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Leasing for schools

What you need to know about leasing school furniture

Equipment leasing is an affordable way for schools to expand and improve their facilities, particularly where budgets are limited.

In the case of dining room furniture, for example, schools may find it difficult to immediately buy everything that is needed to accommodate an increase in numbers if there is an improved uptake of school dinners due to factors such as Universal Free School Meals. Leasing is a viable alternative to purchasing new furniture and catering equipment outright as the necessary deposit is often minimal and repayments can be spread over the course of the equipment’s useful life.

If you’re considering leasing equipment for your school then it’s important to have all the facts so that you can decide whether a lease is the most appropriate solution. Below we have put together a brief guide to leasing furniture and other school equipment and our specialist team are also on hand to offer guidance and answer any further questions you may have.

What is equipment leasing?

By taking on a lease for school equipment, you are effectively borrowing said equipment for a fixed period in exchange for payment. By funding all equipment and installation costs through a lease agreement, your cash flow will be protected and it may be easier to budget for regular payments at fixed periods (monthly / quarterly / annually).

As a school, there are a number of things you should be aware of with this type of financial agreement:

  • The main benefit is that you can lease brand new equipment on a fixed-term contract without a big outlay in Capital Expenditure (CAPEX). Instead, you will pay for the equipment with tax-deductible Operational Expenditure (OPEX).

  • As an equipment lease is pure rental, you are not required to disclose Operating Leased assets on your balance sheet. Instead, it is accounted for from revenue budget. This is particularly advantageous for Local Education Authority (LEA) run schools as the leasing agreement can be signed off at the Head-teacher / bursar level.

  • VAT will be payable on monthly repayments.

What school equipment can I lease?

Seatable UK can fund any school equipment from our range, which includes:

  • Loose and bespoke dining and classroom furniture

  • Acoustic panels

  • Queue systems

Upfront costs for installation, design work and warranties can also be financed. However, we cannot finance ongoing support or maintenance costs.

How much can I borrow?

Whether your requirements are for a new classroom of furniture or a full dining room refurbishment, we can help you acquire finance. Finance value can range from around £1,000 to as much as £500,000.

What is the process of acquiring a school equipment lease?

The process is relatively straight-forward, although it may vary slightly between different suppliers. Here is what you can typically expect when leasing equipment from Seatable UK.

  • Seatable UK provides the leasing company with your organisation information along with details of the equipment you would be leasing and the value of this equipment.

  • The leasing company will provide an immediate quotation and a request for any information that is required to secure a credit agreement.

  • Credit checks are performed, and a decision on approval will be made within 24 hours.

  • You sign the leasing paperwork, and Seatable UK receive confirmation.

  • Seatable UK will arrange delivery of the equipment.

How do I pay the leasing contract?

Once the leasing company has made payment to Seatable UK then your contract will begin. Your payments are made until the end of the contract term either:

  • Monthly direct debit

  • Quarterly / Annually by invoice

What if I need new equipment part way through the lease?

We are very flexible when it comes to amending your contract. You can settle a lease early without penalty if your cash flow permits; the finance we arrange is often modular as we have lots of sources of funding. We can also arrange a secondary facility to allow you to upgrade your equipment or you have the option to take on a second lease contract to be coterminous with your first, meaning both leases end at the same time.

What happens to the equipment at the end of the three-year operating lease period?

At the end of your finance term, there are a number of options for surrendering, upgrading or trading in your equipment. We will be happy to discuss these options with you and advise of the costs and terms involved. If you have any further questions about leasing school equipment or if you would like to arrange a lease please contact Seatable UK on 01484 861 982.

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