Elevator companies bill in advance, at the beginning of each month. Full Maintenance Contracts are also similar to insurance policies protecting you from unexpected major repair bills. Owners will also be required to pay in advance at the beginning of each month. Some maintenance providers are even going as far as requiring payment for 90 days in advance via electronic funds transfer.
The standard elevator contract usually covers a 5-year term with a termination clause requiring 90-days prior written notice. The trend today is to not allow the termination notice to occur prior to 120 days and not after 90 days prior to the end of the maintenance term. If the contractor knows the maintenance contract has an automatic renewal policy (most contractors keep computer data that alerts sales personnel), the contractor will may not volunteer information on the renewal dates.
These terms can be modified by reducing the length of the contract and eliminating automatic renewal clauses. Typically shorter-term contracts will provide the building owner with the ease of re-bidding or switching maintenance contractors. The trade-off is that the cost of a shorter-term contract will most likely be at a higher rate.
Amazingly, required upgrades of the equipment gets presented to the building owners by elevator maintenance contractors shortly after the contract has automatically renewed for another 5 years or more. Cancel the contract in advance. Typically, the contractor will start courting building owners and representatives all over again.