Master Agreements For Multiple Locations

Can your alarm agreements be used as “Master Agreements”? Alarm agreements, particularly the Standard Form Agreements [] are designed for a single installation, commercial or residential, sale or lease, intrusion or fire. Some alarm companies are lucky enough to have subscribers who require alarm services in multiple locations, often countrywide. These are national chains or builders of residential apartments, home owners associations and banks looking to secure foreclosed homes, just by way of example. Sometimes alarm companies, and their subscribers, find it burdensome or inconvenient to sign a new agreement for each location.

The Standard Form Agreements are designed for a single installation plus the RMR items. They are not designed to cover multiple installations or multiple sites or even multiple units within a single building. However, the good news is that they are easily adaptable for those uses. However, modifying the contract form is not something that you should be doing on your own. If your typical subscriber called you and said, “hey I need the code because I want to program a few items in the alarm system” I am sure you would recommend against that, maybe with a smile on your face because you know the repair bill is going to be a lot more than if the subscriber just asked you to do the programming in the first instance. Well, same for the contract. Lawyers' stock and trade are words, words that get put on paper. If you think you can do the words and create the contract as well as your lawyer, then guess what? You need a new lawyer. Why, because I can't program my alarm system. I can turn it on and off. You should be able to fill out the contract and get it signed. But make changes? Well, I can push a contact back in place; maybe connect a disconnected wire, and sure there are many changes that you can make in the contract yourself. But I had to learn how to use the screwdriver or have the confidence to push that contact into place. 

Agreements for multiple locations are usually sui generis. [Figured I throw in a little legalese Latin to show off]. That means each deal is different; has to be negotiated and drafted to meet the specifics of the deal. A deal may be suitable for a Master Agreement and using the Standard Form can be used for that purpose. A good example is where you are installing the exact same standard system in every home or apartment unit for the exact same price, even if in different buildings. But, more often than not, every fast food joint is not going to have the exact same alarm system and services and pricing, and even if it does, the next deal for every car dealer showroom, or every custom built home, isn't going to. Each deal will need to be worked out, but using the Standard Form Agreement is going to give you a head start and bring you 90% to the finish line. Professional legal assistance in the drafting of the agreement could save you a lot of aggravation later. “Better call Saul” and if you can't reach him, better call me.