>> Business Law and Ethics
Ellen is a graduate of College and she is looking to start her own business. She decides to start a meditation studio and looks around the inner city suburb of Paddington for suitable premises. She eventually gets a perfect terrace house near to Oxford St. (the main street). The owner of the premises is willing to enter a 12 month lease therefore Ellen asks him to wait for a week so that she can check with the local council as to the suitability of her business. Ellen attends the council offices and goes to the counter marked "Business Inquiries". She asks various questions of the council employee including a question about building work in the area. She says "my meditation studio needs a calm environment is there anything that would cause noise nearby?" The council officer is called away before being able to answer. When he returns he has a very quick look at the computer and says to Ellen "relax everything will be fine". Ellen signs the lease the next day therefore within 2 weeks of opening the meditation studio she sees builders arrive next door. She asks one of them how long they will be working next door. The builder replies "It's a big job, a total renovation. It chould take at least 6 months". Ellen tries to run her meditation studio but the noise from the building is too stressful on Ellen and her clients. In fact a month into the building Ellen is so stressed that she develops a nervous disorder that threatens her career in alternative medicine.
Discuss whether Ellen has a claim against the council in relation to the advice she received.
• identify the issue(s) raised by the facts
• identify the relevant legal principles
• apply the relevant legal principles to the facts
• reach a conclusion