|SPOA CONDITIONS OF HIRE|
Although the SPOA model Conditions of Hire have been drafted with practical experience of hiring plant, you are free to choose the basis upon which you contract with your customers. Its your contract and, even if the SPOA model conditions have been used, the SPOA accepts no liability in the event of a dispute about the contract and its conditions. The model conditions are not intended to be a substitute for your own independent legal advice.
There are two formats of the model Conditions of Hire. It is essential that the appropriate format is used for each contract.
Download the SPOA Conditions of Hire.
General Conditions of HireThe general conditions of hire are intended for business-to-business use, which is the most common of all commercial dealings undertaken by members. They should be used where the customer taking the hire is doing so in the course of his business or trade - whether the customer is a sole trader, partnership or limited company.
Consumer Conditions of HireThe second set of conditions of hire, entitled “Consumer Conditions of Hire” are intended for business-to-consumer use. The test of whether the customer taking the hire is a consumer hinges on whether he is hiring as part of his business or trade, or in a personal, non-business capacity.
Because of consumer protection legislation, it is not advisable to use the General Conditions of Hire for consumer hires. Many of the conditions built into the General Conditions seek to protect members from liability, and are permissible in business-to-business contracts but would be deemed unfair and unenforceable if applied to consumers. So, there is a risk of greater exposure to liability if the wrong conditions are used.
Ensuring the Conditions ApplyWithout proper contracting procedures, members run the risk of the Conditions not applying to a contract, and so could lose the benefit of the protections contained in the Conditions. In addition, depending on the terms of a member’s insurance policy, insurance claims could be rendered invalid if the SPOA recommended Conditions do not form part of the contract with the customer.
Good contractingGood contracting procedures are essential. The exact procedures which should be adopted will inevitably vary between members depending on each member’s business practice, but the following points should be considered.
The SPOA Conditions of Hire do not apply automatically to a customer contract. They must be incorporated into the contract, and steps must be taken to ensure that they are not superceded by any conflicting conditions which the customer may try to apply instead.
It is not possible to introduce the Conditions to a contract that has already been made. Printed terms and conditions on the reverse of an invoice rendered some time after the hire has been accepted and acted upon are unlikely to apply, in which case the member will lose the legal protection of the Conditions.
If a member takes hire instructions by phone or email, it is vital that it is clear that the Conditions will apply to the hire, and that the customer is sent a copy of the Conditions as soon as possible thereafter. Equally, if written hire instructions are taken, the customer may instruct the hire using his own standard purchase terms which will be advantageous to the customer. It is therefore essential to ensure that in any conflict of standard terms, the SPOA terms are the last set of conditions introduced before the contract is concluded.
EnquiriesShould you need help on adopting the Conditions within your business or have any queries about the detail of the Conditions, please do not hesitate to contact the office for advice.
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