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.

Back to blog
UOL Case Bank

UOL Case Bank

Upon joining, you become a valuable UOL student and gain instant access to over 2,100 case summaries. UOL Case Bank is constantly expanding. Speed up your revision with us now.

Subscribe Now

Where are our students from?

Yale University
Council of Europe
Baker Mckenzie 
University of Chicago
Columbia University
New York University
University of Michigan 
INSEAD
University College London (UCL)
London School of Economics (LSE)
King’s College London (KCL)
University of London
University of Manchester
University of Zurich
University of York
Brandeis University
University of Exeter
University of Sheffield
Boston University
University of Washington
University of Leeds
University of Law
Royal Holloway, University of London 
Birkbeck, University of London
SOAS, University of London
University of Kent
University of Hull
Queen’s University Belfast
Toronto Metropolitan University
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
University of Buckingham

  • Criminal Practice

    Diagrams and Charts

    Our carefully designed diagrams and charts will guide you through complex legal issues.

  • Criminal Law

    Clear and Succinct Definitions

    Key concepts are concisely defined to help you understand legal topics quickly.

  • Property Law

    Statutory Provisions

    Statutory provisions are provided side by side with legal concepts to help you swiftly locate the relevant legislation.

  • Public Law

    Case Summaries

    We have summarised important cases for you so that you don't need to read long and boring cases.

  • Evidence

    Rules and Exceptions

    Rules and exceptions are clearly listed so that you know when a rule applies and when it doesn't.

  • Company Law

    Terminology

    Legal terms and key concepts are explained at the beginning of each chapter to help you learn efficiently.

  • Case Law

    Case law is provided side by side with legal concepts so that you know how legal principles and precedents were established.

  • Law Exam Guide

    Law Essay Guide

    You will learn essential law exam skills and essay writing techniques that are not taught in class.

  • Law Exam Guide

    Problem Question Guide

    We will show you how to answer problem questions step by step to achieve first-class results.

  • Conflict of Laws

    Structured Explanations

    Complex legal concepts are broken down into concise and digestible bullet point explanations.

  • Legal System and Method

    Legal Research

    You will learn legal research techniques with our study guide and become a proficient legal researcher.

  • Jurisprudence and Legal Theory

    Exam-focused

    All essential concepts, principles, and case law are included so that you can answer exam questions quickly.