Hire agreement template

How to make sure everything's above board when you rent out equipment to your customers.

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If your business relies on renting out goods or equipment to its customers, it's essential to have a hiring agreement in place. To help you get to grips with writing your own, we've put together this guide that outlines the dos and don'ts of writing up this document. Plus, the key websites where you can find hire agreement templates online.

What is a hire agreement?

When your business rents out goods and equipment, a hire agreement will act as a formal contract between you and the person doing the hiring. This legally binding agreement clearly states the rights and responsibilities of both parties involved, by outlining the terms of the rental taking place.

While not required by law, a hire agreement helps both the business and its customers understand where they stand in the deal. A hire agreement can also work as a form of insurance should goods get damaged, lost, or not returned.

hire agreement template from Lawpath

Download this template at Lawpath

More on where to find a hire agreement template online

There are a wide variety of websites online that provide free legal documents and templates such as a hire agreement. Here are a few places to start your search:

  • Sprintlaw. Sprintlaw is an Australian-based company that can help you prepare legal documents and templates or review a document you've already written.
  • Lawpath. Home to hundreds of useful legal templates, you can choose, edit and download a hire agreement from Lawpath with just a few clicks.
  • Law Depot. Get your hands on hundreds of free legal templates, including an equipment rental hire agreement.
  • Wonder Legal. For just under $30, you can download a fully customisable hire agreement from Wonder Legal.
  • LegalVision. Download a hire agreement for a one-time fee or use one of the dedicated lawyers at Legal Vision to draft up an agreement specifically for your business needs.
  • NetLawman. Download a hire agreement template from Net Lawman for $49 or opt for a lawyer to review your document for slightly more.
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Find out when to use a hire agreement template

Every hiring transaction your business carries out should include a hire agreement, regardless of how small or large the hiring out process is. You can use a hire agreement to rent out equipment such as:

  • Heavy machinery including bulldozers, excavators and forklifts
  • Construction materials such as scaffolding, jackhammers and drills
  • Audio equipment like camera, microphones and lighting equipment
  • IT equipment including computers, hard drivers and monitors
  • Catering equipment such as hobs, tables and pans.
  • A wide range of gym equipment.

Putting a hire agreement in place will help clarify the terms and conditions of the deal and limit your liability should something go wrong. To make sure that you're not leaving yourself open to potential legal disputes or costly miscommunication, you can use a hire agreement template from legal marketplaces such as Lawpath and LegalVision.

What is included in a hire agreement template?

Hire agreements differ across the board, depending on the type of equipment that you're hiring out. This being said, there are still several essential elements to include in your document.

You'll find that most hire agreement templates include the following:

  • Product description. A detailed description of the goods that are being hired and the condition that they're in.
  • Parties involved. The names and contact details of both parties involved, i.e. your company and the customer hiring the equipment.
  • Costs incurred. State how much the rental will cost, any deposits that need to be made, how the payments occur, and situations where a refund is possible.
  • Time restrictions. It's important to include the exact dates that the customer will be hiring the equipment, and when it should be returned.
  • Customer responsibilities. The customer's duties while in possession of the equipment and what happens in cases where the goods are lost, stolen or damaged.
  • Dispute resolution. A dispute resolution plan will help in case of a disagreement between your business and its customers.
  • Liability. A statement that outlines to what extent your company will be liable if something goes wrong with the equipment.
  • Insurance. Ensure that the customer understands if they will be covered by insurance or if they need to organise their own.

What's the difference between a dry hire agreement and wet hire agreement?

When a business enters into a hire agreement, it will typically be renting out equipment to customers, who will return that particular item as outlined in the contract. A wet hire agreement is used in a slightly different scenario, when a business provides equipment, along with a person to operate the equipment.

Take the example of hiring out plant equipment such as a digger or bulldozer. Under a hire agreement, a business would simply rent out the digger and nothing else. However, under a wet hire agreement, a business would also provide someone to operate the digger too.

How effective is a hire agreement?

A hire agreement is extremely effective in a number of different ways, from both the business and customers' point of view. First of all, the hire agreement ensures that there's no misunderstanding from either party.

It can also be effective in mitigating your company's responsibility if something were to go wrong. A hire agreement can be effectively used as evidence in a court of law, in the event of a dispute between you and the lender of goods. Without having a hire agreement in place, you are leaving your business open to possible fraud, loss of earnings and even potential costly legal disputes.

Do I need a lawyer for a hire agreement?

Strictly speaking, onboarding a lawyer to write up your hire agreement is not a legal or practical necessity. It may be done with ease as long as you have a workable template like those you'll find on SprintLaw and Lawpath. You may, however, want to find professional legal help to look over your first draft to ensure that you include all the legally binding terms and conditions. It can also bring you peace of mind that your document covers all bases and is legally sound.

How do I write a hire agreement?

When it comes to writing a hire agreement, it's important to touch on the critical elements discussed earlier. These include the price of hiring the goods, the time they must be returned and the condition the items are in before they are hired out. Perhaps the easiest and most fail-proof way to write a hire agreement is by using a ready-made template.

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