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Lawn-Scapes
08-27-2001, 09:47 AM
I put this together last night... I've never used a contract before but am thinking about it for next season. A little insurance for those drought seasons or for those that may decide not to pay. It's for lawn maintenance only and I want to keep as simple as possible. Any critique is welcomed...

Here it is:

TSG Property Maintenance Co. Address & Phone #

August 27, 2001


«First» «Last»
«Street»
«City & State» «Zip Code»

Attention: «First» «Last»

Subject: 1 year Lawn Maintenance Proposal/Agreement

Price Quote: Two Hundred Seventeen Dollars ($217.00) Per Month.

Season: Usually but not limited to 30 visits/April 1 - October 31.

Lawn Maintenance Description: Turf areas will be mowed on a weekly basis to a height of no less than three
inches and no more than four inches. Clippings will be dispersed back into the lawn without leaving any unsightly
clumps or overlay. Sidewalk, driveway and curb areas will be edged each visit. Property (around trees, building and
fence line, etc.) will be line trimmed to give a manicured, finished look. Walkways, patios, parking areas and
landscaped beds will be blown free of grass clippings.

Lawn Maintenance Terms: TSG Property Maintenance Co. shall make every effort to provide weekly scheduled
visits. In the event of inclimate weather TSG Property Maintenance Co. will reschedule the visit as soon as possible
and regular scheduled visits will resume. In the event of drought conditions, unless instructed otherwise, TSG
Property Maintenance Co. will use their judgment as to whether or not turf needs cutting.

Billing: Client will receive nine monthly invoices. Eight invoices will be billed to the client on the 1st of each
month March 1 - October 1 for the above quoted price. A final invoice will be billed out to the client after the final
cut of the season (possibly November 15). The final bill will be adjusted/prorated based on 30 scheduled visits but
not less than 28 for the year.

Payment Terms: Net 30 days. The client agrees to pay the monthly bill in full, within 30 days. A 1.5% or $5.00
late fee (which ever is higher) will be applied to the next billed invoice if payment is not received.

Agreement: By signing this agreement the client understands and accepts these terms provided to you by TSG
Property Maintenance Co. TSG Property Mainenance Co. agrees to perform the tasks outlined in this agreement to
the highest standards expected by the client.

Cancellation: Either party may terminate this agreement with a 15 day advance written notice.

Any questions or concerns please contact Tom Garvey at the above phone number.


___________________________________
Client Signature: Date:

kutnkru
08-27-2001, 11:14 AM
Season: Lawns will be mowed approximately (30) times during the growing season as based on the following schedule:
a. 1 April to 30 June: mowing once a week
b. 1 July to 31 August: mowing once every two weeks
c. 1 September to 15 November: mowing once a week

If weather precludes starting mowing operations at 1 April or ending earlier than 15 November, the number of times the lawns will be mowed will be reduced accordingly.

Lawn Maintenance Description: Turf areas will be mowed on a weekly basis to a height of not less than three inches and not to exceed four inches. Clippings will be dispersed back onto the lawn without leaving any unsightly clumps or overlay.

Sidewalk, driveway and curb areas will be edged each visit. Tress, buildings, fence lines, etc. will be line trimmed to give a manicured, finished look. Walkways, patios, parking areas and landscaped beds will be blown free of grass clippings.

Lawn Maintenance Terms: TSG Property Maintenance Co. shall make every effort to provide weekly scheduled visits. In the event of inclement weather TSG Property Maintenance Co. will reschedule the visit as soon as possible and regular scheduled visits will resume.

In the event of drought conditions, unless instructed otherwise, TSG Property Maintenance Co. will use their judgment as to whether or not turf needs cutting.

Billing: Client will receive nine monthly invoices. Invoices will be billed to the client beginning in March on the 1st of each month thru October for the above quoted price. A final invoice will be billed out to the client after the final cut of the season (scheduled for November 15). The final bill will then be adjusted or prorated based on the length of the season.

Cancellation: Either party may terminate this agreement with a 15 day Certified Written Notice. Services will be terminated upon receipt of such notice.

