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PLEASE NOTE: This article was published on the date listed below and may now contain information that has since been updated or changed. We have retained this article as it may still contain helpful comments. However, we advise you to make an appointment to see us for the most up to date information on this topic.

March 2003

Don't Sign

Without knowing what you are signing

Far too often clients sign documents without understanding what it is they are committing themselves to. Our best advice is to see us first.

In recent years there have been instances of fraudulent transactions involving companies that purport to assist people who have, through no direct fault of themselves, found themselves in a very precarious financial position.

These companies take advantage of the vulnerability of such people at the time and offer to assist by way of a “refinancing of the property” type Agreement. On a number of occasions we have dealt with clients who have realised, far too late, that the documents they signed without legal advice have meant that they in fact have sold their property. Without realising it, the final outcomes for those clients have been horrendous.

The types of documents you particularly should be wary of are:

  • Agreements for sale and purchase of residential property
  • Rent to Buy Agreements
  • Agreements for sale and purchase of a business
  • Loan Agreements
  • Franchise Agreements
  • Agreements to Lease
  • Deeds of Lease

Such documents will result in a commitment by you immediately. Seeking advice from us afterwards may be too late.

“To be forewarned is too be forearmed”
To have a clear understanding of what you are signing, to know and to weigh up the risks beforehand means that you are minimising the chances of something unexpected happening.

We prefer to spend a little time with our clients beforehand, to get the documentation right than spend a lot of time with our clients afterwards to try and rectify the problems. Don’t sign without understanding fully what it is you may be committing yourself to.