Consumer Rights Act 2015
|Publication Date:||January 01, 2015|
Consumer Rights Act 2015
2015 CHAPTER 15
An Act to amend the law relating to the rights of consumers and protection of their interests; to make provision about investigatory powers for enforcing the regulation of traders; to make provision about private actions in competition law and the Competition Appeal Tribunal; and for connected purposes.
[26th March 2015]
Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:-
Consumer contracts for goods, digital content and services
1 Where Part 1 applies
(1) This Part applies where there is an agreement between a trader and a consumer for the trader to supply goods, digital content or services, if the agreement is a contract.
(2) It applies whether the contract is written or oral or implied from the parties' conduct, or more than one of these combined.
(3) Any of Chapters 2, 3 and 4 may apply to a contract-
(a) if it is a contract for the trader to supply goods, see Chapter 2
(b) if it is a contract for the trader to supply digital content, see Chapter 3 (also, subsection (6))
(c) if it is a contract for the trader to supply a service, see Chapter 4 (also, subsection (6)).
(4) In each case the Chapter applies even if the contract also covers something covered by another Chapter (a mixed contract).
(5) Two or all three of those Chapters may apply to a mixed contract.
(6) For provisions about particular mixed contracts, see-
(a) section 15 (goods and installation)
(b) section 16 (goods and digital content).
(7) For other provision applying to contracts to which this Part applies, see Part 2 (unfair terms).
2 Key definitions
(1) These definitions apply in this Part (as well as the definitions in section 59).
(2) "Trader" means a person acting for purposes relating to that person's trade, business, craft or profession, whether acting personally or through another person acting in the trader's name or on the trader's behalf.
(3) "Consumer" means an individual acting for purposes that are wholly or mainly outside that individual's trade, business, craft or profession.
(4) A trader claiming that an individual was not acting for purposes wholly or mainly outside the individual's trade, business, craft or profession must prove it.
(5) For the purposes of Chapter 2, except to the extent mentioned in subsection (6), a person is not a consumer in relation to a sales contract if-
(a) the goods are second hand goods sold at public auction, and
(b) individuals have the opportunity of attending the sale in person.
(6) A person is a consumer in relation to such a contract for the purposes of-
(a) sections 11(4) and (5), 12, 28 and 29, and
(b) the other provisions of Chapter 2 as they apply in relation to those sections.
(7) "Business" includes the activities of any government department or local or public authority.
(8) "Goods" means any tangible moveable items, but that includes water, gas and electricity if and only if they are put up for supply in a limited volume or set quantity.
(9) "Digital content" means data which are produced and supplied in digital form.
What goods contracts are covered?
3 Contracts covered by this Chapter
(1) This Chapter applies to a contract for a trader to supply goods to a consumer.
(2) It applies only if the contract is one of these (defined for the purposes of this Part in sections 5 to 8)-
(a) a sales contract
(b) a contract for the hire of goods
(c) a hire-purchase agreement;
(d) a contract for transfer of goods.
(3) It does not apply-
(a) to a contract for a trader to supply coins or notes to a consumer for use as currency;
(b) to a contract for goods to be sold by way of execution or otherwise by authority of law;
(c) to a contract intended to operate as a mortgage, pledge, charge or other security;
(d) in relation to England and Wales or Northern Ireland, to a contract made by deed and for which the only consideration is the presumed consideration imported by the deed;
(e) in relation to Scotland, to a gratuitous contract.
(4) A contract to which this Chapter applies is referred to in this Part as a "contract to supply goods".
(5) Contracts to supply goods include-
(a) contracts entered into between one part owner and another;
(b) contracts for the transfer of an undivided share in goods;
(c) contracts that are absolute and contracts that are conditional.
(6) Subsection (1) is subject to any provision of this Chapter that applies a section or part of a section to only some of the kinds of contracts listed in subsection (2).
(7) A mixed contract (see section 1(4)) may be a contract of any of those kinds.
4 Ownership of goods
(1) In this Chapter ownership of goods means the general property in goods, not merely a special property.
(2) For the time when ownership of goods is transferred, see in particular the following provisions of the Sale of Goods Act 1979 (which relate to contracts of sale)-
goods must be ascertained
property passes when int ended to pass
rules for ascertaining intention
reservation of right of disposal
undivided shares in goods forming part of a bulk
deemed consent by co-owner to dealings in bulk goods
5 Sales contracts
(1) A contract is a sales contract if under it-
(a) the trader transfers or agrees to transfer ownership of goods to the consumer, and
(b) the consumer pays or agrees to pay the price.
(2) A contract is a sales contract (whether or not it would be one under subsection (1)) if under the contract-
(a) goods are to be manufactured or produced and the trader agrees to supply them to the consumer,
(b) on being supplied, the goods will be owned by the consumer, and
(c) the consumer pays or agrees to pay the price.
(3) A sales contract may be conditional (see section 3(5)), but in this Part "conditional sales contract" means a sales contract under which-
(a) the price for the goods or part of it is payable by instalments, and
(b) the trader retains ownership of the goods until the conditions specified in the contract (for the payment of instalments or otherwise) are met;
and it makes no difference whether or not the consumer possesses the goods.
6 Contracts for the hire of goods
(1) A contract is for the hire of goods if under it the trader gives or agrees to give the consumer possession of the goods with the right to use them, subject to the terms of the contract, for a period determined in accordance with the contract.
(2) But a contract is not for the hire of goods if it is a hire-purchase agreement.
7 Hire-purchase agreements
(1) A contract is a hire-purchase agreement if it meets the two conditions set out below.
(2) The first condition is that under the contract goods are hired by the trader in return for periodical payments by the consumer (and "hired" is to be read in accordance with section 6(1)).
(3) The second condition is that under the contract ownership of the goods will transfer to the consumer if the terms of the contract are complied with and-
(a) the consumer exercises an option to buy the goods,
(b) any party to the contract does an act specified in it, or
(c) an event specified in the contract occurs.
(4) But a contract is not a hire-purchase agreement if it is a conditional sales contract.
8 Contracts for transfer of goods
A contract to supply goods is a contract for transfer of goods if under it the trader transfers or agrees to transfer ownership of the goods to the consumer and-
(a) the consumer provides or agrees to provide consideration otherwise than by paying a price, or
(b) the contract is, for any other reason, not a sales contract or a hire-purchase agreement.
What statutory rights are there under a goods contract?
9 Goods to be of satisfactory quality
(1) Every contract to supply goods is to be treated as including a term that the quality of the goods is satisfactory.
(2) The quality of goods is satisfactory if they meet the standard that a reasonable person would consider satisfactory, taking account of-
(a) any description of the goods
(b) the price or other consideration for the goods (if relevant), and
(c) all the other relevant circumstances (see subsection (5)).
(3) The quality of goods includes their state and condition; and the following aspects (among others) are in appropriate cases aspects of the quality of goods-
(a) fitness for all the purposes for which goods of that kind are usually supplied
(b) appearance and finish;
(c) freedom from minor defects;
(4) The term mentioned in subsection (1) does not cover anything which makes the quality of the goods unsatisfactory-
(a) which is specifically drawn to the consumer's attention before the contract is made,
(b) where the consumer examines the goods before the contract is made, which that examination ought to reveal, or
(c) in the case of a contract to supply goods by sample, which would have been apparent on a reasonable examination of the sample.
(5) The relevant circumstances mentioned in subsection (2)(c) include any public statement about the specific characteristics of the goods made by the trader, the producer or any representative of the trader or the producer.
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