Top legal tips on deposits for ‘blank canvas’ style field hire venue providers
Field hire or ‘structure only’ options for wedding venue hire should offer the perfect solution to the couple who really want to stamp their own mark on their ceremony, so what do you as the space owner and occupier need to make sure you cover in your T and Cs on deposits …?
Apart from the usual clauses regarding deposits and cancellation ( you can see some top tips on this in previous blogs) to comply with your customers consumer rights you may need to have some sort of 14 day cancellation period (sometimes called a cooling off period) from the point of the couple agreeing to contract to have the venue, which allows the couple to withdraw without penalty within that time frame. Sometimes venues ask for the deposit to confirming the booking to be made within 14 days of signing the T and Cs, some will take payment on booking and allow a clear cancellation period which states if you cancel within the 14 days the contract is concluded and the couple receive their money back. Either way such a clause is recommended – without it, the periods in which a couple may be entitled to cancel without penalty and have the right to demand back their deposit may be significantly increased. Here’s a good summary of the rules for some bedtime reading. The rules will be different if your couple came to the venue and signed up, rather than concluded a booking online. Be warned and take advice if in doubt.
If you have a customer who challenges the amount of the deposit or the amount you intend to keep if they cancel – make sure your T and C’s have stated why the deposit has been taken – to secure the date exclusively, and to allow you to prep the start of planning and work for the event. Put that explicitly into your Terms. If you don’t have it – we have a lovely new template that helps with this.
Have you additionally included a damages deposit – ideally paid later and closer to the event. It helps massively if this money is accounted separately – not invoiced as income, and held in a separate bank account, unless or until you seek to claim some or all of it. From this account, you can then deduct the costs of breakages or damage – and even the costs of litter and rubbish removal – IF you have spelt this out clearly in your contract (….like our templates do?…….editor)
For help, come and chat to us? Or grab one of our templates and be assured you have covered these issues off in your client contracts.