Legal 101

A Checklist for contracts.

Charles Brecque
·
September 18, 2021

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Check, avoid the mess.

Before entering into a new contract it is important to go through a checklist to determine if the contract should be executed or not. This short article will provide some of the key considerations you should tick before signing.


Is the party who they say they are?

Before paying for services described in a contract or delivering them it is important to verify the other side’s credentials. Certain agreements like tenancy agreements require a verification of the party’s identity or right to enter the contract. For example, it is a legal requirement for every residential landlord to check that a tenant or lodger has the right to rent from them. Moreover, your contract could be void ab initio and therefore unenforceable if the party you are contracting with is not who they say they are.


Are the terms reasonable?

Terms are not always enforceable even if they have been accepted and signed by both parties. Clauses containing unreasonable terms can be void or worse, lead to a fine. For example, following the Tenant Fees Act 2019, Landlords can no longer ask their tenants to professionally clean their properties on check out. We’ve detailed a full list of the terms landlords should exclude from their tenancy agreements in order to avoid the £5,000 penalty.


What happens if something goes wrong?

A contract is usually revisited post signature when something is not going to plan. For example, you might wish to terminate the agreement if the other side is not fulfilling their obligations or not quite up to the standards you were maybe expecting. If they have caused harm to your business you might also wish to seek damages if applicable. Clearly stating the conditions for terminating and seeking damages in your agreement will help avoid unnecessary delays or legal fees.


What happens if something unexpected happens?

A contract can sometimes become impossible to perform due to circumstances neither party could have anticipated. Having a force majeure clause will enable the contract to be paused until it is safe to resume the responsibilities of the agreement. 


If you don’t want to worry about your contracts being unreasonable, confusing or unclear, give Legislate a try. Our lawyer approved templates are written in plain English which means that everyone can understand them. You can set the terms of a Legislate agreement directly in the platform by answering simple questions and without the need to edit the template directly. Your Legislate contract will therefore always be valid, no matter how many changes you make to the terms. 


You can read how to create your first Legislate agreements in our tutorial and watch a short demo. If you would like to try Legislate, please book an introductory call.


The opinions on this page are for general information purposes only and do not constitute legal advice on which you should rely.


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