Life of a Trainee in Property

I completed my Law degree at the University of Sheffield and graduated in 2015. I then went on to study the legal practice course at the University of Law and graduated in 2017. Whilst I enjoyed many aspects of both courses I found I enjoyed land law the most, so it felt like a natural progression when I started my training contract to pursue seats in commercial and residential property.

Unique and the same

The most interesting thing about property work for me is that each transaction is both unique and exactly the same. Whilst each sale and purchase follows the exact same stages each time, there will be different issues in each matter. Some properties will be subject to rights from other land owners, or you might need to agree rights with other land owners in order to gain access to the property or use services. Some properties are listed or have been extensively renovated meaning you will need to see evidence of planning or building regulations. Some properties will have far more complex titles than others and unfortunately not every property will be registered! The list of different issues can be exhaustive.

The real skill of working in property is being able to identify the issues that need to be resolved to either secure your client a marketable title, or successfully sell your client’s property. The more experience you gain, the easier it becomes to identify what enquiries you need to raise with a seller’s solicitor.

Managing expectations

Many skills you learn in property will be transferable to different departments, particularly the art of managing client’s expectations which is especially relevant in residential property. Client’s can sometimes become blind sighted by their desire to move into their new home and forget that one day they might want to sell their property. Without good title this can be very difficult. As much as you want your client to move into their new home, you must make sure that their position is protected for the future. Often, you will also be acting for their lender and so you must make sure the lender’s position is protected should the property need to be repossessed and sold.

Communication with lots of different parties is vital to keep a transaction moving along and you will quickly build up relationships with many third parties including estate agents and other firms. Whilst property can be very stressful, particularly when you have a chain transaction with many parties moving on the same day, it is really rewarding when a sale or purchase completes