More on Acceptance Certificates (1996)
We have repeatedly advised that lessors should not have acceptance certificates signed in advance by lessees, although many courts have been willing to enforce lease provisions against lessees who claimed that they signed the certificates before the equipment was delivered or without actually inspecting.
Consider another hazard, however. If the lessee signs the acceptance certificate without inspecting the equipment, the lessee may be bound under the terms of the lease, but the lessor may get stuck with defective equipment which does not have any residual value. The fact that the lessee has signed a written statement that it inspected the equipment could work to the vendor's benefit. (The vendor would claim that any defect would have been discovered). It helps if the lease states that the lessee's inspection and acceptance are for the benefit of lessee and lessor only, but the better view is to have the lessee actually inspect and sign off in each instance.