On the strength of this, the university can argue that it has fully upheld its responsibilities and the terms of the legally binding contract it has signed with Ms Edwards, with full disclosure and with full knowledge by both parties.
Ms Edwards, on the other hand, is planning to breach her own obligations in terms of the contract, even knowing that the institution is a directly affected party, especially in terms of potential damage to the property it owns. She is further in violation of her contract by not planning to notify the university and by planning to gain financially from this breach of contract. Hence, the university could argue for its own legal standing in terms of the contract as opposed to that of Ms Edwards.
Finally, the university can also argue that Ms Edwards already experiences significant financial gain by using the premises of the university. Her weekly rental fee is £20 less than for equivalent private rental property in the area. This provides her not only with financial advantage, but also with the advantage of proximity to her place of study and the physical resources that go with such study. If the university were therefore to argue terms of fairness and reasonableness, the contract might reasonably include terms that are somewhat more specific and more stringent than those for a contract signed for private accommodation. To therefore breach the contract to gain financially for the purpose of financing an endeavour such as a holiday can only be in breach of the original contract.
According to the terms for property letting and management in the UK, negligence can be defined as "failure to take proper care"
. Before claiming that the university is liable under this definition, the terms of the contract need to be investigated carefully, along with the actions perpetrated by each party, as well as the conditions surrounding the contract and its terms.
First, Ms Edwards benefits both financially and situationally from her use of the university's property for accommodation purposes. She saves £20 per week in rental fees. She is closer to her place of study and resources used in her work than she would have been when using private accommodation. These advantages carry with them certain conditions, as stated in the contract. These conditions have been violated by Ms Edwards' plan to have a party for her personal financial gain. Further, the university openly provided the condition of non-liability for personal property damage, which includes Ms Edwards' MP3 player. The conditions, as set out in the contract, have been entered into legally by both parties, implying that both accepted reasonableness in terms of UCTA 1977.
When comparing the actions by the two parties in terms of the contract and its conditions, as well as the timing of entering the contract and that of Ms Edwards' complaint, one can then find that the university is not liable for either the damage to Ms Edwards' MP3 player and that, by association, term (c) of its contract cannot be deemed unreasonable. In fact, one can further find that it is rather more reasonable to expect Ms Edwards to take due care to prevent damage to her own private property. Further, the university never attempted to conceal any of the conditions associated for using its premises as accommodation and is therefore within its rights to expect the right to appeal. It is therefore recommended that the university be allowed to appeal in terms of section (c) of its contract.
Chapter 11: The Tort of Negligence. Retrieved from: http://fds.oup.com/www.oup.com/pdf/13/9780199289714.pdf
Lawdit. (2011, Apr. 1). The Basics of Contract Explained. Retrieved from: http://www.lawdit.co.uk/reading_room/room/view_article.asp?name=../articles/the%20basics%20of%20contract%20Law%20in%20England.htm
Letlink. (2012). Residential Letting & Property Management in the UK. Retrieved from: http://www.letlink.co.uk/articles/negligence/property-hazards-and-the-landlord-s-duty-of-care.html