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StBalor
03-07-2006, 03:28 AM
could a few people post their residential contracts? i would like to take a look at them and maybe use for myself.

scarr133
03-07-2006, 09:01 AM
This is what I use. I got the format from someone else, and then changed it up a little bit to better serve my needs and services. Feel free to use it. It covers just about every basis you can think of.

Roger
03-07-2006, 10:01 AM
Scan down through a couple of pages to find one that is posted. Many people asked for an e-mail, but finally the copy was posted.

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=135823

ProStreetCamaro
03-07-2006, 10:38 AM
We dont use contracts with our customers. Customers actually like that alot because they dont feel like they are bound into anything. Not only that but a lawn service contract is so very easily broken and its not worth the hassle of going to court over a residential lawn. Now commercial accounts are another story.

xpresskut
03-07-2006, 10:50 AM
We dont use contracts with our customers. Customers actually like that alot because they dont feel like they are bound into anything. Not only that but a lawn service contract is so very easily broken and its not worth the hassle of going to court over a residential lawn. Now commercial accounts are another story.
I have to disagree. The actual purpose of the contract is not to hold someone to an ironclad agreement, although it can, it is to outline the parametors of the job. It puts in black and white what your responsbilities as well as those of the customer are. That way they cant come back later on and say hey you are suppose to be doing this or that, its what we agreed to. Well Mr. customer here is the contract and that was not included. It just saves you a lot of headaches later on. You and the customer still have a way out so it shouldnt be a problem for a good customer.
And always call it an agreement not a contract.

ProStreetCamaro
03-07-2006, 11:03 AM
I have to disagree. The actual purpose of the contract is not to hold someone to an ironclad agreement, although it can, it is to outline the parametors of the job. It puts in black and white what your responsbilities as well as those of the customer are. That way they cant come back later on and say hey you are suppose to be doing this or that, its what we agreed to. Well Mr. customer here is the contract and that was not included. It just saves you a lot of headaches later on. You and the customer still have a way out so it shouldnt be a problem for a good customer.
And always call it an agreement not a contract.



I understand what you are saying but in our 20 years of doing this we have never had that happen. Most of our customers have been long term customers and all our work comes from word of mouth. Really no need for a contract to cut, trim and blow. Also no need for a contract for landscape work either because everything is in black and white on the estimate that the customer has to agree to. We use the no contract speach as a selling point and most everybody comments on how they like that. :clapping:

Richard Martin
03-07-2006, 11:18 AM
I understand what you are saying but in our 20 years of doing this we have never had that happen. Most of our customers have been long term customers and all our work comes from word of mouth. Really no need for a contract to cut, trim and blow. Also no need for a contract for landscape work either because everything is in black and white on the estimate that the customer has to agree to. We use the no contract speach as a selling point and most everybody comments on how they like that. :clapping:

I agree. I have looked at a lot of different contracts over the years and the single most important reason that I would have one for is lacking from all of them. I never see lengths of contracts for more than a couple of weeks. Sure you can call them yearly contracts but when you have a simple escape clause for 2 weeks then that contract is only good for the next 2 weeks. All of the contracts I have ever seen are useless in my opinion.

Fantasy Lawns
03-07-2006, 11:38 AM
I don't use em on resi's either ... I give em a "proposal" which outlines our services, billing process n legal stuff .....

I'll admit to chuckle on post %$^* bout customer late this .... or take em to court that

WHY ??

When I bid n give a price .... that's the price .... I set a payment due date n that's the date .... if it does not come in .... I stop service .... they are not customers .... they are a liability

Any-who .... set up a proposal which outlines your work ....leave it with em fore their own peace of mind .... something which they can reflect back on too which spells out the expectations which they wanted n the expectations which you as a business have

I'll admit we have it easier down here ... as we cut year round .... we are always billing monthly .... we have no down time with no monthly billing ... the monthly billing reminds the customer that we still have a mutual agreement

StBalor
03-07-2006, 11:51 AM
We dont use contracts with our customers. Customers actually like that alot because they dont feel like they are bound into anything. Not only that but a lawn service contract is so very easily broken and its not worth the hassle of going to court over a residential lawn. Now commercial accounts are another story.
I have been doing this for a few years and i have never used contracts either. But it also seems like my clients are always trying to take advantage of me. What i mean by this is making me stop to check their mail, take out or bring in their trash cans, get stuff out of their car, ect.... maybe with giving them all a service agreement upfront and letting them know every time they stop me to do something else it will cost them x amount of dollars by the hour with a 1 hour min., they may not stop me as often.

