Unfair Terms in English Contract Law

Under English contract law, unfair terms are those that create a significant imbalance in the rights and obligations of the parties to a contract to the detriment of the consumer or the weaker party. Such terms are considered to be unfair, and therefore unenforceable, under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977.

The Consumer Rights Act 2015 provides a list of examples of terms that may be considered unfair, such as terms that allow the seller or supplier to change the price of the goods or services without notice or without giving the consumer a right to cancel the contract, or terms that exclude or limit the supplier's liability for breach of contract or negligence.

The Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 provides further protection for consumers by prohibiting the use of certain types of terms in contracts, such as terms that exclude or restrict liability for death or personal injury resulting from negligence, or terms that attempt to limit the consumer's statutory rights.

If a court or tribunal finds a term in a contract to be unfair, it will be declared unenforceable and struck out of the contract. The rest of the contract will normally remain valid if it is capable of continuing without the unfair term.

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