We all know that many things in life, mortgages, pensions, insurance etc, are important but rarely are they considered exciting. Similarly, much of the work that property solicitors have to do could rightly be described as boring. For example, we review title documents that contain nothing of interest; we read search results which rarely contain anything of concern; we negotiate long documents but which, after completion, are often never read again.
Why do we do this? Quite simply: because it is important, boring but important!
Reading title documents, particularly for unregistered land, is a skill. Particular words and phrases can have specific legal meanings, which are not quite the same as the plain English meaning. Some titles are very short, whereas others contain or refer to multiple documents and can be very involved. Noticing what is not in the title is just as important as interpreting what is there. A missing right of way for example could significantly affect your use and enjoyment of the property and affect the value. It is important that we read all the documents to make sure everything is as it should be, so you can be comfortable investing your money in the property. Boring but important.
Searches cost several hundred pounds and most reveal nothing of interest. However, this isn’t a waste of money but rather this is precisely what we want. An ‘interesting’ search result usually means a problem for the client. It is important to carry out the searches as they give the reassurance that there are no issues or concerns. Boring but important.
The lengthy documents we create are largely ignored, simply because we try to cover every possible outcome in them. If you consider a lease, for example, it has to run for several years, sometimes in excess of 100 years. Both sides need to know what their responsibilities and obligations are for that whole time but a lot could change. Trying to think of everything that might arise, and to include provision in the lease to cover it, means that most of the lease is not immediately useful. And that is a good thing: if you have to rely on these clauses, it means that something has gone wrong. It is important that we draft these clauses to give you the protection you may need. Boring but important.
Whilst expanding your business or moving house can be exciting, you don’t want the legal side of the transaction to be anything other than boring. Boring but important!