mowerman90
03-07-2006, 12:45 PM
I've been using this one for the last 16 years without any problems

StBalor
03-07-2006, 01:31 PM
I know we have all ran into this before. We go to cut a clients yard and they cut it before we got there. Or had a family member do it to save them some money while taking it out of our pocket. Anyone have a good clause for this? And what do you do about it. In the past if i get there and it's cut i don't go back. Then in a week or two the customer calls me and wants to know if i am coming back? i usually tell them the last time i was there the lawn was cut so i figured you did not need me anymore. Then they tell me a family member wanted to cut it or something and i usually go back. i would like to know what you all do about this?

scarr133
03-07-2006, 02:43 PM
I just had to take someone to court for non payment, and if it weren't for the signed contract, the X-customer probably would have gotten out of it (according to the judge). The judge basically told the x-customer that since they signed the contract (which I posted in another thread on the first page), they were liable for all late fees, court costs, and hourly rate for the amount of time I spent in the court. The judge told them that if they didn't plan on paying the bills, then they shouldn't have signed a contract agreeing to make payments for services rendered. The x was basically given the option to make payment, otherwise the judge would issue that their workplace would have to automatically deduct the money from their paycheck. So, contracts are very much worth the ink and paper that they are printed on. Whether you are doing commercial or residential, you better cover your A** and have the customer sign the contract. If you don't it's basically your word against theirs. A mowing contract is nothing different than all the paper work you get when you apply for credit somewhere promising payment. If they don't pay, they are made aware of the consiquences.

StBalor
03-07-2006, 02:52 PM
Thanks for the info scarr. I am working witht the contract you posted. could you read the post 2 above this 1 and tell me how you might add this into the agreement or what you would do in case that happened to you.

scarr133
03-07-2006, 03:30 PM
I would just give the customer a call to find out what is going on. If they signed a contract and decided to have a family member or whomever do it, I would just inform them of the agreement in which they signed, and if they've been a good customer in the past, I would probably let the mowing that someone else completed go, but inform them that from now on, if they have someone else mow the property without contacting me to cancel, then they will be billed for the mowing since I drove to the property. It falls along the same lines where in my contract I have in there that if we arrive at property and cannot access areas due to gates or whatever, they still get charged a regular mowing fee. If I have a customer that wants to terminate service, they have to submit it in writting because I don't honor verbal contracts or verbal requests for changes in service. Everything I do is documented. I have been burnt in the past, and will not be burned again. If they don't want to sign an contract, then they can find someone else that will go out of business because they aren't insuring their investment. if the money isn't coming in then equipment doesn't get paid off. One way to insure the money will continue to flow is having the documentation for service.

Jpocket
03-07-2006, 06:10 PM
Anytime a customer is going to be owning me hundreds of dollars for 30 days or more I NEED THERE SIGNATURE ON MY CONTRACT.

StBalor
03-07-2006, 11:22 PM
with a contract like this, how do you add in the cost of spring clean-up or leaves in the fall? surely you will be cutting when the leaves start falling. do you just leave the price the same? or charge them extra? or do you just run over the leaves and don't worry about them?

Jpocket
03-08-2006, 08:31 AM
I have been doing this for a few years and i have never used contracts either. But it also seems like my clients are always trying to take advantage of me. What i mean by this is making me stop to check their mail, take out or bring in their trash cans, get stuff out of their car, ect.... maybe with giving them all a service agreement upfront and letting them know every time they stop me to do something else it will cost them x amount of dollars by the hour with a 1 hour min., they may not stop me as often.

You've gotta be kidding me, you HAVE to get a backbone or something, Taking out the trash and checking mail. COme on dude that is terrible! This means that they don't view you as a Professional.

StBalor
03-08-2006, 10:38 AM
You've gotta be kidding me, you HAVE to get a backbone or something, Taking out the trash and checking mail. COme on dude that is terrible! This means that they don't view you as a Professional.
You are probably right. maybe it's my fault for trying to treat them like friends and being to nice.