Have you ever heard of an “interim rent fee?”
Unless you’re a contract attorney or a rental agent at a leasing office, probably not. But odds are, if you’ve ever rented any kind of equipment, you’ve paid an interim rent fee. That’s not necessarily a bad thing.
First, a definition.
Interim Rent Fee: “A charge for the use of a piece of equipment from its in-service date- or delivery date- until the date on which the base term of the lease commences.”
In English, please? Basically, if you sign a three-year lease for a copier on April 11th, the copy company might schedule delivery of your copier on April 16th. If that same copy company bills all their leases on a first-of-the-month basis, you’re going to have possession of the copier for a solid 14 days before your first bill. The “interim rent fee” covers that time…think of it as proration for your copier lease.
Why is this a problem?
Well in some cases, an interim rent payment just makes sense. If you need your copier immediately, for example, but the billing department takes a few days to set up the paperwork. In other cases, though, unscrupulous copy companies can use the interim rent fee to balloon your contract by as much as a month or more! Remember: the interim rent period isn’t part of the lease period so it’s essentially just extra time your copy company has you “under contract.” When you’re desperate to end your copy contract early because of poor service or faulty machinery, those extra few weeks can make a huge difference.
How can you protect yourself?
The easiest way to protect yourself from unfair leasing practices is to work with a reputable copy company like USA Copiers. We never, ever use bait-and-switch tactics and we always speak in plain language. You shouldn’t have to be a lawyer to understand your copy contract! We also don’t believe in “trapping” people in contracts they’re not happy with like some of our competitors do.
Talk to your copy company about your options for avoiding an interim rent period and about how the billing cycles are set up. Your best bet is to whittle that period down to as little time as possible so you have flexibility either end of your contracted lease period.
Better yet? Call your friends at USA Copiers to talk about a whole new way to do business. When your copier lease is simpler, everyone wins.