This is not a comment on any suppliers mentioned in this thread already (in fact I am pretty sure that some of the areas below are not too much of a concern with those mentioned.
The areas that need careful checking on any agreement include (but are not limited to)
- penalties due to the condition of the equipment - things affecting this can include cosmetic, external damage; the use of security marking (including etching, tamper proof labels, paint / nail varnish / smart water), internal damage (including unauthorised repairs, changes of hardware, dust), screen burn, etc
- cost of shipping equipment back to lease owner
- insurance cover - ie the level of cover, the amount the equipment is covered for, whether depreciation is allowed on the value of assets under the cover, etc
- agreed maintenance - you may find that the lease arrangement also requires an additional support arrangement which might be able to be met by the school using existing staff or support arrangement, but might also be able to be met by the lease owner or an associated company ... if you have to agree a level of support or maintenance just make sure that you can meet it and document it as you go along otherwise they might claim damage penalties as you have reduced the resale value.
- who owns the lease should the lease owner go under (liability of passed on debts), who can call in the debt (ie the banks, parent companies, etc) and who can initiate the break of the lease at an earlier period (ie can you get out early, can the firm the kit is from pull it all back in and at what notice ... and can the financer / bank cut the lease early)
Not a complete list but some of the most common areas to have a look at. Most of the above gets covered when LA / Academy finance folk look at the lease arrangement.
The operational stuff (damage / maintenance / etc) is stuff you need to be aware of though ... if your school policy is to use tamper-proof labels or etching to security mark and the lease arrangement doesn't allow this you have to make an assessment about whether the damage penalty per machine is more than the increased insurance premium you might get for not marking them.
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