Frequently Asked Questions (Rentals)
This FAQ is about renting HOIST. For frequently asked questions about the studio and its features, please see the Studio FAQ.
- Do you rent equipment?
- Can I rent HOIST for just one or two hours?
- Can I get a "soft hold" or "right of first refusal" for a particular date?
- Can I cancel or reschedule a reservation? What happens to my deposit?
- Are there exceptions to your deposit or payment requirements?
- What is the Rental Agreement and why must I sign it?
- Can I rent HOIST without paying a deposit?
- Will someone be available on-site to help me during my rental?
- Can you explain overtime?
- What is the "Surcharge for Off-Hour Days"?
- Is insurance required?
- What methods of payment do you accept?
- Is tax included?
- Do I have to setup and strike each day during a multi-day rental?
1. Do you rent equipment?
Because our users' needs are particular and diverse, we do not rent equipment. We do, however, provide much of the essential equipment used around the studio as part of your rental (at no additional cost), and these items are listed in the studio section. For cameras, lighting, and other similar equipment, some rental providers are listed in the resources section. We have relationships with some of these vendors, and may be able to provide you with discounted rates on equipment rentals and even arrange to have your rental equipment waiting for you at HOIST when you arrive at no extra cost. Please contact us for more information.
2. Can I rent HOIST for just one or two hours?
The shortest standard rental we offer is a half-day (four hours). One or two hour rentals may be available upon request, but the rate is $140/hr and some additional rules apply:
- Scheduled Overtime is not available for one-hour or two-hour rentals
- any time outside the scheduled hour(s) will be accumulated, rounded up to the next whole hour, and charged as Unscheduled Overtime at the current rate
- the availability of Unscheduled Overtime is at our discretion and is not guaranteed
All other rental requirements apply. We encourage you to carefully and realistically evaluate your needs and your schedule before requesting a one-hour or two-hour rental.
3. Can I get a "soft hold" or "right of first refusal" for a particular date?
Instead of making a reservation, you can request a "soft hold" for any open date on the schedule. If someone else requests that same date, we'll give you the opportunity to reserve it first, before accepting the other request. At such time, you must either make an actual reservation (and pay your deposit) or release the date so that we can offer it to the next requester. We will make every reasonable effort to contact you, but if we can't get ahold of you within 24 hours, we reserve the right to release the date, so be certain to provide us with a reliable and expedient means to contact you.
Nothing is official until you've explicitly made a reservation and we've received your deposit, so holds do not appear on the schedule. On very rare occasions, we may take more than one hold request for the same date. If your hold request is one of these, it will be considered in the order it was received, and we'll keep you informed about the number of requests ahead of you.
4. Can I cancel or reschedule a reservation? What happens to my deposit?
We understand that scheduling can sometimes be tricky, and we do our best to help. We can usually reschedule your reservation, but please keep in mind:
- Your new date must be within 90 days of your old date, and your choice of new dates is limited to whatever is available at the time you reschedule.
- Any deposit paid on your original reservation will be applied to your rescheduled reservation — you won't lose your deposit.
- You cannot reschedule a reservation retroactively.
- We are not obligated to reschedule your reservation. If you repeatedly reschedule without actually completing a rental, or otherwise disrupt our schedule such that it harms us or our other renters, you will be warned. If you persist, we will decline to reschedule you and any deposit you've paid will be forfeit.
If you must cancel your reservation entirely, and do so at least 72 hours before your rental is scheduled to begin, your entire deposit will be refunded to you. If you cancel within 72 hours of your original rental, or cancel a rescheduled reservation at any time, we cannot refund your deposit.
Please keep us informed regarding your scheduling needs, and we will strive to accommodate you and protect your interests.
5. Are there exceptions to your deposit or payment requirements?
When talking about who is financially responsible for "your" rental, we understand that the pronoun "you" may not mean you personally. It might mean you, but it could also refer to your company, your employer, your client, or someone else. We realize that that even though you may be the one using the studio, that doesn't necessarily mean you are authorized to accept liability on behalf of the responsible party or make payments from their accounts. Therefore, if you have a reasonable, demonstrable reason why you can't meet our deposit or payment requirements, we will gladly work with you to find less problematic alternatives. Usually this involves details about who in your organization is responsible for which rental obligations, when and how payments will be made, and taxation or other legal compliance issues… but these are not the only possible considerations. Please contact us to discuss your specific situation!
We are also able to extend certain courtesies to renters with whom we have ongoing relationships and whose accounts with us are in good standing.
In every case, the terms of payment and assignment of liability in our Rental Agreement are legally binding upon the person or company with whom that agreement is made, and any outstanding balance is due within 30 days of invoice. We do not accept agreements by unverified proxy. We do not entertain requests to make liabilities under an agreement contingent upon the actions of non-parties.
