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Contract update announced / Comment on eroding contract protection  / New owner and no fire alarm contract / Bankruptcy
December 14,  2019
New owner – no fire alarm contract
            I was recently notified by a local AHJ that one of my fire alarm accounts sold their building and has a new owner. It was news to me and to top it off, the AHJ doesn’t know for sure who the new owner is, just that the building was sold. I have sent an e-mail to the management company I deal with for this property to confirm that the sale has occurred. 
            My question is, if the management company confirms that the building was sold, how do I go about terminating the contract with them?  Is it as simple as sending a letter notifying the management company of breach of contract for no longer being the property owner?  I don’t want the liability of not having a new owner under contract. 
  Your advice is greatly appreciated.
            You are absolutely correct that you should not be providing fire alarm services- and services – monitoring, inspection, repair – with a proper contract, which would be the Fire All in One.  A new owner needs to either 1) assume an existing contract [if you permit that, because the All in One agreements do not permit the subscriber to assign the contract, or 2) sign a new Fire All in One.
            You can terminate services immediately, unless you have accepted payment from the new owner, in which case you need to figure out what you were paid to do, and then you have to terminate.  Here it seems you haven’t received anything from the new owner; you can terminate immediately.  Be sure to let the AHJ know if you’re terminating monitoring.
            Any form of communication is acceptable though you will want some proof of delivery.  You can call and get the email address for the new owner, or get a name and address and send a letter.  If you can access the keypad put a notice on it that there is No Monitoring.  
Contract update announced / Comment on eroding contract protection from December 6, 2019
            We only install about 6-10 new systems a month and most are break even on the install. However, like Jeff I walk away from deals who will not sign an unaltered contract (maybe one a year). I don’t negotiate, the RMR is too little to engage consul or take the risk. United we stand! I like that.
            You don’t have to be ridged with the contract changes.  Some changes are perfectly fine.  
            Some of the 2020 Kirschenbaum Contracts ™ updates are designed to address common contract challenges by modifying the “printed” form to include the most common changes we make.  Why?  Because the changes we make are really consistent with the law anyway.  There is no point arguing over liability for gross negligence and willful misconduct when the exculpatory clause and limitation of liability provision will not be enforced if that level of conduct is involved.  
Bankruptcy from December 4, 2019 article
            It’s been my blessedly limited experience with bankruptcy that outstanding invoices are never paid, but new invoices for services rendered are paid by the trustee.  
Jean Levenson
            If your subscriber files bankruptcy you should seek advice from K&K Bankruptcy Department.  There won’t be a legal charge for a “quick question” and you will be assured of proper advice.  Failure to adhere to laws applicable to bankrupt customers could get you in trouble for a host of reasons.  
            You are accepting money from a Trustee.  How about a contract with the Trustee, you don’t mention that.  What do you think a Trustee is going to do if there is a loss?  I am referring to an Operating Trustee.
            If you are filing a proof of claim that has to be done properly also.  A Trustee will object if your claim is too high, not if it’s too low.  A Trustee will also not correct a misclassification from unsecured to administrative, though a Trustee will object if you file for administrative claim and it’s an unsecured debt.  
            Got paid within 90 days of the filing of the bankruptcy?   A Trustee may seek return of the money as a preference.  A Trustee won’t help you develop a defense to the preference demand or action.  
            You need the bankruptcy legal advice and K&K’s Bankruptcy Department needs the work [and money].  Perfect match.
            Maybe time for new slogan.  At K&K we don’t install alarms; don't practice law.

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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