Heres how I would phrase it. :)
Kris

Stonehenge
08-27-2001, 01:16 PM
Just looking it over briefly it looks as though you've set the language to protect the customer as well as you. I used to do that, too. What you need to worry about in that contract is protecting yourself.

If they specify a height range for cutting, give it, but don't offer it as a usual part of the contract. Could bite you later.

Clippings will be dispersed... this should be in your marketing pieces, not your contract. You'll earn a reputation for running a clean show by running a clean show. You open yourself up to nonpaying customers if it's in the contract - then they'll say they won't pay because you didn't perform per the contract, if perhaps some clippings blow onto the pavement.

Don't use adjectives like 'manicured, finished look.' Those are subjective and up to interpretation.

'TSG will make every effort' - that means if you're behind, you'll be mowing at midnight, because that's what 'every effort' means to me, and maybe your customers, too. Use 'reasonable efforts.'

For cancellation - any moneys already paid TSG will be kept by TSG, and any additional costs associated with work already begun, or something like that, will be paid by customer to TSG.

As for billing - state that services will cease after 30 days unless payment is received.

Also put in there something to the effect that you can enforce any and all terms of the contract, and failure to enforce any term does not invalidate the contract, nor does it diminish your ability to enforce all other terms.

'highest standards expected by the client' - drop that line completely. Just asking for trouble.

Once you have all that down, go talk to an attorney. They can go through that and set it up so that it insulates you the best it can. And that's what that contract SHOULD do for you, take care of you.

Kutnkru has many of the same ideas - she did a better job of putting it nicely to you though.

kutnkru
08-27-2001, 05:46 PM
Originally posted by Stonehenge
... Kutnkru ... - she did a better job of putting it nicely to you though. Been a long time since Ive been called a ***** -LOL!!!! :laugh:

Just in case it wasnt a typo, I am a Male LCO -LOL!!! :D

No hard feelings either way -
Kris

Stonehenge
08-27-2001, 07:52 PM
Kris -

Sorry on the name - I made an assumption on spelling I shouldn't have. But I was serious that you put it more nicely than I did. You simply suggested how you'd do it. I picked at everything I thought was wrong.

I know I've mentioned this before - I'm a glass-half-empty kind of guy, so when people ask my opinion, I'll generally tell you what I think is wrong. :mad:

You had many of the same ideas, you just put them in a way that said 'here's what's right.' :)

Ask me for a critique and I'll happily pull out the big red pen. :blob4:

kutnkru
08-27-2001, 08:48 PM
Stonehenge no need to appologize. ;) We're all friends here. :)

I found the error to be humorous. :laugh:

Sometimes I wish that I could just pull out the 'ol redpen and not try to be so diplomatic at times. :rolleyes:

No hard feelings as mentioned before, and best of luck this fall!!

Kristofer -LOL!!!

Lawn-Scapes
08-27-2001, 10:23 PM
When Stonehenge said "she" ... I said to myself.. I didn't know kutnkru was a female. Then I remembered you saying in another thread (ref: piece of mind/peace of mind comment) that "it must have been a blonde moment"... so I said... maybe? Then I looked at your signature "kris" and said... must be. I'm glad you set the record staight ;)

Anyway, here is a revised version:

January 1, 2002


«First» «Last»
«Street»
«City & State» «Zip Code»

Attention: «First» «Last»

Subject: 1 year Lawn Maintenance Proposal/Agreement.

Season: April 1, 2002 - November 15, 2002 Approximately 30 visits.

Price Quote: Two Hundred Sixteen Dollars and Sixty Five Cents ($216.65) Per Month.

Lawn Maintenance Description: Turf areas will be mowed to a height of not less than three inches and not more
than four inches. Sidewalk, driveway and curb areas will be edged each visit. Property (around trees, building and
fence line, etc.) will be line trimmed to give a finished look. Walkways, patios, parking areas and landscaped beds
will be blown free of grass clippings.

