A Brief Introduction of Gym Membership Contract
In today’s time, everyone wishes to remain healthy and often take a pledge to hit the gym often, making gym memberships very popular. Almost all gyms these days provide annual or monthly membership. Annual membership, in most cases, comes with a lot of added benefits and offers. People can choose what suits them the most. In either case, it is important that the gym makes the customer or client sign an agreement.
An agreement signed between the gym and its members is known as Gym Membership Contract. Every state has a different gym membership contract law. Before signing the contract, you must understand and study your state laws. A contract ensures that all parties are protected. It also contains all the details pertaining to the membership. Gym contracts must be taken very seriously by the clients and the gym since they can ensure that there are no conflicts and misunderstanding between both parties. In some states, these are legally binding.
The agreement also contains the gym rules and any other rules that the client needs to know about. Other names for a Gym Membership Contract are Gym Membership Agreement and Fitness Membership Contract.
Who Takes the Gym Membership Contract?
As mentioned above, a Gym Membership agreement is signed between the gym and its customers or clients. Anyone can visit the gym and ask for membership after understanding it. It is important to first understand the fee structure, rules, and policies in person first. Once, as a client, you make up your mind, you must ask for an agreement. After reading the agreement carefully, you should decide to sign it.
Negotiations are an important part of any agreement. When you first visit a gym, you have to ensure that you speak to the management about offers and schemes. You must try to bargain and ask for some offer if you are taking an annual membership. Negotiations should always happen in a way that both parties are satisfied in the end. If you don’t know how to bargain or negotiate, make sure you take someone along who knows how to crack a good deal.
Purpose of the Gym Membership Contract
Like any other agreement, a Gym Membership Letter is mainly used to reduce the chances of any conflicts or fights. A gym is a place where people come to put their body in shape and health. Nobody wants to create a problem for themselves when it comes to gymming. For gyms, it is regular work to deal with clients.
There can be different kinds of clients, and not everyone is okay with a verbal or oral agreement. Here are some reasons to sign the agreement –
- It ensures all the details related to the membership are listed at one place
- It lists down all the rules and policies very clearly
- It specifies the payment structure
- It specifies penalty rules if applicable
- It specifies how the membership can be canceled or terminated
- It protects both parties
- It provides dispute resolution methods
Contents of the Gym Membership Contract
Like most other agreements, a Gym Membership Letter needs to have basic details of both parties. Basic details include names, addresses, phone numbers, etc. The agreement must also include all the basic rules and regulations of the gym. Each gym membership lettermust come with some disclosures. It should first highlight the safe use of facility and management, and the communication that must be made in case a member is experiencing discomfort during a regime.
Each contract must contain a disclosure clause which mentions that the signing member acknowledges that he’s of sound health to perform the exercise. This clause helps in waiving the gym member liability in case of any health issues that arise out of an undisclosed illness. That acknowledgement clause, however, does not preclude the gym for any injuries caused to the membership due to the regime. That’s why your liability clause should outline what your gym is going to be liable for, and in what circumstances
You can’t have a blanket waiver of liability because it wouldn’t stand the test of law. You need to minimise the damage that can be caused to your gym with a carefully-worded liability clause. Your contract should also contain an indemnification clause where the customer will do good any damage caused by him to the gym. This can be in the form of mishandling equipment, ruining the gym’s reputation or causing an injury to self through no fault of the gym trainer or the equipment. Each gym may have a different set of rules. Further, the agreement would specify if the membership is a monthly basis or annually. It will also specify the fee structure with taxes.
Moving forward, cancellation is another very important aspect of a Gym Membership Letter. It is highly common for people, after joining the gym realize that they can’t continue or they want to join another gym. In such a scenario, it is always safe to first understand the cancellation policy entirely. Cancellation charges can be a huge reason for major conflicts between both parties. Thus it should be made very clear in the agreement. Sometimes, a letter to cancel gym membership is also required. But this should be specified in the agreement.
How to Draft the Gym Membership Contract?
To draft a Gym Membership Contract, you first have to make a visit to the gym. While it is not mandatory, it is suggested that you check the facilities at the gym. You must also check the equipment, environment, etc. When you pay a visit, you can also meet your trainers and talk to them about your routine and diet.
After that, you must speak to the management about the pricing. Further, you should decide if you want to take a monthly membership or yearly. It must be noted that at most gyms, annual membership comes with a lot of added benefits. You must also discuss the cancellation policies at the gym. It is only after a proper discussion, you should speak to the management about signing the agreement. Make sure you read the agreement carefully before signing it. You must understand each clause and rule before you sign it.
Benefits & Drawbacks of the Gym Membership Contract
There are several benefits of signing a Gym Contract. Here are some pointwise advantages –
- It protects both parties
- It ensures there are no disputes and confusion
- It keeps a proper record of all the rules and regulations
- It decides the rules for cancellation of the membership
- In some states, it is legally binding
- It presents a proper fee structure
There are no drawbacks to signing such an agreement. A well-drafted agreement always benefits both parties; however, if you don’t read the agreement carefully or don’t understand the rules entirely, you may face difficulty. Thus, it is suggested that you always research before signing the agreement.
What Happens in Case of Violation?
In case of any violation, both parties are well within their rights to take stern actions. A gym always has the power to take action against the client if he or she fails to pay on time. Parties must ensure that they include dispute resolution methods(1) in the agreement so that they can refer to it whenever it is required. They can also add the names of people who can mediate in case of any confusion or doubt.
A Gym Membership Contract is getting more popular with time. It saves both parties from a lot of trouble and pressure. It eases out the process and makes gymming hassle-free. In comparison to an oral agreement, a written agreement is more robust. Thus, you should always try to get a written contract. In case you don’t understand the agreement fully, you can take the help of an attorney too.