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Hire agreement and damage terms.

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  • Mb0411
    started a topic Hire agreement and damage terms.

    Hire agreement and damage terms.

    Hey guys and girls.

    Would like to to start by thanking those of you that attempted to help me in my first post, of which went the wrong way for me but a lesson learnt.

    As im now part of the forum there’s something else I’ve been trying to achieve that I’m hoping someone can help with.
    sorry if it’s in the wrong section, please advise if that’s the case.

    So, my wife is starting up a small business. It is in the party/wedding business where she will hire out dance floors and other venue props.

    We have been writing up a hire agreement, of which will highlight that any damages will be chargable to the hirer.

    What im worried about is, what if they sign it but then decide not to pay the bill we send them?

    We we need to have this written so that it would stand up in court?

    If if someone’s willing to read through it we’d be very grateful!

    Thanks in advance!
    Tags: None

  • R0b
    I agree with Des on the above cancellation fees, though if you can show these fees are commercially justifiable then you may get away with the sliding scale fees. I think on the face of it this way of doing things would be reasonable if you can show the expenses and costs incurred are somewhat reflective of your losses. If you've only lost 10% and want to charge the customer 75% of the agreed fee, a court might not agree with it.

    Some pointers on how to consider being more fair around this clause:-

    * Explain why these fees are being charged on a sliding scale e.g. a genuine pre-estimation of the losses incurred as a result of the cancellation, including the administrative costs as well as the loss of revenue caused by the hirer's cancellation and that these fees are a fair reflection of those losses.

    * Not sure you'd get away with keeping the deposit 90+ days out if a hirer cancels, as the hirer is likely to say that 3+ months is more than enough time to secure another customer. You might want to consider replacing the deposit amount to something like the deposit is refundable less any costs or expenses actually incurred by Happy Feet Fire.

    I assume the majority of your customers will be consumers and I think a lot of the terms are a bit scrambled in various places. Perhaps you might want to consider splitting your terms and conditions into more manageable chunks and easier for the hirer to understand what is required from them. For example, if it were me I would think about having these clause headings added in the agreement:-

    a. Equipment Hire
    * Explain that the terms and conditions relate to the hiring of equipment from Happy Feet Hire

    * It i acknowledged that Happy Feet Hire retains ownership of the equipment at all times and shall ensure that whilst it is in their possession, that no person seizes or otherwise takes possession of the equipment, particularly in relation to civil enforcement i.e. bailiff recovery. In addition, the hirer shall not sell or loan out the equipment.
    * During the hire period, the hirer is entitled to use it without interruption or anyone else on behalf of the Happy Feet Hire claiming ownership of it.

    b. Obligations of the Hirer
    * This clause would set out the relevant obligations e.g. to promptly pay the fees in accordance with the terms of the agreement, ensure the venue is a suitable place for the equipment to be hired, responsible for complying with any health and safety rules of the venue (but also notifying Happy Feet Hire of any specific requirements).

    *You might also want to prepare a one page Do's and Dont's for certain equipment like the dancefloor rather than have it contained in the small print but state in the small print that the hirer is provided with this sheet at the point of signing the contract.

    c. Obligations of the Happy Feet Hire
    * For consumers, there's nothing wrong with you saying the equipment is of satisfactory quality and fit for intended purpose and has been inspected prior to the delivery and installation.

    d. Delivery of the equipment and risk
    * Consider stating that time is not of the essence on delivery but do be aware that if you give a delivery date, then the Consumer Rights Act might assist the customer for breach of contract if you don't deliver on the day.
    * Not sure you can simply hold the deposit if the hirer isn't around to take delivery. You may want to consider that an additional charge of X per 30 minutes will be charged up to a maximum of 2 hours at which point the delivery will be abandoned and the hirer bears the costs, and try to set out what those costs may be.
    * on delivery and installation, the risk and liability of the equipment passes to the hirer.

    e. Insurance
    * The equipment cost is expensive to repair or replace and so it is recommended that the hirer obtains insurance to its full replacement value. It is the responsibility of the hirer to consider whether he or she wishes to obtain insurance and Happy Feet Hire may refer the hirer to reputable insurance providers. You should point out here that Happy Feet Hire might receive a commission for referrals (if applicable).

    f. Limitation of liability
    * You should consider limiting your liability because if something goes wrong then it could be very costly. Certainly indirect losses ought to be excluded and you should be able to afford to limit it to direct losses but also consider limiting the liability to 100% of the fees paid.

