Mohammed Miah, left, with his father Mohammed Islam

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Council tax parasites RVA Surveyors have lost another court case, I’m delighted to report.

This lot claim they’ve got specialised skills to help firms get cuts in their business rates, when in fact the reductions are automatically applied – all it takes is a letter to the council. RVA then typically demands a 45% slice of any savings, and sues businesses which refuse to pay.

The latest case involves the Vojon Balti in Eccles, Greater Manchester, run by 63-year-old Mohammed Islam. Mr Islam, whose English is limited, said the RVA rep told him that securing a reduction needed their expert help and, if successful, RVA would take commission for one year only.

He was then persuaded to sign some paperwork while distracted by a customer and was not left with a copy of the agreement so he could not check his cancellation rights.

“Had they simply told me that all they were going to do was fill in an online form that took less than five minutes, I would have done it myself,” he said in a court statement. He paid RVA’s first demand of £2,300, but was shocked to be told later that he had committed to a five-year contract, and was sent further demands for £2,370 and £2,455, which he refused to pay.

“I only agreed to this on the basis that it would be a one-off payment,” he said. “I have been taken advantage of. There is simply no way that I would have signed up to a five-year deal.”

RVA’s claim for £5,497, including costs, was thrown out at Manchester County Court.

Mr Islam, represented by Elliot Hammer of London solicitors Branch Austin, won a counterclaim of £1,130.

Deputy District Judge Scates ruled that the written contract was unenforceable and any oral agreement between Mr Islam and the RVA sales rep had been obtained by misrepresentation.

After the hearing, Mr Islam’s son Mohammed Miah said: “We are glad the courts have seen my father as the vulnerable victim, and although we cannot get the years of stress back, this does give some relief that the despicable RVA did not get away with this.”

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