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Monthly Archives: September 2017

Ryanair Cancellations 2017

Today, on Breakfast the story about Ryanair’s cancellations was run.  During the story the presenter stated that for cancellations more than 2 weeks prior to the date of travel there was no compensation payable.  Whilst this is true for the EU compensation under EC Regulation 261/2004 (the well known compensation scheme for cancellations, delayed flights and denied boarding) it is not the case for your rights under contract law.

The presenter also said that the wasted cost of your holiday that you had paid for but could not enjoy and could not recover your money would not be recoverable.  Whilst this would not fall under the compensation scheme of EC 261/2004 it could still be claimed for and recovered under contract law.

Legally speaking, Ryanair has a contract with everyone it has sold tickets to and if it cancels those flights it is in breach of the contract and should be liable for the consequential loss that follows from the cancellation, this is separate to and in addition to the EU compensation scheme which gives fixed amounts of compensation for flights where the flight has been cancelled, your arrival delayed or you have been denied boarding.

The breach of contract claim will still be available even if the cancellation was more than 2 weeks prior to the date of travel.  I would add that following you being made aware of the cancellation you will have to take reasonable steps to “mitigate” your losses, which would mean trying to minimise your financial loss caused by the cancellation, this might mean seeking to cancel your hotel if possible.

You may also have a claim for the disappointment caused by the loss of your holiday (if that it what was lost by the cancellation) although this is likely to be a minimal amount.

Ryanair are based in Ireland.  They do not have an English address for serving any legal documents and these will have to be posted to its Irish registered office (Ryanair DAC of Corporate Head Office, Airside Business Park,  Swords, Co Dublin , Ireland).  They will no doubt make it difficult to obtain any compensation but don’t let that deter you.

There are a couple of options if they do not pay up:

  1. The European Small Claims Procedure for claims worth up to €2,000.
  2. The Aviation Ombudsman (Ryanair have signed up to this scheme and so will be bound by a finding by the Aviation Ombudsman against it), the Ombudsman scheme is operated via an online portal.

If you are having difficulty getting your compensation paid by Ryanair, call Nick for legal advice, I am a senior solicitor 0n 01925 759 510 or complete the contact form on the right of this page.

 

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Ground Rent Worries and Possible Solutions

“My ground rent keeps going up!”   “I was never told about the ground rent!”  “Do I have to pay my ground rent?”

There is been a growing trend in housing developers selling you a new house but actually only selling you a long leasehold interest.  By this I mean a large number of years (eg 999 years) so much so that your solicitor or conveyancer may have said “it’s as good as freehold!”

The freehold interest remains with the house builder which makes them the landlord and they can charge what is called “ground rent” to you as leaseholder.  This was usually a tiny amount and often described as a “peppercorn rent” but times have changed.  It is now often a monetary amount and can often double every 5, 10, 25 years.  Doubling every few years quickly means it grows to ridiculously high levels.  If your home is an asset you intend to pass onto your children you may be passing on a liability to pay substantial sums too.

More recently, the ground rents have been “traded” as investments (the landlord/house builder sells the freehold interest to someone else who then becomes the landlord and can charge ground rent.  Added to this, the leasehold interests are sold with clauses that allow the ground rents to be increased, this was probably to make the freehold interest more saleable.

You should have been advised of this when you purchased your long lease by your solicitor or conveyancer.

Your landlord may be increasing your ground rent or selling the freehold to someone else who then increases it.  They often then offer to sell the freehold to you (which would mean you would own both freehold and leasehold and not have to worry about the ground rent anymore) but at a vastly inflated price.  When you can’t pay they put the rent up or sell the freehold on again for a profit to someone else.

This problem is seriously unfair but is coming under scrutiny by the government (whether they ever get round to doing anything and what is another matter).  There is some action being taken by customers who bought houses from Taylor Wimpey.

If you were not advised of the consequences of buying a long lease, the ground rent provisions (including rental increases) or re-assured they were “as good as freeholds”, but then found your ground rent going up and up and if you would not have bought that home had you been warned of the ground rent you may have a claim against your solicitors/conveyancers.

Call Nick, a senior solicitor at Sentinels Solicitors Ltd on 01925 759 510 or fill in the contact sheet at the side bar for advice and help.

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Directors: Victoria Jane Carr LLB (Hons). Nicholas John Bettridge LLB (Hons).
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