One of the most pressing risks in the rental industry is damage to costly equipment. Let’s be realistic. No one would treat your rental products as their own unless you make them responsible for the damages when your equipment is under their possession. Enforcing responsible usage through rental contracts is the best method to remedy that issues. And we will show you have to do it effectively in this post.
When you develop rental contracts with terms outlining customer responsibilities, you save your costly equipment from being recklessly used.
Another problem in the rental industry is liability issues. Local authorities may keep you responsible for the damages caused to your customers while using your rental equipment UNLESS you make your customers sign liability documents before the rentals.
An excellent example of liability issues is inflatable rentals. Suppose you rent out inflatable sliders, and a child hurts his hand while playing on your equipment one day. In that case, you may be responsible for the medical expenses of that child. But if you have your customers sign liability waivers, you are clear from similar accidents.
How to Create Rental Contracts?
Rental contracts can serve as a legal document that defines customers’ and business owners’ responsibilities and enforces clear guidance on navigating specific issues and situations. More specifically, it explains who is responsible for what damages and costs when the problems occur.
There are several ways to create rental contracts, and the best part is that you do not have to start the document from scratch. A well-written rental template already exists in your industry, and you need to read and customize them based on your business model and terms.
10 Things to Include in Rental Contracts.
- Names and addresses of a business and the renters. A rental contract is a legally binding document, so the contract should be accurate with the official names of the business and the customer. If more than two parties are involved in the rentals, you should list all their official names.
- Accurate Information about the Equipment. A contract is only valid when it clearly defines the names of equipment and tools, quantity, and add-ons that come with it. For example, you can include equipment model, year, serial number, stock number, etc. (note: Did you know that Reservety allows you to label inventories with serial numbers)?
- Operation and Care. This section should include all the requirements regarding the usage of equipment:
- Installation guide
- Operating Tips
- Restrictions on ages
- Anything that would protect your customers’ safety and prolong your rental equipment’s life.
- Rental Rates & Periods. Indicating your rates per period (e.g., $xx for one hr.; $x, xx per day; $x, xxx per week; etc.). Given the fact that there will be many rental items in your inventory, it would take a lot of work to create a rental agreement for each product. Instead, you can use general contracts or automatically add rates and periods to a contract.
- Fees & Penalties. In your rental agreement, you must enclose how much customers would be charged for the following instances:
- Late Returns
- Period extensions
- Dirty equipment, etc.
- Transportation options and costs are another critical point in a rental agreement. Rental companies have to disclose transportation options at the time of booking. For instance, some companies offer transportation services using flat rate fees or price-per-mile strategies. In those cases, you must accurately indicate your transportation rates to avoid conflicts with customers. You can also set special requirements for customers who want to transport the items themselves.
- Insurance Coverage. Accidents and minor incidents do happen in the rental industry. The best way to minimize their impact is to have a reliable insurance policy. It is essential to indicate the list of things that are covered and not so the customers will be informed.
- Security Deposits & Payments. Anything related to financials should be clearly stated in the rental contract not to surprise customers with additional fees. Many rental companies require security deposits during the bookings to protect their assets from losses. So, you need to mention your security deposit requirements. Additionally, you need to give specific details about the payment processes and how the rental companies charge customers. You must illustrate how the charges are collected if you offer an Installment Payments program.
- Anything you think a customer must know. Not all rental businesses are created equal. Some are unique in their business models, which require a different contract. That means you need to include the information based on your business model to get customers’ consent before finalizing bookings.
4 Things to Include in a Rental Waiver.
Before going any further, we should define the purpose of rental waivers. We all know that the rental industry has many risks. For instance, someone can get injured while using your rental equipment, or people can cause damage to other properties using your equipment. No matter what the problem is. A business holds liability for the damages caused by its equipment. But you can avoid liability issues using Rental Waivers, primarily as legal protection against risks and liabilities.
- The name of the business and the renters. It is the first step, as liability waiver will only be valid if names are clearly stated in the form.
- List of risks associated with the equipment. Informing customers about the potential risks can help your customers to use your equipment with more outstanding care and minimize injuries.
- A release of liability statement. It is the most crucial part of the waiver. When customers sign after reading the liability statement, they agree to waive their rights against your business. The liability statement should be clear and straightforward not to confuse renters. The following is a good example: “I, [customer name], hereby waive any and all legal rights against [business name] and their employees for any injuries or damages that may occur during the [event name] event on [date].”
