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Sequence of proposal – commencement letter - contract
April 22, 2021
Sequence of proposal – commencement letter - contract
            We submitted a Proposal to a Prospect Client; they liked it and they want to go with it, but asked us to provide them with: “pending commencement of construction statement so we can submit it to the Landlord”.
            We usually start with the Proposal signed and then when they put a deposit we start the work, At completion of work they would sign the “All in One Commercial Security Agreement” and the  “Standard CCTV Contract” purchased from you.
            Is the Commencement letter harmful to provide? Do you have any suggestions?
 Thank you so much,
            I know for sure I don’t know everything [though I surely know something] and readily I am not sure what a “commencement of construction statement” is, other than a written statement that you intend to begin performance on a certain date.  If this is being presented to a landlord or property owner, other than the subscriber, then expect the next request to be your insurance certificates naming the landlord or owner as additional insured;  you didn’t ask about that so I’ll move on.
            So I suppose you can provide a written statement that you intend to begin work on a specific date.  This will not expose you to any additional liability; it merely states you will begin work on a particular date.
            But what did catch my attention is the sequence of documentation you mention.  You start with a Proposal.  That’s fine, though you do need to be certain that your proposal isn’t an offer to enter into a contract, which becomes a contract once accepted by the subscriber.  Make sure you understand the preceding sentence.  A proposal must stay a proposal and must be subject to a formal Agreement, in your case, a Standard Form Agreement. 
            So you send out the Proposal.  Next you get a deposit and then you do the work.  When you complete the work you get the All in One and CCTV Contracts signed. [by the way, it's doubtful that you need the Camera contract when using the All in One because camera are covered in the All in One]. That’s a dangerous practice.  You should never do any alarm work without a written contract.  You are completing the work with no contract.  While doing the work you have no idea if the Subscriber is going to sign your contract as presented, with modification or at all.  You could end up with a completed installation and no contract.  You may then decide to do the RMR services, again with no contract, which would be even worse from a liability perspective.
            Get the Contract signed before you do the work.  Get the contract signed before you send out the Commencement of Construction Statement.

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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