There has been a lot of discussion regarding DIY systems.  Many alarm companies are getting involved.  My question is this:
    When a homeowner installs a DIY system in their home and down the road decides to sell the home - who is responsible for the "system" in place?  The previous owner?  What kind of liability does this result in?  Will this need to be disclosed in the sale?
    All I know is that there are a lot of people that do their own home improvement - and not necessarily in a professional or quality manner.  What will the impact be on DIY security systems and transferring ownership when one sells the home?  
Charisse Allen
    There may be other ways to chacterize DIY systems, but I'd like to look at two types.  

  • The DIY that is self monitored or not monitored at all (local siren only)
  • The DIY that is professionally monitored and maybe self monitored too

    There are also two ways (at least) a DIY system is sold:

  • With no help or assistance by the seller other than a user manual
  • Telephone support and sometimes installation assistance

    Liability is going to correlate closely with involvement.  If you sell but don't offer any telephone or other support and don't provide monitoring, then you have little if any exposure, especially if you've provided a consumer user friendly manual and your equipment is self testing and reliable.  But if you offer telephone support, installation guidance, maybe a list of subcontactors to assist with installation, and provide professional monitoring, you're on the hook in the same way you would be with a professionally installed and serviced system.  So what do you need to do, use a proper contract.  DIY agreements, which includes either self or professional monitoring, are available for each state or in a nationwide form.  When you order more than one state at a time the multiple state forms are half price.  The nationwide form is still a better deal if you're going to be selling nationwide.  Of course DIY lends itself to nationwide markets.  Better get on boa! rd, that train is pulling out of the station as we speak.
    Almost forgot, you asked about transferring the systems.  Well, if you're not providing monitoring then you have no exposure to the second owner.  However if you are providing professional monitoring then you better get a new contract signed by the new owner because that owner is not bound by the old owner's contract, which means you're not protected by the old contract.

2016 Updates Are Ready - See Sale Announcement Below
    The Standard Form Agreements have been updated for 2016.  Probably the single most important change is in the "right to subcontract" provision.  We've added manufacturers and vendors to the "subcontractor" category who benefit by the protective provisions in the agreement.  This change was prompted by Honeywell's dealer agreement which requires that provision in the dealer's subscriber agreement.  We still have a separate Rider for alarm.com, which that vendor does require.  Other manufacturers, especially those who have gotten in on the RMR model by having its equipment communicate through its servers, are requiring protection from subscriber claims.  Other changes have been made and you can 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.  There is sale until January 5, 2016 so please be patient.  

NOTICE OF CONTRACT SALE - ORDER AT www.alarmcontracts.com

    Contract sale starts now and runs through January 5, 2016 5PM.  The discount will be accepted on all orders received between now and January 5, 2016 5 PM*.  This will definitely be the best deal of 2016.  Here's the deal:
    Buy 1 All in One** and get $100 off.  **excludes new fire with rider form
    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
    The new 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 $600.00
    Qualifier Agreement  $1200.00   Save $300.00
    Nationwide DIY with monitoring  $3500.00  Save $1000.00
* Your order must be placed on line at www.alarmcontracts.com and received in our office no later January 5, 2016 5 PM EST.  Order 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%.


Introducing the Commercial Fire All in One with Security Rider
The new form:    We have been asked to offer a combined Commercial Fire and Security Agreement.  The form starts with the Fire All in One and adds a Rider for security covered by the Security All in One.  

Who should use this form:  If you do primarily fire, use a single panel and add security equipment, then this form will be the easiest one to use.  If you do fire and security I still prefer the Fire All in One and the Commercial All in One as separate forms.