Accident Prevention

On some occasions, Lodges will lease a portion of the Lodge building to other businesses. In some cases, I have observed that Lodges have badly managed this process.

The Lodge has accepted a lease prepared by the tenant, prepared an inadequate lease written by a non-lawyer or a person not familiar with the proper terms required to protect the Lodge. The following are some major points that must be followed:
• Make sure that the tenant’s business or occupancy does not present a hazard or increase the risk of fire or other fortuitous events. Don’t rent to a paint store or manufacturer, fireworks store, furniture finishing store, heavy manufacturer, etc.
• The lease with the tenant must have a section in which the tenant indemnifies and holds harmless the
Lodge for any and all claims by individuals, including employees of the tenant arising out of the tenant’s operations, except for the sole negligence of the Lodge. The tenant must also name the Lodge additional insured under the tenant’s general liability policy. If asked, the Lodge may give the tenant evidence of the Lodge’s insurance under the Self-Insured Master Liability Program, but we will not name the tenant additional insured under the Elks self-insured policy under any circumstances. The Lodge may agree to a mutual waiver of subrogation clause that will require the Lodge and the tenant to rely on its own property insurance to respond to any damages to the Lodge’s building or contents or the tenant’s contents. (Each party must make a claim against its own insurance company. The insurance company can’t attempt to subrogate against the other party.)
• The Lodge should have appropriate and speedy recourse to evict the tenant for non-payment of rent or conducting dangerous or potentially dangerous activities.
• Long-term leases or leases involving large financial numbers must be approved in accordance with the Statutes of the Order.
• Use common sense and make sure that there is proper consensus in the Lodge. The renting of a separate building not housing the Lodge should follow the same process but, if a tenant will occupy the total building, the Lodge may want to require that the tenant obtain fire insurance in the proper amount naming the Lodge and provide expenses, including taxes and any maintenance.

Please make note that this process of leasing should not be considered unimportant and relegated to haphazard treatment by members or trustees who have little knowledge or experience in this area of business.

Lodge Contract Overview

  • Review all exisitng contracts to make sure that dates are current
  • If a vendor is providing service for the Lodge, there should be a contract
  • Contact an attorney before signing any contract on behalf of the Lodge
  • Lodge officers should be involved in contract negotiations
  • A lease should be reviewed by an attorney before signing lease documents
  • Vendor contracts should indeminify the Lodge and provide proof of insurance