Celebrating Dwali? Keep this in mind for any agreement to rent a venue…

Giselle Ayala Mateus, Esq.

Holidays are special ocassions to share with others, to meet friends and to thank those who are in our life. To celebrate those holdiays, it is common to rent a place or a venue, to have a perfect space to serve those who have been invited. Considering this, it is very important to have a contract in place before renting, paying for and using another’s space. In this post, we share with you important clauses you want to have in your contracts.

What is Diwali?

Before you rent any space, you want to be able to explain to the renter what is your purpose and what is the ocassion. This is not always legally required, however, great contracts and good relationships come from good communication, that includes understanding the why of the parties involved.

With that in mind, let’s take a look of what Diwali is. According to Wikipedia, Diwali is the Hindu festival of lights. It symbolises the spiritual “victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance”. Diwali is a grand event with family reunions, fireworks, shared meals, and prayer. It’s known as a Hindu festival but is also celebrated by Sikhs, Jains, and Buddhists. Interestingly, it was until this year that Diwali was officially recognized as public school holiday for the first time in its history. 

Diwali is a vey important holiday and as a result of that, on the day of its celebration nice places are rented, to have enough space to share food, music, and trandition.

Key contract clauses if you rent a space...

hen planning a celebration in New York, for instance, Diwali, it’s important to include and understand the key contract provisions. Here are some crucial points to consider:
1. Date and Time of Event: The contract should clearly state the date and time of your event. This includes the start (when can you actually enter the premises to set up everything) and end times (when are you supposed to leave the premises), as well as any additional time needed for setup or cleanup.

2. Venue Capacity: This might be considered the most important aspect of the place, so be sure to find out if a potential venue will be large enough to fit your guests. Make sure the venue can comfortably accommodate your expected number of atendees. Overcrowding can lead to safety issues and violate fire codes.  Also, you’ll want to take into consideration any local health and safety guidelines.  

3. Cost and Payment Terms: The contract should detail the total cost, deposit amount, due dates for payments, and the refund policy. As for overall cost, some event spaces charge a flat rate that only covers the use of the event space, while others may include basic linens, tables, chairs, and more in the rental fee. Also, ask about any “hidden” taxes and service charges, and remember to discuss deposit amounts and payment schedules. 
4. Cancellation Policy: Understand what happens if you need to cancel. Some venues may offer a partial refund, while others might not offer any refund at all. Venues often use a scale to set fees based on when you cancel an event. Cancel further out, and you’ll owe less. The size of the event can also affect the cancellation fee. 
5. Liability and Insurance: Check if the venue requires you to have event insurance. This can protect you from financial loss in case of accidents or damage to the venue.

6. Services Included: The contract should list all services included in the rental fee. This could be things like catering, audio-visual equipment, or event staff. Does the venue have a kitchen? Those without kitchen facilities may have a partnership with a food provider that you’re required to use, so you may want to check their food in advance to keep track of any potential allergens or dietary restrictions. Does it have a setup/clean up crew? Venues that already have a dedicated set up and clean up crew are extremely rare, and should be appreciated, as this isn’t always the case. Does it have AV capabilities? Some venues have a built in audio-visual equipment for you to use, and others will require you to bring that in yourself.

7. Restrictions: Venues often have rules about decorations, noise levels, and outside vendors. Make sure you’re aware of these before signing the contract. Well drafted rental agreements usually specify the rules and limitations of the venue, and outline the restrictions and requirements for the event, including any fire protection and health regulations.
Remember, contracts are legally binding documents. If there’s anything you don’t understand, don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. It’s always a good idea to have a lawyer review the contract before you sign it.
With the in mind, at G.A.M. LAW OFFICE P.C. we wish you all and Happy Diwali, may peace and grace accompany your day!
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