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Do you use Residential or Commercial contract with corporation that owns residential property / ISC schedule
February 10, 2024
ISC schedule
    I'll be at ISC in April and again sponsoring and conducting informative meeting.  Vendors who wish K&K to schedule meetings for them should contact Stacy Spector,Esq at 516 747 6700 x 304 or now.  Dealers who want to participate in private meetings with me or vendors listed on The Alarm Exchange should also contact Stacy to schedule a time.  Meetings [private and group meetings on scheduled topics] will be schedule for half to one hour, without charge, and conducted at the Palazzo Prestige Lounge.  Times and schedule is limited so please contact Stacy soon as possible to request a topic or schedule an appointment.
Do you use Residential or Commercial contract with corporation that owns residential property
          A fairly common question that comes up is which contract should be used when contracting with a corporation [or LLC] on a residential property.  A few basics so you see the issue clearly.
          If a license is required to perform work for a residential consumer there is a strict consequence if you don’t have the license.  What?  You can’t sue and get paid.  That’s pretty harsh when you consider how it’s applied [when it’s applied in a jurisdiction].  You contract to install an elaborate security system; you finish the job and the customer loves it, but before paying asks for your license [perhaps knowing already that you don’t have one].  Of course you can’t produce the license if you don’t have one.  The consumer can literally say, “thanks for all your fine work and equipment, which I will gladly keep, but I’m not paying for it”.  You will not be able to sue because one of the essential allegations you have to allege in your Complaint is your license number.  This is clearly the law in New York and I suspect in many other jurisdictions.
          But this is a consumer law, at least in New York.  And this article is about which contract to use, not about your problem getting paid when you’re not licensed.
          There is a Standard All in One Commercial Security Agreement and there is a separate Residential All in One.  The Residential All in One has all the consumer provisions required by federal and state law affecting consumer contracts in your jurisdiction; these residential forms differ state to state, thus usually requiring a separate Residential All in One for each state you contract with consumers in. 
          It’s not uncommon for you to be contracting with a corporate entity who owns a residential property.  Which contract do you use, the residential or the commercial? 
          If you’re dealing with a builder who intends to sell the property once built, it’s a commercial transaction.
          If you’re dealing with a corporation but you know that the owner of the corporation [shareholder or member of an LLC] intends to reside in the property once build, likely you’re dealing with a consumer transaction, even though contracting with a corporation.  This was precisely the case in KSP Construction v LV Prop.Two LLC in the First Department, Appellate Division, New York.  The corporate builder did not have a home improvement license when contracting with the LLC, knowing that the member of the LLC intended to reside in the house once completed.  The appellate court found that the LLC was entitled to the protection of “consumer” for that reason. 
          As a general rule you can’t go wrong using the Residential All in One when in doubt.  Clearly the Commercial All in One is the appropriate contract when dealing with a commercial job.

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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