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does tenant need to sign Landlord's fire alarm contract / can unsigned emails be binding contract

July 22,  2021
does tenant need to sign Landlord's fire alarm contract
            We have all of your contracts for our business and I have a question.  I have a landlord who is doing a tenant fit-up for a tenant.  The landlord will be paying me directly for monitoring and inspections. They will be reimbursed by the tenant.  I will have the FA contract All in One with the landlord.
            In the above situation do I need to have a contract with the tenant or am I covered by the landlord contract? 
If not, what contract would I need to use? The Fire All in One with no dollar amounts on it?
Thank you
name withheld
            The landlord is contracting for the building fire alarm system and it's the landlord who signs the  Fire All in One.  The tenant need not sign any alarm contract.  It doesn't matter if the landlord is picking up the expense of the fire alarm by getting additional rent from the tenant. 
            You have provide certain salient facts that bring me to my legal conclusion, perhaps without realizing the legal import of these facts.  First, it's a fire alarm; that makes a big difference because the  tenant will not have any involvement with the fire alarm. By that I mean that the tenant won't be turning it on or off and won't be the one requesting service.  Second, you are not being paid by the tenant; you're paid by the landlord.  It doesn't matter that you believe the tenant is reimbursing the landlord.  The tenant also reimburses the landlord for real estate taxes, insurance, common charges and utility; that doesn't mean the tenant owns the building or has any direct relationship with any vendor servicing the landlord.
            The landlord's Fire All in One will require the landlord to obtain insurance and name you as an additional insured, and it will require the landlord  to indemnify you in the event a third party sues you, and that will include the tenant.
            The analysis and conclusion would be different if this wasn't a fire alarm, but some other alarm or security system that the tenant controlled, perhaps paid for in full or part, or was permitted to contact you for service.
can unsigned emails be binding contract
            It's common for parties to negotiate through emails. Most emails have a "signature" at the bottom with the sender's name, address and phone.  What happens if the back and forth emails culminate in an agreement being reached.  How does that happen?  One party says here's the deal and the other party says yes or some other response affirming that the terms of the deal are accepted.  Does the email need a separate name typed to bind the party?  Does it even need a signature on the email?
            The important facts are that a bargain was offered containing all of the material terms of the deal and the offer was accepted. Even an unsigned email will suffice to bind the party if the sender's email address is on the  email, which it will be, and the offer is unequivocally clear that the offer is accepted; ie, the deal is approved. 
            As long as the emails make out all material terms of the deal the emails will be sufficient to bind the deal.   This was recently decided by the First Department Appellate Division in the case Matter of Philadelphia Ins. Indem. Co. v. Kendall.

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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