June 12, 2013

A Couple Different Types of Container Rental Contracts That You May Encounter

Small Print Can Bring Big Costs // // Recently we’ve spent some time looking at some things that drive storage container rental prices and rental agreement small print that may impact the price you pay. Here we’ll point out more of the fine print items that are often found in equipment rental agreements, but these can cost you a lot of money if you’re not careful. First I need to say, I am not a lawyer, I never played one on TV and I didn’t stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. Nothing here is intended to be legal advice. This is solely my opinion; you should consult your attorney if you have questions on these or any other matters.
We’ve all done it, run down to the local rental shop to pick up a power leaf blower for instance. We’re then handed an 8 ½” x 14” sheet with a 3 font single spaced on both sides of legalese that we just sign and be on our way. In the back of our mind we all know it’s the rental company’s paper so all the terms will be in their favor and nothing in your favor. The same thing happens with much larger leases for items like storage containers. The leaf blower will cost $40 for the day and if we somehow total the blower then we’ll probably be on the hook for $400 but a storage container will cost +/- $100/month and they are often rented for several months up to several years at a time and they cost much more to buy so more care should be exercised when executing the agreement. The rental terms and conditions will refer to the “lessee” and “lessor”, you are the “lessee” and they are the “lessor.” Assuming this is the first time you’ve done business with this particular rental company you may be sent a contract titled “Master Lease.” This is a convenience for both parties, by executing this document once you are agreeing to be bound to those terms and conditions for all future transactions. This is done so that the terms and conditions only need to be negotiated and agreed one time and for all future container rentals you just need to agree on the price. Some rental contracts take a big step further and state you are agreeing to the terms and conditions of the contract by having signed nothing but simply taking delivery of the container. The message here is to read the contract language, if you don’t understand something, ask what it means and ask to change it if you find it objectionable. Remember, they are more interested in moving the container than getting bound up in contract language. You want the rental contract to offer some protection to you as well, ask that a copy of the rental contract be sent with your quote so you can be prepared to negotiate the terms and conditions along with the prices. We’ll continue to look at a few more typical container rental contract terms and conditions that you should be aware of in a future article so you can be fully prepared to negotiate your entire agreement not just the price. // //