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Owner or tenant to sign contract / zone identification difficult with Honeywell panel
November 17, 2020
Owner or tenant to sign contract / zone identification difficulty with Honeywell panel
            I have a business owner with 7 locations; 4 are commercial locations; 3 are residential locations.  He owns all of the properties however he is providing housing for his employees.  It makes me wonder, who is supposed to sign the contract?  Is it the end-user, which would be the tenant or the property owner or the business owner?
I assume it’s the person that I’m providing service to.
            What’s your take on it?
            Also for the zone list, can it be omitted from the contract?   Do the zones listed have to match with the programming of the alarm panel?  For example is it a numbered list of the zones or is it the zone numbers as reflected inside of the panel programming? 
            I have sales reps operating off of iPads and a Honeywell lyric does not permit wireless zones on zone one and two. The typical sales rep starts at number one and runs down each zone in order. 
            How critical is it that the sales rep signs the contract with the zone numbers matching the programming?  I worry about the impossibility of performance of the contract based on the zone numbers. For example, it is impossible to assign a wireless device to zone number one and two on a lyric alarm panel.
            I ask because if it matters I’m going to heavily scrutinize each contract; if it doesn’t matter I won’t waste the time on that particular part of the contract.
            Interesting issues.  Let’s deal with who signs the contract first.
Typically there are two potential signers for the contract, the party who is paying you and the party who to whom you are providing services.  The simple answer is that you can’t go wrong getting extra signatures, but you probably know that.  You certainly need the signature of the party who is responsible for payment; otherwise you won’t be able to pursue collection if necessary.  The flip side of that is, you need the signature of the party who might sue you, so you can enforce the protective provisions in the contract.  In your scenario you are looking to the owner for payment, so he has to sign.  
            But you know you are providing services to the tenants, though it’s not clear what services you are providing to the premises, and it matters for our analysis.  One key factor to consider is, who is authorized to request service, such as repair service or other added services, request passcodes, provide confirmation that alarm signals can be ignored, put the system on test, etc.  If it’s a fire alarm that is “on” all the time it’s likely that tenants will have nothing to do with the system or your services.   If it’s a burglar or other alarm that can be deactivated and activated, then the tenant is most likely the one using the alarm.  Note that in both instances the protection can be claimed to be for the tenant, though an argument can be made that the fire alarm is intended for property protection and not the tenant’s personal protection, especially in a commercial setting as opposed to residential setting.  [An argument better made for cameras].  
            Final answer:  you need the property owner to sign and it would be good idea to get tenants to sign too.  You will either need two contracts since only the property owner is going to be paying, or you will have to make that clear on the contract they both sign.
            Now the zones.  The zone list is found in the Call List, which is the list of contacts the central station is to call in order of priority.  First of all, it is not essential that you use this Call List form.  Your central station may have its own form for the Call List.  The central station’s form may not ask for zone identification. [By the way, our Call List form is not available for purchase; it's included with the All in One agreements and Monitoring Agreement]
            The Standard Form Agreement, the All in One, comes with the Call List, which as noted above, includes the zone identification.  Why?  Because inaccurate zone identification and failure to call the priority contacts is probably one of the most frequent mistakes made by alarm companies and central stations, giving rise to claims and lawsuits.  
            Sure, the protective provisions are likely to protect you contractually if there is a claim; but isn’t it a better idea to try and avoid a claim by providing more reliable information to the central station so that signals received can be properly reported?
            I think you should consider the zone identification important.  I don’t have the technical expertise to advise how you use the Call List form with a Honeywell panel.

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Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq
Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC
Attorneys at Law
200 Garden City Plaza
Garden City, NY 11530
516 747 6700 x 301