Lawn Maintenance Terms: TSG Property Maintenance Co. shall make reasonable efforts to provide weekly
scheduled visits. In the event of inclement weather TSG Property Maintenance Co. will reschedule the visit as soon
as possible and regularly scheduled visits will resume. In the event of drought conditions, unless instructed
otherwise, TSG Property Maintenance Co. will use its judgment as to whether or not turf needs cutting.

Billing: Client will receive nine monthly invoices. Eight invoices will be billed to the client on the 15th of each
month, March 15 - October 15, for the above quoted price. The ninth and final invoice will be billed out to the
client after the final cut of the season. The final bill will be adjusted for visits over/under 30 for the season.

Payment Terms: Net 30 days. The client agrees to pay the monthly bill in full, within 30 days. A 1.5% or $5.00
late fee (which ever is higher) will be applied to the next billed invoice if payment is not received.

Agreement: By signing this agreement the client understands and accepts these terms provided to you by TSG
Property Maintenance Co. TSG Property Maintenance Co. agrees to perform the tasks outlined in this agreement.

Cancellation: Either party may terminate this agreement with a 15 day advance written notice. In the event of
cancellation, a final invoice will be sent to the client 15 days after notification for balance due.

Please contact Tom Garvey with any questions or concerns at the above phone number.



___________________________________
Client Signature: Date:

I am really struggling with this "contract" (notice I don't use the word contract in it... agreement) stuff. I only work in the residential end of lawn maintenance and in 10 years have never used a contract/agreement. I've only had a couple of minor issues in that time. I made a couple of changes as per your suggestions and my wife was adament on removing any charges for services not rendered (billing for 30 and cutting 28). So I did. I don't want to come across too strong and start losing current customers :(

What do you think?

P.S. I am slipping a price increase into these proposals. Should I bring this to their attention with a per visit price. It would aslo clarify the balance due at end of season or early termination. Or should they be able to figure this out with the info provided?

How much am I charging per cut? If you can figure it out... they can. :)

BRL
08-28-2001, 12:04 AM
Like Stonehenge said, take out the "finished look". Too subjective, and believe me, you will probably get different definitions from different customers for anything subjective, and this will be a PIA. Just leave that as those areas will be trimmed. Calling it an Agreement or Proposal for Services is a good idea for making it less shocking for resi customers.

In the beginning of the thread you said "A little insurance for those drought seasons or for those that may decide not to pay. " Then you have in your Agreement that you are going to prorate the last month's invoice based on actual visits for the season. Let your wife know that you are now voiding that drought insurance. You still have to pay your insurance, equipment, etc. bills even when you can't mow. Explain that to her & your customers, and maybe you can keep the full price for the term of the agreement. Explain to them that this method of invoicing simply helps you & the customer budget for these services & insures that you will be able to Guarantee their Total Satisfaction.


Kris, I called you a girl in another thread but you must have missed it. Just kiddin' ;)

Lawn-Scapes
08-28-2001, 12:25 AM
Thanks BRL for your response. I understand what you are saying.

If I did bill for a certain amount 28, 30 or what ever it may be. That's the set price whether over or under for the season... Meaning the advantage could go to the customer... right?

Thanks

BRL
08-29-2001, 12:34 AM
Someone made a good post in your other current thread about the number of cuts. They pointed out that your customers aren't paying you extra for those times during the spring rains when the grass is growing an inch per day & you have to double cut it or cut it every 5 days now are they? So yes the potential is there for the customer to come out ahead. You can mention that if they are having a hard time with the concept. Since you are starting this new for next season keep in mind they aren't all going to go for it. Some will think you're trying to cheat them, some will understand the concept and have no problem with it, and still others are so against any kind of change in their lives it won't matter how much sense it makes they won't want to change things. If you need those customers that won't change you'll keep billing them as in the past until you have enough new customers on the new contract to weed them out. Good luck with it.

Lawn-Scapes
08-29-2001, 01:01 AM
again!

tim cooper
09-02-2002, 08:12 AM
Just found your thread on this contract... btw.. is this an actual amount or must a thought up number? How big a yard are you quoting the price on? Thanks.


Tim Cooper
Cooper Lawn Maintenance