Trading Standards

Cancellation of contracts made in a consumer's home or place of work etc Regulations 2008

New rules if you make contracts with your customers in their home or workplace

This advice is designed to provide basic guidance to traders. It is not a complete or authoritative statement of the law. A large print version is available.

If you enter into a contract with a consumer in the consumer's home or workplace, you need to be aware that new rules apply which entitle the customer to a cooling-off period, whether or not you were asked to meet them in their home.

Under the new regulations, you must provide the consumer with all of the following terms and conditions:

  • a minimum cooling-off period of seven calendar days starting with the date you give the consumer a notice of the right to cancel  
  • the right within the cooling-off period to cancel a contract with a total payment value of more than £35
  • cancellation rights must be clearly displayed in any written contract, or displayed in writing if there is no written contract
  • include a cancellation form in your contract documents

The rules will apply whenever a contract is finalised in the home and will cover businesses such as:

  • home improvement
  • repair and maintenance services
  • energy efficiency products or installations
  • consumer goods and homeware

as well as the more traditional sales of goods and services through door-to-door methods - often referred to as ‘doorstep selling’.

If you carry out work which will be completed and paid for within the cooling-off period, you will need to get the customer’s written agreement to this.

Failure to comply with the rules is not only an offence, but will render any contract unenforceable.

 

Downloads

IMPORTANT: Due to an omission these documents were amended on 5 August 2011

Additional Information

More information on the new rules:

B/fai/100/001 September 2008