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Review Your SQE 1 Practice Records

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John hired a company to fumigate his house and get rid of all ants and other insects. John works from home two days a week and has found various insects in his home office and bathroom. The company assured John they could use a non-poisonous formula, meaning he would not need to vacate the house. This assurance convinced John to hire the company. However, the company's employees accidentally used canisters containing a poisonous formula. They only informed John that his house was now unfit for habitation after completing the work, forcing John to move in with his mother-in-law for two nights. The formula has been effective, and there are no more insects in the house. 


Which of the following best reflects the remedies available to John?

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Under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, John qualifies as a consumer because he was acting for purposes mainly outside of his profession. The company's assurance to use a non-poisonous formula became an express term of the contract. By using a poisonous formula, the company breached this term. Consequently, John is entitled to a price reduction or partial refund. A repeat performance is not practical in this situation, and while damages under the Misrepresentation Act 1967 might be possible, proving a breach of contract is more straightforward. Additionally, although there may be a breach of the implied term as to care and skill, obtaining a price reduction or refund for the failure to use a non-poisonous formula is the more straightforward remedy. 


Key Point: In consumer contracts, express terms form the basis of the agreement, and their breach entitles the consumer to remedies such as a price reduction or partial refund under the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

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