a way to show the writing on the back. That would act as a reasonable notice for standard hire conditions.

Duty of Care

Based on the available pieces of facts, Garett is legally responsible for the loss of the digger. The Court must establish the duty of Garrett under the hire contract. In this case, Garrett cannot simply dismiss a common law duty of care because he did not see the contract that he signed. Under the Gloag and Henderson Law of Scotland, Garett’s duty of care was culpa levis. That is, it was not high standard in the interest of Hoder as he would have exercised in his interest. It was ordinary or slight negligence for Garrett, leading to the total loss of the digger. Copland v Brogan 1916 SC 27 shows that an agent has the authority to exercise reasonable care when handling the property.

Bell’s Principles, Wilson v Orr (1879) 7 R 266 demonstrates that the hirer of equipment under the terms of a contract is under an obligation to exercise a duty of care and restore the equipment in condition as that it was in before hiring. However, if the equipment suffers damages or is lost without the mistake of Garrett, then Hoder bears the responsibility, and Garrett is satisfactorily discharged of any obligation if at all he had exercised reasonable care. However, the burden of proof rests with Garrett, he must demonstrate the cause of the total loss, and at least sufficiently prove that the cause occurred due to factors beyond his control. Again, McLean v Warnock (1883) 10 R 1052 confirms the existence of a duty of care in such a case. Garrett must explain what happened to the digger, which might not be easy.

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IvyPanda. (2021, April 10). Unfair Hire Contracts in the United Kingdom's Law. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/unfair-hire-contracts-in-the-united-kingdoms-law/

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"Unfair Hire Contracts in the United Kingdom's Law." IvyPanda, 10 Apr. 2021, ivypanda.com/essays/unfair-hire-contracts-in-the-united-kingdoms-law/.

1. IvyPanda. "Unfair Hire Contracts in the United Kingdom's Law." April 10, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/unfair-hire-contracts-in-the-united-kingdoms-law/.


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IvyPanda. "Unfair Hire Contracts in the United Kingdom's Law." April 10, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/unfair-hire-contracts-in-the-united-kingdoms-law/.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Unfair Hire Contracts in the United Kingdom's Law." April 10, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/unfair-hire-contracts-in-the-united-kingdoms-law/.

References

IvyPanda. (2021) 'Unfair Hire Contracts in the United Kingdom's Law'. 10 April.

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