    * Note that the law doesn't allow you to exclude or limit liability for death, personal injury or fraud.

    g. Condition of the equipment
    * I think you might want to consider strengthening the point about the equipment condition. Depending on the equipment being hired then you could say that the equipment will be tested in the presence of the customer and they will have a reasonable opportunity to inspect and note any marks or damage which is recorded on a condition report and signed by the customer. You wouldn't be able to charge for reasonable wear and tear so you will need to exclude that. Also if there is damage, the onus is on you to prove it was caused whilst in the customer's possession so it would benefit you to carry out a condition check at the point of installation to protect both you and the customer from raising issues later down the line.

    That list isn't exhaustive and you've covered some of the points already I just think they need to be made clearer and plug any other risks such as liability. Not sure if you have already considered it but maybe creating an order form on one side and these terms and conditions overleaf in a column type way.

    One of the biggest problems with B2C is that the key terms are hidden in the small print which we all know that nobody ever reads. As businesses are not intended to catch people out, consider incorporating a summary of the key terms such as liabilities, cancellation and insurance. You could also consider inserting a declaration to the effect that the customer acknowledges it has had a reasonable opportunity to review the terms and conditions, understands their responsibilities and agrees that they may be liable in the event of damage to the equipment whilst it is in their possession.

    The more reasonable information you give a customer, the less likely they will have an argument or claim against you. Also if you think the business is going to be dealing with corporate clients, you should consider having separate, more stringent terms and conditions.

    Leave a comment:

  • des8
    Cancellation by the client
    0-7 Days from engagement – 100% of the agreed fee.
    8-14 Days from engagement – 75% of the agreed fee.
    15-90 Days from engagement – 50% of the agreed fee.
    90 + Days (Deposit Fee Only)
    The above cancellation fees are an important part of the terms and conditions agreement and are accepted by the client on payment of a booking deposit. This cancellation policy applies to hire items only.[/QUOTE]

    Please bear in mind::

    Businesses must take reasonable steps to reduce their losses (eg by re-hiring the goods ).
    Non-refundable deposits should only be a small percentage of the total price.
    Cancellation charges must be a genuine estimate of the business' direct loss.

    Leave a comment:

  • Mb0411
    Thanks for the input guys.

    We have discussed it tonight and have decided that we will ask for a refundable deposit in case of any minor damage.

    If anyone fancies reading through it, heres a bit of bedtime reading for you:

    Thanks guys.

    General Terms
    Hired equipment will remain the property of Happy Feet Event Hire at all times.
    During the period of hire, the Client is solely responsible for the hire goods and must insure against all risks.
    Stickers and branding cannot be used without the prior permission of Happy Feet Event Hire.
    The Client undertakes to keep the hired goods in excellent order and condition and to return all equipment to Happy Feet Event Hire in such order and condition.
    We strongly recommend that you check the items before they are collected/returned and sign them off when the driver comes to the venue/when the items are collected, if you are unable to do this we will check the items at our premises and our decision is final. Any discrepancies to the order must be notified within 24 hours of the delivery. Any discrepancies that are not notified during this period will be exempt from any credit/refund. Discrepancies can be made by email to info@happyfeethire.co.uk or by telephone to 07845 090687. If damage has occurred photographic evidence is required.

    Booking Deposits and Payments
    Happy Feet Event Hire can only secure a date once a deposit has been received and the details agreed. The deposit is non refundable in the event of a cancellation by the Client. We can hold a date for 2 weeks, however we will contact you if we have interest from another person.
    The final balance of any booking must be paid 14 days before the start date and time indicated in the booking confirmation. If the final balance is not received in full by this time Happy Feet Event Hire reserve the right to refuse to provide services on this booking and the deposit and any subsequent payments will be non refundable.

