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Jan 16

It’s uncanny…

It is uncanny.

Quotation: “If only our ‘tenant clients’ would hire someone like you, it would be so much quicker and easier for us – and cheaper for the client; not only that, the client would get a better deal!”

It happened again the other evening, in Winchester. There I was chatting away in a group that included a Commercial Property Lawyer and out came the same comment I always hear when I tell a Commercial Property Lawyer what Culverwell Consulting does for its clients.

Businesses are leasing and purchasing premises all the time, without the business owner seeking bespoke Commercial Property advice. A DIY job. The transactions mostly go through and sometimes there is not very much contention but it is often a struggle for the tenant’s solicitor to undo the damage without being so frank they lose the instruction; and usually some uncomfortable compromises are forced on the business owner, who is unaware of just how much they have given away unnecessarily.

Time, money and stress are the costs to a business owner conducting the transaction without independent property advice. Doing a “DIY deal”. The solicitors tell me so – every time.

“The solicitors must be able to sort it out. Isn’t that what they get paid for”. You might think so but in fact – to their frustration and their clients’ detriment, the deal has been done – crystallised – by the time it lands on their desk. Too late to change the fundamental terms. Too late to wind the clock back and begin where we should have begun.

The usual wrangle ensues between landlord’s solicitor saying “This is an agreement. We are not willing to change anything”; and the business owner’s solicitor trying to rectify the worst mistakes that have in all innocence, been allowed into the agreement by the DIY business owner.

The curious thing is it is such a well-recognised and acknowledged scenario.

And often it is the things that aren’t included in the heads of agreement, that have the greatest potential for detriment. Things the business owner ought to have thought of but it’s too late. None of it is rocket science but it has the potential to blow up. Worse still those little errors and nuances can simply just sit there, ticking, almost unnoticed, until they go off.

“If only our ‘tenant clients’ would get bespoke property advice, it would be so much quicker and easier for us – and cheaper for the client; not only that, the client would get a better deal!”