- Signature. A waiver without a signature is worthless. So, a rental company must have a system to get customers to sign the documents before using the rental equipment. Paper-based waivers and signatures are no longer compatible with the modern technological era. Nowadays, people prefer to sign documents electronically to avoid going through additional hassle. You can do precisely that with Reservety’s rental software, as it allows customers to sign waivers digitally.
5 Places You Can Get Free Rental Contract Templates
- LawDepot offers a convenient tool for creating rental agreements. It walks you through a few steps with basic questions. Once you answer them all, it generates your rental contract based on your customizations.
- eForms is another tool to generate rental contracts based on your terms. You need to input information about your business and set your requirements to get the complete rental agreement document.
- Lawrina provides ready rental contracts. You can change the parts of it to make it suitable for your rental business. The cost is the only downside of this tool.
- TemplateLab is a great source to find various rental agreement templates that you can change by adding your terms & conditions.
- LegalZoom is another excellent website that offers a tool to generate rental contracts instantly. To finish the process, You need some essential information, such as rental requirements, penalty fees, etc.
How to Create a Liability Waiver for a Rental Business
You can take a similar route as you did with the rental agreements. Many sources offer free liability waiver templates for rentals that you can customize by adding your information and terms. Search the keyword: “Rental Liability Waiver Templates” on Google and select the ones that suit your business model.
What is the Next Step after You have Contracts and Waivers?
You will need more than creating rental contracts and waivers to help your business. You need all your customers to sign those documents before each rental and safely store them under their accounts for legal reasons. Unfortunately, if you try to send, get signatures, and manage those documents manually, you will spend much of your time, not to mention how inconvenient it would be for your customers.
We recommend using rental software like Reservety with a built-in contract management feature. For example, Reservety, All-in-One Rental Solution, allows rental businesses to create their rental contracts & waivers and display them on checkout pages for confirmation with a digital signature. Unless customers sign those documents properly, the system does not allow customers to finalize their booking processes.
Automating Rental Contracts and Waivers with Digital Signatures.
We all love the conveniences of the technological era. More importantly, we do not want to put ourselves in a paperwork-related hustle unless we have to. The good news is that Reservety handles rental paper processes, including rental contracts and waivers, which can be signed digitally.
Here is How Reservety’s Rental Contract Management Works.
Rental Contract Templates
Reservety helps to create your own rental contracts, or you can copy generic rental contracts from other sources we have indicated above and paste them into Reservety. Then, you can customize them with your own information and terms using Reservety’s convenient tools.
Create Fillable PDFs.
You may also create fillable PDFs that you can prompt during the booking process so customers can fill them up with their information online and save it to their profile.
Use Group Waivers for Multiple Renters
Let’s think of a situation where a family or group of friends rent several bikes from you. Given that all individuals should sign liability waivers, you should have the means to receive those signatures quickly, giving the utmost convenience to your customers. Reservety handles that challenge perfectly.
Sign with digital Signatures.
It is the most convenient feature for online renters. Reservety lets customers sign contracts and waivers through digital signature so they can complete their bookings at their homes.
Upload Before and After Images
Contracts can protect your business from losses and damages. However, you need to have a way to prove that damages are really inflicted while the equipment is under the possession of customers. Considering that, Reservety implemented a system that lets you upload Before and After images of the rental equipment so both the business and customer can establish strong trust between themselves.
- Rental contracts and waivers are essential for a rental business because Rental contracts protect your business from losses and damages while preserving transparency between businesses and customers. On the hand, Rental Waivers protect you from liability issues and make the customers liable for injuries and damages caused to themselves and others while using your rental equipment.
- You can copy-paste ready templates from external sources and edit them on Reservety by modifying critical information and adding your terms. Just google the keywords “Equipment rental agreement templates” and “Rental contract templates” and select the ready templates or create them using the five tools we provided above.
- Rental Waivers should include the following four key pieces of information: the names of parties involved; a list of risks associated with equipment; A Release of Liability Statement; and a Signature.
- Once your contract and waivers are ready, you can automate them using Reservety. The software prompts contracts and waivers during checkout and lets customers sign them digitally. All the signed documents get stored under a customer account for legal reasons.
- Reservety is the best tool for Rental Contract and Waiver management because it allows to create and customize the documents, lets customers sign them electronically, allows businesses to upload before and after pictures, implements fillable PDFs to get crucial information from customers, sends contracts and waivers through the built-in messaging system, and stores all signed documents safely for future references.