Strong legal protection from uncomplicated contracts
Despite dealing with very different services, these documents have in common that the service could be provided to a client in his or her own home, or at least the contract could be signed in the client’s home.
If that is the case, then the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 impose obligations that are difficult to avoid.
The key to compliance is to accept the obligations they impose and just make your compliance part of your business system. All these documents give you the full but minimum requirement for compliance with the law in so far as it relates to your contract.
You can find out more about your obligations in our guide to the Consumer Contracts Regulations.
The other similarity between all these documents is that although each is drawn with a view to a particular trade or profession, all cover similar provisions to make sure that you are paid promptly, that your liability for things outside of your control is limited, and that you are protected - as far as the law allows - from unreasonable demands, disagreements, defamation (especially from lies published on social media sites or review websites).
Every one of these contracts gives you options in some areas. We do not expect you to change your business model. It is our task to give a template that is flexible enough to fit in with what you want.
In addition, of course, you can edit your document. It comes in Microsoft Word format so you can play around with the content, style and format as much as you like. If you don’t have Word, we can convert it for you to a format you can use.
Why a short, simple contract will benefit you
Many people who provide a service to clients at home simply do not want to present a contract. There could be a number of reasons: to do so may seem pompous or untrusting, or even they may fear that the client will insist on talking to their solicitor before signing.
But the downside of not putting your terms in writing is that you leave yourself – and your business – at risk of a bad experience.
Our advice, as you would expect, is that you should use a contract without hesitation.
Clients will be happy to sign if you do just two things.
The first is to present your contract, not as a legal document first and foremost, but rather as a confirmation of the specification of work to be carried out. The 'legal part' can be disclaimed by you as a requirement that you would rather do without, but that you are forced to comply with.
The second thing is to use a short, simple contract, written in plain English. If it is easy to understand and doesn’t seem overly legalistic, clients will be reassured that they understand what they are signing.
Other common elements
Other points covered in these contracts, so far as relevant:
- interruptions and expenses - points that you need to cover to enable you to do the job
- your account, payment and expenses
- safety and insurance
- confidentiality: protecting your privacy and that of your clients
- dealing with emergency procedures in the home