It is widely understood that a contract is needed to start a new tenancy, employment or commercial project. Free contract templates are a quick option for kicking off these initiatives but are only a short term solution. Each project will need additional documents and contracts which themselves will require generating and tracking. This article will highlight 3 reasons why you shouldn’t use a one-off contract template and should instead consider longer term options such as a contract creation and management platform like Legislate even if you are unlawyered.
1. The first template is rarely the last template
If you are renting out your property to a tenant, chances are you will rent it out again to a different tenant at a later stage in which case you will need to generate a new tenancy agreement. The number of employment contracts you generate will increase each time you hire a new employee. Whilst it might be tempting to use the first template for the following contracts, legislation can evolve, tenants and employees might require different terms which means that your template will need updating. Including out of date clauses in a contract can lead to penalties and fines.
Keeping up to date with these changes by yourself is risky and not worth the hassle. It is safer to rely on a third party solution like Legislate for creating lawyer approved contracts which are always up to date. To find out more, visit our How Legislate works page.
2. Connected documents
An employment contract is usually preceded by an offer letter and followed by compliance documents such as privacy notices. A tenancy agreement will be followed by a how to rent letter and later on by potential rent increases or notices such as a section 21. As a result, it is not one but on average 3 documents you will need to generate per tenancy or employment agreement which is why it is better to select a service which offers the full suite. This will guarantee that the documents correctly reference each other and are consistent.
3. Managing and compliance
A contract is usually filed and forgotten after it has been signed. The chances of this happening are even higher when the contract template was downloaded for free online. Expiries, renewals, and mid-contract obligations are all important events in the lifetime of a contract which need to be tracked. Tracking these events in a calendar or spreadsheet are not optimal since they require manual updating each time a new event passes or is created. To find out how Legislate automates reminders, watch our demo.
What is the solution?
Free templates are still the preferred choice because the size and frequency of the problem don’t seem to justify using a lawyer or a contracting platform. However, this is an unnecessary risk now that easy-to-use platforms like Legislate are accessible to the unlawyered and take the pain away from contracting. If you would like to create and track lawyer-approved contracts and their associated letters, which are always up to date, watch Legislate in action or book an introductory call. Alternatively, read our tutorials or sign up for a free trial today.