1. If your terms and conditions are printed on the back of an invoice they don’t apply to the contract unless the parties have dealt with each other before over a “regular course of dealings”.
2. Speeding is what is known as “an offence of strict liability”. This means that if you travel at 31 mph in a 30 area you commit an offence. It means that there is no defence to it. It doesn’t matter that your partner is on the back seat of the car about to have a baby, you have got diarrhoea, your car is on fire and you’re trying to get it off the motorway. You still are committing an offence. You may have what is known as “mitigation” or “mitigating circumstances” but you do not have an offence. There is no defence for speeding. Mitigating circumstances simply mean that you have a reasonable excuse.
3. The definition of theft is “appropriation of property: belonging to another: with the intent to permanently deprive:”. Unless all elements are present then it is not theft. So, if someone you don’t even know borrows your lawnmower and leaves a note which says, “I have borrowed your lawnmower to mow my lawn and I will bring it back tomorrow”, that person hasn’t actually done anything wrong! Ironic but true. He doesn’t intend to permanently deprive you of the lawnmower because he says he is bringing it back. No offence. No point calling the police.
4. If you walk through the middle of a farmer’s field then that’s trespass. However the remedy for trespass is damages (compensation). However to get compensation you have to have suffered loss. So, if all you have done is simply walked across the grass there is nothing that Mr Farmer can do. If you damage crops then that is another matter and you are liable to be prosecuted for criminal damage. Criminal damage is another subject altogether.
5. If a parking or speeding ticket has an obviously wrong date on or has the colour of your car wrong or has the registration number written incorrectly don’t think that you can necessarily get off on a technicality. If the registration number on the certificate is down as ABC123 and it should be ACB123 then Magistrates are likely to allow this under what is known as “slip rule” which allows minor errors in paperwork to be admitted. You can try it, but it won’t work.
6. If you buy a house with someone on a joint mortgage and they go bankrupt then you remain liable for the whole mortgage. In addition, their half of the house (if it’s worth anything) then belongs to the trustee in bankruptcy. Ironically enough the trustee in bankruptcy doesn’t have to contribute to the mortgage but can take any proceeds such as rent. Think carefully before you buy a house with anybody else if they are not of excellent financial standing.
7. If you rent a house you are usually required to pay a deposit. Since the 1st April 2009 the landlord must put this in a Tenants Deposit Scheme. If the Landlord doesn’t then the legislation provides for a Tenant whose landlord hasn’t put a deposit into such a scheme to get three times the amount of the deposit as compensation. This does not mean that if the Landlord hasn’t put your £500 deposit into a scheme you get £1500 back. It means that if you have suffered any loss as a result of the Landlords failure to put the money in a scheme then he is liable to pay you compensation in respect of his failure. Please note that in English Law, to get compensation, you have to have suffered loss so that means that if you were to get £1500 compensation (for your £500 deposit) you have to have suffered £1500 worth of loss. English Law does not punish it compensates.
8. Technically, there is no such thing as an accident. Have you noticed that road traffic accidents are no longer called road traffic accidents but are called RTC’s (road traffic collisions)? This is because nothing ever happens accidentally. If there has been a collision between two vehicles for example it has been caused by the negligence by either one party or the other. Sometimes they are equally to blame but, none the less, they have both been negligent.
10. If you write a will leaving everything to your spouse and then get divorced that money/those assets, which you left to your spouse will pass into the residue of the estate. Similarly, if you write a will leaving everything to the cat’s home and then get married, the will is void in its entirety.