The Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 is a piece of legislation that protects consumers from unfair contract terms. It limits the ability of businesses to include unfair terms in their contracts with consumers. However, many people are not aware of whether this act is still in force or not. In this article, we will explore this question and provide an answer.
The short answer is yes, the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 is still in force. This act remains an essential piece of legislation that protects consumers from businesses that try to include unfair contract terms in their agreements.
The act applies to contracts entered into between businesses and consumers. It sets out certain criteria that a term in a contract must meet to be considered fair. The criteria include that the term should be transparent, and the consumer should have the opportunity to negotiate the terms if they wish to do so.
The act also sets out some terms that are automatically considered unfair. These terms are those that exclude or limit liability for death or personal injury resulting from negligence, for example. Other automatically unfair terms include those that allow a party to the contract to vary the price of goods or services after the contract has been entered into or those that give one party a unilateral power to cancel the contract.
The Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 was amended by the Consumer Rights Act 2015, which introduced some changes to the act. One of the main changes is that the act applies to consumer contracts only. This means that the act does not apply to contracts between businesses.
Another significant change is the introduction of a new definition of an unfair term. The Consumer Rights Act introduced a “grey list” of terms that may be unfair depending on the context in which they are used. This means that businesses need to be particularly careful when including terms in their contracts that appear on this grey list.
In conclusion, the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 is still in force, and it remains a vital piece of legislation that protects consumers from unfair terms in contracts. It sets out clear criteria for what is considered a fair term and provides consumers with the opportunity to challenge unfair terms. If you are entering into a contract with a business, it is worth familiarizing yourself with the provisions of the act, so you know your rights and can protect yourself from unfair contract terms.