A contract maintenance agreement is a type of contract under which a service provider is obligated to perform maintenance activities. Maintenance contracts are distinct from service contracts.

What is a Contract Maintenance Agreement?

A maintenance contract exists between two parties, resulting in an agreement that the service provider party will maintain the other party's business, home, or other assets.

Maintenance is typically performed by commercial contractors under a written contract. Contract maintenance agreements might involve a single service or ongoing maintenance, without any distinction as to the level of maintenance completed. A contractor agrees to perform periodic maintenance services under a maintenance contract for a fixed fee.

The parties involved in a maintenance contract may outline the terms and any excluded services, as well as the contract price for said services. Maintenance contracts exist for:

  • Landscaping
  • Buildings
  • Computers
  • Other information technologies (IT)
  • Etc.

Legally Defining a Contract Maintenance Agreement

Contracts vary in terms of services, costs, and materials included in the service agreement. Maintenance services may consist of:

  • Phone support
  • Diagnosing issues
  • Conducting on-site repairs
  • Spare parts
  • Supplementary equipment
  • Substitute units
  • Preventative maintenance
  • Other provisions

The reasons for which parties enter into maintenance contracts vary, but generally include a lack of in-house staffing for maintaining facilities or a lack of technical support staff that requires the party to hire external service providers.

Simply put, a maintenance contract is an agreement which supports service businesses and serves as a legal agreement to maintain something. Maintenance agreements typically span various industries. For example, manufacturing equipment must be maintained not only in the manufacturing industry, but also in IT, healthcare, retail, and other sectors.

The maintenance contract signifies a party's agreement to maintain anything specified in the contract terms, but unlike other contracts, maintenance is a general concept. Maintenance spans various needs, so the contract must include expectations, requirements, a timeline for services, pricing, and what isn't included in the contract.

For ongoing contracts, annual terms are typically negotiated by the two involved parties and then finalized under a maintenance contract agreement. These terms are initially presented in a maintenance contract proposal, which is similar to a quote. After negotiations, the final agreement is drawn up and signed to make it official.

Always pay special attention to a contract maintenance agreement's terms and conditions. A customer and service provider can only comprehend what they've agreed to by fully reading and understanding the contract document. You may want to consult an attorney before signing the contract.

To cancel a maintenance agreement, you need a maintenance contract cancellation letter. This document officially ends the parties' relationship, but the customer should always let the provider know if expectations are not being met beforehand. If the problem persists after that, you can formally close the agreement by providing the other party with a cancellation letter.

Benefits of a Contract Maintenance Agreement

There are several benefits to entering into a contract maintenance agreement:

  • Cost savings
    • Don't let the idea of paying for repairs up front hold you back. Preventative maintenance will save you money in the long run.
  • Increased equipment longevity
    • Workstations, printers, servers, and other equipment are significant investments, so it's best to prevent issues in order to get more years out of the equipment rather than to have them break down and replace them early.
    • Maintenance providers are trained to spot issues early.
  • Dedicated service schedule
    • Partnering with a maintenance provider frees you up to focus on your own duties.
    • The maintenance provider keeps track of the routine maintenance schedule so that you don't have to.
  • Emergency services
    • Certain industries like IT experience panic-inducing emergencies, but having a maintenance service provider gives you someone you can immediately contact when problems arise.
    • Avoid wasting valuable minutes when equipment goes down.
  • Expert technicians
    • Building a relationship with your maintenance provider is beneficial for both parties.
    • The technicians can familiarize themselves with your equipment to provide better ongoing support.

Essentially, a contract maintenance agreement gives you the benefits of having experts on your team that are only a phone call away. Depending on the nature of your business, you may enter into maintenance contracts with various providers.

If you need help understanding a contract maintenance agreement, post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Stripe, and Twilio.