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The basics of an equipment rental agreement - Part 1 - Defining the terms

The best place to start designing your rental agreement is to define the terminology you will be using in your equipment rental agreement.   Think of it as a glossary or dictionary, i.e. give meaning to the words you are going to be using repeatedly.  Here are some suggestions:

Renter:  The exact name(s) of the person, persons or business, including staff name(s), renting your equipment.  Include their address and any or all contact info.  Establish their identity!

Owner:  The name of your legal entity representing your rental business.  Include full address and multiple forms of contact.  Give the Renter every available option for reaching you in need!

Equipment:  The brand, model name and serial numbers of any or all equipment provided as part of this rental agreement.  Even if it's just an accessory provided as part of the main rental, include it here.

Consent:  Explain in your agreement that the Renter fully understands everything stated herein.

Use:  The customary use of the rental equipment, including it's manuals, in accordance with any applicable law.

Agreement:  This document and how it represents the entire understanding relating to the subject matter hereof and prevails over any prior or contemporaneous, conflicting or additional communications.  The Agreement can only be modified by a written amendment signed by the Renter and Owner.

Inspection: Confirm the Renter has examined the rental equpiment items and found all items to be in good condition at the time of delivery, and agrees to return all items in the same condition as received (normal use expected).  

Rental Period or Term:  Explicitly state the absolute start and end dates.  Define the return policy and any credits, or lack of refunds, for any unused minutes, hours, days, weeks or months.  Also define any policy you may have regarding rental extensions, such as sufficient notice (no. of hours or days?).

Stay tuned for the rest of our ten part series on the basics of a rental agreement...