Two brothers worked hard to build up their restaurant, now they could lose it all thanks to a bunch of greedy shysters

Two brothers worked hard to build up their restaurant, now they could lose it all thanks to a bunch of greedy shysters

 

A pair of brothers are fighting to save their restaurant from a firm of business rates rogues that I’ve exposed more often than I’ve had hot dinners.

Grant and Nathan Worthington set up Aloha Foods in Stamford, Lincs, three years ago.

It’s been tough, they say, working seven days a week, but they’ve be established a good reputation with healthy locally sourced food, and famous visitors have included Gary Lineker and Frank Bruno.

Now all that could be snatched away after the brothers were informed that they are being sued by RVA Surveyors Limited of Manchester.

RVA charges 45% commission on any reduction in business rates that it achieves for clients and are taking Aloha to court, claiming £11,562 including court costs.

“We don’t have that kind of money, we are a very small business only just surviving and it feels like this is taking everything away, it will be the end of Aloha,” said Grant.

Even more is at stake, because if RVA win then the restaurant could be liable for its legal fees and the commission fees over the whole five-year life of the contract that Grant is said to have signed.

Grant says he agreed to meet an RVA sales rep following a cold call but after several missed appointments and repeated phoned calls at busy times he told them to stop contacting him.

He is adamant that he never signed a contract and the signature, showing just the two letters “G O’”, is not his. He says that he was not even in the restaurant on April 18, 2018, when he is supposed to have signed the document.

RVA insists Grant did sign the agreement and contacted his council about a rates reduction, though previous court cases have heard how its sales reps forged signatures.

It has also been accused of demanding payment even when it had nothing to do
with achieving a rates cut, the savings being due to Government measures to help small businesses.

Earlier this year, RVA lost an important case when a judge ruled that it broke consumer protection law by failing to set out how it calculates its fees.

Grant and Nathan have set up a crowdjustice.com page headed “Save me from RVA Surveyors” to raise money to fight the court case. You can find the petition, which runs until November 7, here.

“If they are successful in their claim I could lose everything I have worked so hard to achieve,” said Grant. “I am fighting for my financial life and for my future.

“I want to stand up to RVA and show them that they cannot simply sign documents and claim tens of thousands of pounds from hard-working people.”

His lawyer Elliot Hammer of Essex firm Sternberg Reed, has previously won cases against RVA.

“Crowd Funding in the legal sector is increasingly important for many people today, especially given the lack of support for those who are disadvantaged and don’t have the big pockets of corporations,” he said.

“I am always happy to help clients defend themselves against RVA Surveyors.”

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