In addition to representing and advising Sellers, we also perform third party due diligence for Buyers.  I am not particularly concerned about the new California law because it seems to be clear, concise, and fairly reasonable to comply with.  

  • First it applies to agreements entered into on or after January 1, 2017.  Solution If you are doing business in California, call Ken and order compliant agreements, and have your new customers sign them.  If we are performing a contract review we would look at the contract signing date and note that agreements signed on or after January 1, 2017 do or do not comply with the law.  
  • If you add additional services or change the relationship with the customer in any way, get the customer to sign a new, compliant, monitoring agreement. 
  • It appears that an agreement can still contain an auto renewal of more than one month if this is proper disclosed in the agreement. 

    This is a great time to update your agreements and circulate new agreements to your customers.  A new, compliant, monitoring agreement is always good to have.  Get an agreement with you customer that clearly delineates what you are doing and, more importantly, what you are not doing (i.e. not providing insurance for $32.95 a month).  This is a great time to replace the agreement that you copied from ADT in 1982.
    This is also a great time to review your customer base and make certain that you have a compliant, valid, and executed, agreement with all of your customers.  When you are reviewing them, make certain that they are all signed by “management.”      When we encounter a high proportion of contracts which are signed by the customer only, we aren’t as much concerned with the contract with one signature only not being a contract, as we are concerned that no one at the Company took the time to look over the agreement and sign it.  This could indicate detached owners and management and may be a sign of ‘inmates running the asylum.’  This is also a great time to get signed agreements from your neighbors, cousins, brother-in-law, and all of the other customers who would ‘never sue you.’  The absence of an executed agreement opens you up to lawsuits from your brother-in-law’s insurance company and a whole cast of characters that could (and often do) materialize after a loss.  Additionally, this ‘close circle’ of customers would most probably have no relationship to a Buyer and may not be as understanding after an event.
    I hear Sellers tell me that a customer with no monitoring agreement has “a great payment and service history.”  While this is certainly great news for a prospective Buyer, the fact that an uncontracted customer has paid you a couple of thousand dollars over the last five or ten years doesn’t outweigh the concerns over the multi-million law suit that the Buyer could face if there is a loss. 
    If you are considering selling in the next 25 years, your monitoring agreements are your biggest asset, treat them that way.  Even if you plan to live forever and work until the Earth quits spinning, your monitoring agreements should clearly delineate what you are/are not doing and protect you from devastating litigation.  
    If you are in California (or anywhere else in the U.S.) your first New Year’s resolution should be “Call Ken.”  
Mitch Reitman
Reitman Consulting Group
Fort Worth, TX
    Thanks for the unpaid endorsement. The advice is great.
    I read your recent email regarding CA’s new auto-renewal legislation and want to point out one clarification.
Per the bulletin from the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services in Sacramento, this change only applies to RESIDENTIAL alarm service agreements.
    As a separate issue, I am interested in learning more about your Standard Contract and whether it fits well for my business.  My company is virtually 100% commercial, with an emphasis on hosted/managed access control services. We also have intrusion monitoring accounts, fire monitoring accounts, T&I agreements, and extended warranty agreements.
    For the sake of simplicity we are looking for a single contract that covers us for all these commercial areas.
Is this a product you have ready to go for California?
Very interested,
    I can't find anything in the statute that limits the automatic renewal statute to residential contracts.  Maybe a California alarm lawyer can enlighten us?  
    BSIS won't be the AHJ interpreting or enforceing the contract in litigation.  The Standard Form Agreements will continue to include month to month renewal so the statute won't prohibit the renewals. 
    For your commercial alarm business I recommend the Standard Commercial All in One, which will cover all non fire security services.  The Standard Fire All in One should be used for your commercial fire alarm jobs.  Use the Disclaimer Notice with the Commercial All in One.
    If you insist on one contract then get the Fire All in One with Security Rider.  You have to be installing a fire alarm and then a security system to use the combined agreement; it doesn't work for just a security alarm job.  Confused?  Contact our Contract Administrator Eileen Wagda at 516 747 6700 x 312 for assistance.
    The Standard Form Agreements have been updated for 2017.  We've added a non-disparagement provision.  We added a liquidated damage provision when the installation is delayed by the subscriber or others. We modified the monthly payment provision for services so that you have option to give one lump sum instead of separate charges. Fire Protection contract inspection provision was modified in several ways.  Retention of ownership of decals and yard signs was added.  Warning on audio and video added.  Fire All in One added provision to deal with inconsistent agreements.  Other changes have been made and you should check with our Contract Administrator Eileen Wagda at 516 747 6700 ext 312 to see if your form needs updating.  We starting adding the updates several months ago so you may be up to date.  Keep in mind that our updates are free for 6 months and half price for 12 months.  Updates will be prepared and sent out after the new orders are processed.  The sale ends January 6, 2017, so please be patient.  
notice of contract sale - order at www.alarmcontracts.com [you don't need a lawyer to figure this out - order during the sale and save thousands of dollars - call our Contract Administrator Eileen Wagda at 516 747 6700 x 312 for assistance]
    Contract sale starts now and runs through January 6, 2017, ending at 3 PM.  The discount will be accepted on all orders received between now and January 6, 2017 by 3 PM*.  This will definitely be the best deal of 2017.  Here's the deal:
    Buy 1 Residential, Commercial or Fire All in One and get $100 off and $25 off Disclaimer Notice
    Buy 2 All in One forms and get $100 off first and $200 off second and $50 off Disclaimer Notice and $100 off alarm.com rider.   Save up to $450.
    Buy 3 or more All in One forms and get same as above and $300 off the third form and $400 off the fourth form.  Save up to $1150.00 [Residential, Commercial, Fire, Home Automation]
    Commercial Mobile Surveillance Lease $1000.  Save $500
    The Fire All in One with Security Rider $1250.00.  Save $400.00  Add the Commercial Fire All in One and the Commercial All in One and get $200 off each.  Save $800.00
    Qualifier Agreement  $1200.00   Save $300.00
    Nationwide DIY with monitoring.  $3500.00  Save $1000.00**
    Nationwide PERS with or without GPS tracking.  $3500.00  Save $1000.00**
* Your order must be placed on line at www.alarmcontracts.com and received by our office no later than January 6, 2017 by 3 PM EST.  Orders must contain valid credit card payment.  Fill out the order form, add up your charges (we will check the arithmetic) and put in "promo" after your total.  Orders arriving after sale ends will be returned or with your approval charged regular published rates.  Orders will be processed in order received.  Rush orders, delivered by email within 48 hours, add 15%.
** Does not include consultation or modification
What's our Guarantee policy re updates?
    Free updates within 6 months of purchase*
    Half price within 6 months to 1 year*
* applies to original purchase only
To check if you need or are entitled to an update contact our Contract Administrator Eileen Wagda at 516 747 6700 x 312.  Update orders are processed after discounted or full price orders.