Wilson Leisure Developments Limited - Agent or Principal

October 2017

Wilson Leisure Developments Limited

'Agent or principal in the supply of holiday accommodation' 
WLD sold holiday lodges to investors and subsequently agreed to pay lodge owners a guaranteed return on their investment if the owners agreed to allow them to market and manage the letting of the property for 46-48 weeks of the year.
WLD contended that in providing their booking & managment service they were suimply acting as the lodge owner's agent.  The advantage of agency was of course that WLD would not be required to declare VAT on the rent receipts just on their agency fee.  
The Tribunal disagreed.  Analysis of the contractual position identified a number of inconsistencies which were sufficient to persuade Judge Bishopp that WDL was acting as principal rather than agent.
What is perhaps more of interest are the comments made by eminent Judge Bishopp. Reading between the lines it does appear that if the contractual position had been more clearly defined that the result could have been different.
The Judge's remarks may perhaps offer some encouragement to those running similar property investment vehicles that the scheme is viable provided the contractual position reflects the reality.

The full case transcript can be found by clicking the link below.


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