can a landlord make you use their sign company even if you do signs?

Hi Guys gotta question. I'm a sign maker / graphics guy. I'm renting an office from a restyling company to be able to service their customers faster. The Rental management company is saying that even though I do signs I have to use who they recommend. Is that legal??
Any advise is greatly appreciated. Thanks
Eddie
 

k.a.s.

Very Active Member
I would think since they own the building they can impose any rule they wish. Your making a choice to be there and obviously that comes with certain stipulations.

Kevin
 

Fitch

Member
Here in Australia it's called "Third Party Enforcement" whereby you can not avail of a service ( in your case rented premises ) unless you are forced to deal with a third party and (their) third party only.

As an example - you are "forced" to insure a property with the lenders insurance company (or recommended) and no other. No insurance (with their insurer) - no loan.

Totally illegal.

Cheers - G
 
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CES020

Very Active Member
I don't know if legal is right or wrong, but from the few times I've seen it, there's been no work around. The issue I have seen is that the company that owns/manages the building gets someone to design the signs for that group of buildings. So the design belongs to the sign company. Now, they require all tenants to have the same sign. So what do you do? Copy their sign? That would be wrong. You are almost forced to do it.

In the last case I saw, a business owner was buying a "office condo" and she showed up to close and they wanted $1300 for the sign on the spot. No $1300, no closing. She paid it and her sign was made and installed. She asked me to look at the sign. It was a $600 sign at best, but the sign company had the hook, so they took advantage of it.

My guess is you probably have to do what they want. That's purely a guess.
 

Custom_Grafx

Very Active Member
Here in Australia it's called "Third Party Enforcement" whereby you can not avail of a service ( in your case rented premises ) unless you are forced to deal with a third party and (their) third party only.

Totally illegal.

Cheers - G

This sounds right - It doesn't really give a consumer freedom of choice, and can work against fair competition and lead to all sorts of corruption and the such.

The only thing I would say they might have a say in, is the design of the sign. Ie; if it's ugly and doesn't suit the image of the building/premises. There are some strata laws/rules that specifically state that the sign can only be a certain colour/style - that stuff... I think is legal and should be adhered to - but forcing you to use a specific supplier... I smell kickbacks.
 

Fitch

Member
"I smell kickbacks. "

Yup.... have a bit of a sniff around and find out if there is any relationship between one and the other.

The sign guy may be related or the landlord may have an interest in the sign company.

Certain parameters - colour, size, style I can understand - but not supplier. I can also understand that they may have had some shoddy sign guys in the past leading them with a desire to use a reputable and trustworthy firm. Just get the specs and follow it to the tee - or indeed - involve the other sign guy in the process.

Cheers - G
 

rushworks graphics

Very Active Member
if its in a lease agreement the landlord pretty much says whats alowed as far as we know. (we deal with this from time to time) not sure if its 100 percent legal or not though
 
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surf city

Active Member
depends upon your lease agreement, if nothing is in there then I would think it would along the lines of illegal but, then again I think I would call my lawyer and inquire about it.
 

RobbyMac

Member
You're telling me noone has chimed in with such a contract? where they get all the sign business for a given strip mall, shopping center or such and provide signs for all of the businesses located within?
My impression is it's to keep some uniformity in the sign presentation (not necessarily design/logo)

We don't do enough signs to have such a contract, but I've certainly heard of it. Much like covenants in a housing edition...

It certainly should have been in the lease
 

showcase 66

Very Active Member
I have 2 locations that I usually do all the sign work for. Each place has 12 office spaces and owned by different people.

1 place has a requirement in there lease that says the owner of the building has to approve any signage before going up. In their lease, they have 3 businesses that they reccomend for signs and I am the only one still in business around here.

The other has a $50 fee for all tenants who want to use the sign out front. If you dont, no one will ever know you are there. They will waive the fee if you use their trusted sign guy (me).

Both told me that they were not allowed to say that you had to use "their" approved sign guy, plumber, electrician, etc.. Unless the owner was the one to pay for it.

As for contracts for strip malls. Most of the time, this is with the contractor and the sign guy. They would build into the contract that "Sign Co. X" will be the sign contractor for the building. Any and all signs at the time of construction or within a certain time frame after completion would be done by Sign Co. X.

