What’s in a Vendor Contract?
Established contracts with various vendors are a necessity for any commercial property; every landlord will rely on a third party to perform one service or another, often on a regular basis.
While a handshake agreement between parties would be more personal, a signed contract is your only opportunity to guarantee a recorded consensus on the details of your arrangement.
Know What You Need
The nature of any contract is to supply both parties with something they need. Therefore, you must begin with stating exactly what it is you need out of the deal – nothing can be assumed.
If your requirements aren’t specific and clear, the services performed may be general and frustrating, while putting a limit on your legal capacity for objection.
Timelines are crucial for contracts. It’s especially important with seasonal services that contracts be agreed upon well in advance of their needed performance. The reward is securing your services before vendors are fully booked as well as the relief of having a plan in place before problematic situations arise.
Be mindful though, never rush into a contract because of an approaching deadline. Take the time to read it thoroughly and perform your due diligence. Missing an important detail is the last thing you need.
Contract Is Final
Talk is only talk. Despite whatever you were told to believe would be in a contract, the written word stands as the fact.
Not every contract you come across is designed to trick you, but if someone hands you something to sign, there’s a strong chance it’s in their favor.
Reading vendor contracts doesn’t require a law degree, only some time and patience. Spotting those subtle line items hidden within a dense contract before you sign is the only way to prevent fine print details like auto-renewals or unanticipated charges from coming back to bite you.
Remember, an expressly written agreement should be a benefit to each party. You should know exactly what you’re getting for your money and be able to accurately forecast your expenses.
Reaching middle ground on an accurate and fair contract will help your property continue in good operation, but it should also help protect your savings.
Small vendors likely won’t have pre-written contracts, meaning you may be able to start with a simple contract form prepared by your own counsel. National vendors will often present you with finalized looking contracts. While these seem set in stone, know that you may be able to negotiate the terms. Even if the vendor won’t budge, you will at least understand your rights and obligations.
Knowing what you agree to pay shouldn’t just sound like a good number. The more information you have on the service required, the vendor and the market region you’re in, the better you’ll be able to negotiate contracts to a fair price.
Find People You Trust
Property owners have endless challenges begging for their time, attention and money. For most landlords, securing a management team that breathes confidence is the best agreement they’re able to make.
Trout Management has years of experience in the Mid-Atlantic helping property owners secure their needed services at the best available cost.
Contact us today if you think there’s a contract with our name on it.