Republic of Cyprus
Consumer Protection Service


Information for Consumers



Last Modified:

07/11/2016 08:40 AM


Unfair contract terms

  • You may not always realise it, but every time you buy a product or service from a professional trader, you are entering into a contract - whether it's signing up for gym membership, ordering car tyres online, getting a mortgage for your house or even just buying groceries from the supermarket.
  • The standard contract terms used by traders, whether they are called "terms and conditions" or are part of a detailed contract that you may actually have to sign, have to be fair.
  • Contract terms must be drafted in plain, understandable language. Any ambiguities will be interpreted in your favour.


Fairness and good Faith
In order to be fair, standard contract terms may not create an imbalance in the rights and obligations of consumers on the one hand and sellers and suppliers on the other.


Potentially unfair terms
Besides the general requirement of "good faith" and "balance", the EU rules contain a list of specific terms that may be judged unfair. If specific terms in a contract are unfair, they are not binding on consumers and the trader may not rely on them.


Consequences
Contract terms that are unfair under the law have no legal or binding force on consumers. Provided the unfair term is not an essential element of the contract, the rest of the contract (but not the unfair term) will remain valid. This means, for example, that you won't have to give up your gym membership just because one clause in the contract is unfair.

Got questions? Ask us!


Note/Source: Part of the texts included in this section, come from EU’s site: “Your Europe".






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