At least that is how we would write the contracts when I was working for an Engineering and Land Development company.
 

Gino

Premium Subscriber
I'm going to venture out on a limb and say you might have some action you can take with this one. Of course, you're going to have to negotiate and probalby pay a little extra, but it might be worth it to get your point across.

We have many professional office complexes, and two malls where we do the majority of the work.

As mentioned... it is to keep uniformity and continuity in the given buildings. However, it's biggest advantage is to give the landlords or property managers a nice fat discount for the amount of work we're promised which in all the cases with our customers... they pass the discount over to their tenants. There have been many times, where the tenants have given us files, artwork and/or nothing at all and we either duplicate or re-design things to fit the landlord's taste.... with which we help.

Discuss with your landlord your concerns and I'll bet you anything.... he/she will work with you. It might be as simple as reducing the number of colors, the complexity of your design or whatever.... but his complex has an image to sustain.... and he has hired [hopefully] professionals to keep that image going............

Just don't use the approach that you are better then his guys or you'll not have a chance with anything.

Down the road, maybe you can slip him/her a brochure of your capabilities and gain his/her respect for future work. :thumb:
 

njshorts

Active Member
I'm going to venture out on a limb and say you might have some action you can take with this one. Of course, you're going to have to negotiate and probalby pay a little extra, but it might be worth it to get your point across.

We have many professional office complexes, and two malls where we do the majority of the work.

As mentioned... it is to keep uniformity and continuity in the given buildings. However, it's biggest advantage is to give the landlords or property managers a nice fat discount for the amount of work we're promised which in all the cases with our customers... they pass the discount over to their tenants. There have been many times, where the tenants have given us files, artwork and/or nothing at all and we either duplicate or re-design things to fit the landlord's taste.... with which we help.

Discuss with your landlord your concerns and I'll bet you anything.... he/she will work with you. It might be as simple as reducing the number of colors, the complexity of your design or whatever.... but his complex has an image to sustain.... and he has hired [hopefully] professionals to keep that image going............

Just don't use the approach that you are better then his guys or you'll not have a chance with anything.

Down the road, maybe you can slip him/her a brochure of your capabilities and gain his/her respect for future work. :thumb:

:goodpost:
 

night eagle

Active Member
if this were me my landlord insists i use their sign company, i would tell the landlord that he can pick up the tab for that sign...

landlords are VERY eager to rent their spaces right now in this economy, and are much more willing to negotiate all kinds of things to get tenants into their spaces. around here i have heard of landlords buying store front signs, doing full finish outs...the works to make a deal because there is a huge amount of empty commercial spaces in the area...



mark galoob
 

Edserv

Member
Read your lease. It may or may not address this issue, but I have another idea. Why not build rapport with your landlord/leasing agent and try to get "in" with supplying them with their signage.
We've been asked many times to quote and supply signage for strip centers/malls that have sign companies, and I always wondered why those sign companies didn't make an effort to get "in" with the landlord/leasing company? How hard could it be? Sure, it may be a regional or national chain, but if you're a tenant, why not give it a try? You have goodwill, credit with them, and it might be way easier than you thought to pick-up easy business? (just don't make me lose the account that was getting ready to make your new sign!) ....hehe Just Kidding!
Edserv
 

Craig Sjoquist

Major Contributor
IS IT IN THE LEASE...... simple if not, discuss what they want the sign to appear like, if landlord still says it must be done by them, then landlord pays or do not rent.

Sorry my freedom I fought for... is worth more then someone telling me what how to spend my time or money. so that would be my 2 cents.
 

Wes Phifer

Member
My dad owns a strip center. We do this. I do the signs. It is in the lease. I do them really cheap so they don't complain but I don't want someone else working on my Dad's building. It would look bad to my customers. On a side note he would not rent to another sign company so that makes the situation a little different.
 

ionsigns

Member
If there are standards to the materials, colors and size - and you as a tenant comply at no cost to the landlord: I would do my own sign and install it. If the landlord complains have them refer to the contract remedies. Jeez what court would render a decision making you pay for a competitor to render your art?
 
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