How you set out the user’s responsibilities in your equipment rental agreement presents an important opportunity. The right terms and conditions cover you if items are lost or damaged. More than this, a well-worded agreement encourages responsible use from the start. So it leads to happier customers and fewer problems. But what exactly should you include?
Terms and conditions for equipment rental agreements
Through our extensive work supporting university equipment stores with checkout software, we’ve seen a range of terms and conditions used for effective rental agreements. Here are the main areas and potential points to include.
Correct use of equipment
- Equipment must be returned in the condition in which it was received.
- Accept full responsibility for any damage to the items.
- Handle items with care.
- Ordinary wear and tear is accepted.
- Take steps to minimize risk of damage when unpacking, setting up, using and repacking items.
- State clearly the types of use permitted, e.g. academic use or authorized projects only.
- Do not expose equipment to moisture, dust, sand, extreme heat or extreme cold. Only use in a clean environment. Keep lens covers, cases etc in place when not in use.
- If unfamiliar with the equipment’s operation and functions, read the manuals provided first. Only use the equipment in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Ask staff for help if needed.
- Do not make any alterations to how the items are packaged.
- Use personal equipment in conjunction with borrowed items at own risk; (organization) accepts no responsibility for damage.
- Do not unscrew moveable parts entirely, or overtighten them as it can result in loss or damage.
- Treat items as if they are your own.
Health and safety
- It is the customer’s responsibility to ensure all possible precautions are taken to avoid injury to people or damage to the equipment borrowed.
- Handle equipment with care and according to guidelines.
- Only use at agreed locations (e.g. on campus or off campus).
- Allow enough time to unpack, set up, configure and test equipment before use.
- Ensure equipment is stable on ground or surface.
- Do not exceed weight capacity of any items.
- Keep lighting away from flammable materials; do not leave on unattended. Leave to cool before repacking.
- Do not overload electrical outlets when using equipment.
- Never open or touch the internal components of the equipment.
- Refer to the equipment manuals to ensure safe operation.
Encouraging prompt returns
- Return equipment on time.
- A late fee of $X is charged per item, per day.
- The maximum late fee for an item is the replacement cost of the item.
- Items that are X days overdue will automatically be charged at replacement value to the customer’s account.
- Unpaid fees will result in the suspension of the customer’s equipment rental account until payment is received in full.
- Longer suspensions will be applied to repeat offenders returning items late.
TIP: If you would like to read more details about penalties used and actions taken by our university customers to encourage prompt return of equipment loans, take a look at our earlier post here.
- The customer accepts responsibility for all losses and damage.
- Lost or damaged equipment will be charged at current replacement costs.
- Replacement cost will also include a non-refundable billing fee of $X
- The customer takes responsibility for any issues after acceptance of items at checkout.
- Use of equipment outside of authorized projects must be insured or under the responsibility of the customer for the full replacement value of the equipment.
- The equipment is not to be transported via public transit.
- Items are not considered returned until all parts and accessories associated with the item are also returned. Overdue fees will accrue until missing parts are returned or replacements made.
- Equipment borrowed must only be returned to on-duty staff during store open hours. Do not leave it at any other time, location or with any other member of staff.
- Do not leave equipment unattended in an unsecure location.
Support for checkout staff
- Access is a privilege and not guaranteed.
- Treat checkout staff with respect.
- Do not remove or alter any labels or tags attached to the equipment or its packaging.
- Before returning, pack the items in the same way and in the same cases as when received.
- Wind up all cables securely with the ties provided.
- Format SD cards to delete all images fully before returning.
Supporting a good experience for the customer
Good communication is key when preparing to lend items for use. Here are some of the areas to cover to ensure the customer is well informed for their own positive experience.
- It is the responsibility of the customer to ensure the equipment is received in good and working condition. Agree to inspect all items, including kit contents at checkout.
- Responsibility for the equipment is with the customer from pick up to return; ID is required upon collection
- The customer must not transfer responsibility for items to another person.
- Staff must be notified of any problems or damage to the equipment.
- The customer should arrive on time for their scheduled reservation. If they arrive X minutes late or more without prior notice, their reservation will be canceled / items may be forfeited to another user
- Return equipment promptly to avoid fines or inconvenience to future users.
- Equipment checkout and returns may only take place during the advertized open hours.
- Booked studio time includes loading in, production time, and load out time.
- No more checkouts are permitted to customers with overdue items or outstanding fines.
- Permission to borrow equipment for longer periods of time must be obtained in advance of checkout.
So now you’re ready to write your equipment rental agreement. Include elements from all the above areas and you can be sure it’s well structured. Remember, the t&cs aren’t just small print, but an opportunity to encourage responsible borrowing activity. It benefits all involved, not least your users. Now all they need to do is check the box and start using the equipment!
Connect2 equipment checkout software ensures accountability for all equipment loans is tracked and recorded in a secure central usage database. With Connect2, there’s no need for paperwork or signatures at the point of checkout. Each user agrees to the required t&cs as part of the online booking process. Important conditions of equipment use can be highlighted for even clearer communication and understanding of responsibility before completing each booking. The result is fewer lost or broken items and happier borrowers. To find out more, contact Lorensbergs today.