    Damages deposit.
    Happy Feet Event Hire will require a refundable deposit from the client to cover any loss or damage to the hired equipment.
    If any loss or damage exceeds the deposit value, then payment will be required to the required value. A separate damages agreement will need to be signed by the client.
    The deposit does not need to be paid until 7days before the event and, if no loss or damage has occurred, will be refunded within 48hrs after the event.
    Delivery, Installation and Collection
    Happy Feet Event Hire will make every effort to collect and deliver your order at the specified times however we will not be liable for any loss arising directly or indirectly from any delay in the delivery or collection of goods due to situations out of our control.
    Should the event space require access via a lift or stairs this should be advised by the Client prior to completing a booking, and may be subject to an additional charge. Happy Feet Event Hire reserves the right to refuse installation of the hired equipment should it feel the location is not suitable / safe to do so.
    Once at a location the client cannot move the hired equipment from one site to another. An additional charge may apply for wait time if a site is not available for set up at the time stated for delivery.
    An additional full-day hire fee may apply if items are not ready for collection at the end date / time stated on the booking confirmation.
    In the event of any equipment requiring a repair as a result of the Client’s negligence, misuse or abuse, then the Client shall bear the cost of any such repair.
    In the event that the goods are damaged beyond economical repair, or are lost, the Client shall bear the full write-off cost.
    Please be aware that the goods remain the clients responsibility until Happy Feet Event Hire has collected them. You should therefore make every effort to ensure goods are kept dry and are retained in a secure place until this time.
    All items must left where they were set up ready for collection: any flowers or additional decorations must be removed.
    Dance Floor Installation & Conditions
    We must be able to reach the install location with our wheeled trolleys, so we ask you to check that ramped or lift access is available. We do not allow tables, chairs, stickers, transfers or decorations to be placed on the dance floor. Please check with us before proceeding with a booking if you are unsure of these conditions.
    If our installation team arrive at the venue and feel that the conditions are unsuitable we reserve the right to refuse the installation without refund unless explicitly agreed in writing by us.
    Dance floors can only be installed on short pile carpets such as carpet tiles without an underlay. However, thicker pile carpet with an underlay or any kind of ‘bounce’ is not suitable for the dance floors.
    High heeled shoes are not permitted on the dance floors. It is the clients responsibility to ensure guests are made aware of this throughout the night.
    Do not use metallic confetti or confetti cannons on these starlit floors as it can cause them to short circuit and stop working, we cannot be held responsible if this happens and damages may be charged.
    No food or drink is permitted on our dance floors.
    If any spillages are found, we ask you to use a damp cloth only, NO chemicals are to be used – we will clean it properly after the hire period.
    Any damage caused by spillages will be charged to the hirer.

    In the unlikely event of Happy Feet Event Hire cancelling the agreement due to unforeseen circumstances that occur therefore making a party unable to comply with its obligations under this Contract for a reason outside of its control (such as war, fire, death, illness or other capacity certified by a properly qualified medical practitioner, epidemic, accident, civil commotion, national calamity, order of Government or Local Authority having jurisdiction in the matter, changes in law, foreign government policy, act of God) as specified in these terms and conditions, we will endeavor to offer you an alternative service of style and cost for you to approve. In the event that you do not approve of the replacement or no replacement is available, we will offer you a full refund.
    These terms and conditions are designed to offer protection to both parties. As the Client you can request to cancel the booking, however the following charges will apply:
    Cancellation by the client
    0-7 Days from engagement – 100% of the agreed fee.
    8-14 Days from engagement – 75% of the agreed fee.
    15-90 Days from engagement – 50% of the agreed fee.
    90 + Days (Deposit Fee Only)
    The above cancellation fees are an important part of the terms and conditions agreement and are accepted by the client on payment of a booking deposit. This cancellation policy applies to hire items only.