6. What is the Rental Agreement and why must I sign it?
The Rental Agreement is a short document (less than 3 pages) that defines your rental and outlines the terms under which it is offered. It specifies your access, schedule, and rates, and protects us both by clarifying expectations on some practical and legal issues. For the most part, the terms are either descriptive (about terms of payment, overtime, etc) or common sense wrapped up in legalese (e.g. liability, safety, property rights). Much of the agreement reiterates or expounds upon information shown on this website.
We will send a copy of your Rental Agreement to you when you make your reservation, so you'll have time to look it over before your rental. If you have any questions or concerns, we'd be happy to discuss them with you. But for both practical and legal reasons, we can't allow anyone to work in the studio without a mutually agreed upon set of expectations… which is why we need your signature on this agreement before your rental can begin.
7. Can I rent HOIST without paying a deposit?
Our reservation policy encourages scheduling stability and protects the interests of our members and renters. If we happen to have nothing else going on at the time you want to use the studio, we will rent it to you without a reservation (and without a deposit)... but this is not a particularly reliable way of getting to work at HOIST. You will have no security in terms of planning or scheduling, and we may not be able to confirm anything one way or the other until a day or two beforehand. Even then, you may get bumped. If we are able to offer you a spot in the schedule, your full rental fee will be due when you arrive.
8. Will someone be available on-site to help me during my rental?
Absolutely. At least one member of our staff will be on-site and available at all times during your rental. We are there to facilitate your use of our studio — to show you where everything is, answer your questions, help you avoid or solve problems, and ensure that you're able to take full advantage of everything your rental entails. We'll gladly help out in other ways too if we can, but please do not expect us to act as a member of your crew.
9. Can you explain overtime?
Our rental rates are based upon a standard 8-hour day (or 4-hour half day), but some projects simply require more time, and it may not make sense (or even be possible) for you to add additional days onto your schedule.
Time in excess of the standard amount each day is considered "overtime" and costs extra. If you know before your rental that you're going to need overtime, please schedule it with us so we can charge you at the lower rate. If your project ends up taking longer than planned, don't worry — we're not going to kick you out without letting you finish your work. We understand that creativity, productivity, and scheduling don't always coincide harmoniously, and it's important to us that you are successful. But if we have to keep the studio open longer than scheduled, you will be charged for that overtime at the higher rate.
Our overtime policy is a necessary disincentive, and may seem strict to some, but we're actually pretty relaxed about the clock. If your time management is reasonable, and if you keep us in the loop, you can feel confident that overtime won't be an issue. Also, we don't charge you for scheduled overtime unless you actually use it, so there's no risk of overestimating your overtime needs.
10. What is the "Surcharge for Off-Hour Days"?
Our rental rates are based on the presumption that you will use the studio sometime between 8am and 8pm EST, but HOIST is in fact available 24 hours a day on nearly every day of the year. If you require the studio at a time that is significantly earlier than 8am or later than 8pm, you will be charged extra for the "Off-Hour Day". For example, if you need to start at 3am we can certainly accommodate you, but it will cost a little more. Mostly because that means we have to start at 3am too, and we really like sleep.
11. Is insurance required?
In most cases, insurance is not required to rent HOIST. There may be exceptions if you intend to use the studio in a way that involves something unusual or risky, such as stunts or acrobatics, large or dangerous animals, potentially hazardous equipment or materials, etc.
12. What methods of payment do you accept?
All payments are made to the Aesthete Equipment Company LLC (the company that owns and operates HOIST). We accept:
- Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover (credit and debit cards)
- checks, e-checks, and other ACH transfers
- cash (USD only)
Although we put you on the schedule when you pay your deposit, your reservation is not "official" until that payment clears. Payments made by cash and credit/debit cards are confirmed almost instantaneously, but payments made by check or ACH transfer can sometimes take as many as 3-5 business days to clear. Please consider your schedule, its contingencies, and any associated risks carefully when selecting a method of payment for your deposit.
13. Is tax included?
The rates shown on this website do not include tax. Unless you are legally exempt from Virginia Retail Sales Tax, we are required to collect 6% of the total cost of your rental in tax. When we give you a price quote for your particular rental, we will also specify how much you will be charged in tax. Tax will also be itemized on your final invoice.
Neither being from out-of-state nor being a student qualifies you for tax exemption. If you do have a valid exemption, either as a governmental entity or in some other way, please let us know when you make your reservation.
14. Do I have to setup and strike each day during a multi-day rental?
No, of course not! You can leave your set, equipment, and whatever else you like in-studio throughout the duration of your multi-day rental – your stuff will remain safely undisturbed while you're gone.