FAQ for Renters, Part 1 – Payments, Fines, Insurance, and Safety
Our friends at the Theatrical Producers League of Los Angeles have created a Renting Producer’s Question Guide for Venues. It’s a handy FAQ for Renters, a document that all producers in need of a venue should bring with them on a tour. It will remind you of the questions you know you need to ask, and give you a few questions you never knew you needed the answers to (until now, that is). We decided to take the Question Guide and post our answers here for your convenience. Take a look!
Theatrical Producers League of Los Angeles
Renting Producers Question Guide for Venues
PART 1 – PAYMENTS, FINES, INSURANCE & SAFETY
What is the payment schedule required of renters?
Payment schedules for production rentals are negotiable. We require the first installment being due when the contract is signed, but from there we are happy to split the balance up into multiple equal payments due at evenly-spaced intervals between the contract signing, and the production’s load-in date. The rent must be paid in full before the start of the production’s load-in.
Also, because we take the space off the market and turn down other paying offers for the dates agreed to once a contract is signed, there are no refunds if the production does not open, or if it cannot complete its full scheduled run.
Do you require a security deposit? If so, will you cash it or hold onto it? If it is refundable, what expectations must be met in order to receive the refund?
Yes, we do require a refundable security deposit of at least $250 for productions. The required deposit may be higher if it is determined that the production or elements of it bring significant risk of damage or destruction to the space or its equipment.
The security deposit will be deposited into our savings account for the duration of the production’s run. If the space or its equipment are damaged during the production, the producer will be notified in writing of the amount of funds to be withheld from the deposit to cover the damages before any funds are claimed. If the cost of damages is greater than the deposit (or its remaining balance if there have been previous assessments), an additional security deposit may be required before the production is allowed to continue its run.
At the end of a production’s run, management and the producer shall perform an in-person walk-through and inspection of the space. If the space is left in satisfactory condition, then the managers will cut a check for the deposit in full at the end of the walk-through.
Assessments from the security deposit may be waived if the producer repairs any damages inflicted on the property or equipment (or replaces any damaged elements) to the satisfaction of the space’s management.
What insurance requirements do you have for renters?
StageCrafts LLC requires all productions to have at least $2 million in General Liability Insurance. If a producer does not have that kind of coverage, they can purchase a rider and be added on to StageCrafts’ policy for $128.25 (due at least a week before the production’s load-in date). The coverage is good until mid-March each year, when StageCrafts’ master policy is renewed.
Also, while it is not required, we strongly recommend that non-profit producing entities also have Volunteer Accident Insurance. StageCrafts LLC holds a policy, and non-profit producers that provide us with a copy of their IRS Determination Letter can be added as Additional Insured on this policy for only $50. The coverage is good until July 1st each year. Companies that work with members of Actors’ Equity will be required to have Volunteer Accident coverage under most agreements and codes.
What missteps or violations at the theater trigger a warning before incurring fines?
We try to be very laid back, friendly, and relatively hands-off landlords at studio/stage, but there are a few simple rules we ask our renters to follow. Failing to follow them will result in a written notification. Failing to follow them a second time may incur fines or other actions.
– Failing to keep the various areas of the space clean and in usable shape for other renters. (2nd offence & beyond is $25 fine/instance, assessed from security deposit)
– Leaving either air conditioner in the studio or the stage on at the end of the night. (2nd offence & beyond is $25 fine/instance, assessed from security deposit)
– Leaving the dimmer pack on at the end of the night. (2nd offence & beyond is $25 fine/offence, assessed from security deposit)
– Leaving the space at the end of the night in a state that requires management to move, organize, or clean up a rental’s property or equipment so that other tenants may use the space. (2nd offence & beyond is $25 fine/offence, assessed from security deposit)
– Smoking on the property (including outside on the loading dock and in the back parking lot). (2nd offence & beyond is $25 fine/offences, assessed from security deposit)
– Failing to comply with any other written notifications from the managers may result in penalties. These penalites will be spelled out clearly in said notifications.
What missteps or violations at the theater incur fines or punitive actions without warning?
In addition to the events listed above, some missteps will incur punitive action without warning. These missteps include, but are not limited to:
– Rent payments made after their scheduled due date (as outlined in the rental contract) incur a $50 late fee.
– Entering the space early, before your scheduled rental start time, or staying late beyond your scheduled end time will be subject to additional rental fees at a rate of at least $25/hr. (unless otherwise approved by management).
– Failing to properly secure the building at the end of the night (locking all doors, closing and locking the gate to the bay window in the studio, and closing the back parking lot gate) will incur a $50 fine, assessed from the security deposit. A second offence is a $100 fine. A third offence is immediate termination of contract and forefitting the remaining balance of the security deposit. Furthermore, the rental will be held liable for any damage to the property or loss of equipment that may result from the building being left unsecured.
– Failing to notice management about damage to the property or its equipment is a $50 fine, in addition to any assessment made to the security deposit to resolve the damage or loss.
– Parking in, or obstructing, either of the two spaces in the back parking lot marked Snow Studios (our upstairs neighbors) may result in the vehicles being towed without warning.
– Taking or using props, set pieces, equipment and/or other resources belonging to the management or other rentals at studio/stage without permission will result in an immediate $50 fine.
– Renters are welcome to store food and beverages in our refrigerator. However, all items stored in the refrigerator must be labeled with a name and date. Markers and labels are provided. Any unlabled items will be thrown out immediately.
Do you have documentation from your most recent safety inspection?
We do have documentation from our most recent inspections available for review upon request. As we do not own the building, we must ask for the most current copies from the building owners each time a request is made. Please give us at least 48 hours notice to gather such documents before any requested review is to take place.
Are renters permitted to display signage at the theater? If so, where and under what parameters?
Not only are renters allowed to display signage at the theatre, but they’re encouraged to do so! Productions are welcome to put postcards in our lobby, as well as mount posters on the inside the window to the studio. Productions running for at least two weeks are welcome to hang a banner in one of our two front Lobby windows (note, these are the windows flanking the front door; not the large bay window to the studio). These banners may be left in place for the duration of the production’s run.
The recommended dimensions for these banners are 2′ x 6′. We require banners to be mounted using hooked suction cups provided by the venue to prevent potential damage to our windows.
Whew! That’s a lot! We hope you find these answers in our FAQ for Renters helpful as you research spaces. Of course, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us and ask! Stay tuned for Part II of our Renting Producers Question Guide for Venues coming soon.
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