    Happy Feet Event Hire accepts no responsibility for any injuries or claims whilst using Happy Feet Event Hires’ equipment.
    Any delays by the venue or booker will not influence the finish time; extensions will be at the discretion of the operator. In the rare event of any delays to our service due to late arrival or technical difficulties, we will add time at the end of the booking in the first instance. If both Happy Feet Event Hire and the client deem this is inappropriate, a refund may be discussed, however the refund amount will never exceed the amount of the booking fee.
    Happy Feet Event Hire reserves the right to work in a safe environment. If at any time our operators feel compromised or intimidated by the behavior of guests or they feel the equipment may be in danger of damage, we reserve the right to immediately withdraw from the event. No refund will be issued.
    Any dissatisfaction of service provided by us must be made during the operating time of the booking, so that we can attempt to rectify the situation. We cannot be held responsible for any disruption to service caused by any third parties, be it the venue, it’s staff, other suppliers or guests.
    Happy Feet Event Hire reserves the right to substitute and/or subcontract any goods for appropriate alternatives in the event that the actual goods quoted for is not available.

    Leave a comment:

  • R0b
    Don't disagree in the main Des and it is sensible business to ensure there is insurance in place, but when someone is saying you must purchase a specific insurance policy dictated by the business, rather than allow the hirer to shop for their own coverage, it might be considered restrictive in that sense. All the business needs to know is that there is adequate insurance in place and a copy of the policy is sufficient before the contract goes ahead.

    If force an insurance policy as part of the package then you could be limiting your customer base who might think the insurance cost is too much and would rather choose their own.

    Leave a comment:

  • des8
    I doubt it would be classified restrictive
    If you lend an item to a third party (whether for remuneration or not) you are entitled to ensure their insurance cover meets your requirements and remains in force for the entire hire period.
    If the borrower was allowed to produce their own evidence of cover at the time of taking the goods, there would be nothing to prevent them from cancelling without informing the owner, and would the hirer be qualified to read and understand the cover was what he requires the hiree to hold?

    making the hiree buy insurance at time of the hire is not unusual.
    A quick look produced this broking outfit https://www.jelf.com/for-business/as...mes/hireguard/
    This is not an endorsement for them . I don't know them but they are part of a large international outfit I used to work with.
    There will be other companies offering similar products

    Leave a comment:

  • R0b
    Des playing devil's advocate, if you were to force the business' insurance on the hirer this might be seen as too restrictive and perhaps unfair.

    You could instead make it a condition precedent (i.e. a condition of entering into the contract) that (i) the hirer will obtain insurance coverage on not less than X amount and (ii) provide a copy of the insurance certificate 7 days prior to the event. If the hirer fails to meet these conditions, then the contract lapses and no hire agreement is entered into.

    Leave a comment:

  • des8
    As R0b it is possible to arrange insurance cover for goods whilst on hire.
    Basically you the hirer include in your terms and conditions a clause by which the hiree purchases insurance which you sell to them.

    There are also policies that will cover your equipment whilst on hire.

    Suggest you consult a good insurance broker and discuss your needs after googling "equipment hire" & "Event equipment hire".

    Leave a comment:

  • R0b
    I'm not sure if you are suggesting that you won't be taking a deposit and if that is so, then I think that would be a real risk to your wife's business model. A deposit system is a good way of ensuring you can at least recover some of the money in the event that something goes wrong.

    Yes, it's not the full cost of the equipment but then you take your chances in court with the hirer, I guess that's the cost of doing business. Insurance coverage is another thing that could assist you.

    Why don't you post up what you've written under the contract and maybe we can provide some feedback on it.

    Leave a comment:

  • Mb0411
    We thought about deposit but we would come into a similar situation if the deposit didn’t cover the repair or replacement cost.

    for example, one of the dance floors would for £10k to replace (if it was stolen whilst under the hirers responsibility)
    We know how much people are forking out when planning these types of events so may get put off when asked for more (even though they should get it back) so don’t think we should be asking for high value deposits.

    I am am open to suggestions if I’m going about this completely wrong.

    thank you

    Leave a comment:

  • paulajayne
    Have you look at a deposit system.

    Leave a comment:

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