Condominium Laundry: Contract Tips
In order to be able to consider a new laundry provider, it is critical that you be aware of the cancellation and renewal terms contained in your existing agreement. Regardless of how much time remains on your existing agreement, invest a few minutes now to determine the timeline for any future action that may be required in order to cancel the agreement properly. Failure to plan ahead may result in your agreement renewing without your consent. Here are a few tips to ensure that you can make a change if you wish to when your agreement comes to an end:
- If you do not have a copy of your current laundry agreement, request a copy from your provider. Depending upon your provider, this may require more than one request. An unwillingness to provide a copy of your agreement is unreasonable and unprofessional, and indicates a change is probably in your best interest.
- Determine the following important dates, and note them for future action:
- Contract expiration date.
- Time frame required to cancel any automatic renewal of the agreement (this can be over a year prior to your actual contract expiration!).
- If your contract does contain an automatic renewal, send notice by certified mail of your intent to cancel the renewal within the specified window. If you do not wish to change vendors, this still allows you to make any changes you may desire for the next agreement term.
- Read your agreement carefully to determine if it contains language relating to “The right of first refusal”. This language is used by some laundry companies to lock you into an agreement for life, whether you are satisfied or not. This clause can be overcome, but requires specific action on your part to defeat it. If your agreement does contain this language, contact us for suggestions on how to proceed.
- If you do not receive regular income reports or statements, request them at least annually. Ask that any fees, taxes or deductions that have been taken out of your income be listed, so that you can see the impact of these items on your bottom line. Many agreements allow fees and taxes to be taken, and can cut your commissions by over 20%, and these deductions are rarely reported.
- Look for language indicating that your laundry vendor is allowed a minimum guaranteed compensation. Many laundry agreements contain these guarantees, but are rarely mentioned in the proposals or pre-agreement dialogue. Guaranteeing their investment is not unreasonable, but not disclosing it up front is. If this language is in your agreement, there is a good chance you are not receiving the commission percentage you thought you were based upon the company’s proposal. This is important to know when comparing financial offers, as it makes the commissions offered irrelevant in many cases.
If you have any questions regarding how to interpret your agreement, or how to proceed so that you are able to consider making a change, please feel free to contact us. We will be happy to assist you.