Saturday, 21 January 2017

Using Technology to Avoid Reading A Long-winded Rent Contract

If you live in the UK like I do, you have probably seen some pretty dumb clauses in rental contracts.

These 2 are my favourite so far...
"Any obligation upon the Tenant under this Agreement to do or not to do anything shall also require the Tenant not to permit or allow any licensee or visitor to do or not to do that thing."


"If the Premises are vacant for a period of over two weeks, the Tenants should allow the water to run from all outlets in the Premises for one minute before consuming or otherwise using the water."

Each year, some more dumb clauses are added. What's more, the agency (Keatons) told me that they outsource their contract writing to another company, so I cant have any modifications.

So I've had enough of reading the 150+ clause contracts. I decided to use Technology to help. Since the agency uses Ecosign, the answer was simple. DIFF!!!!

So this year I did the following:
  1. Open the 2015 and 2016 contracts in Beyond Compare
  2. Disable all trivial differences (eg. whitespace)
  3. Only read the lines which are different.

There was a slight problem with this method, as the contract slipped a few clauses in the middle, so each numbered clause was out of sync beyond a certain point. But Beyond Compare is smart enough to show you that the line is actually the same, and only highlight the number of the clause. So for each line, a quick eye-ball shows that nothing else is different. So if it was the same, I didnt bother reading it.

I managed to reduce the 2hrs of painful reading down to a handful of minutes.

The moral of the story

You can probably find a way around most mundane tasks. Don't let life's bullshit slow you down.

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