Help with contract

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Cimarron Landscape, Aug 16, 2005.

  1. Cimarron Landscape

    Cimarron Landscape LawnSite Member
    Posts: 72

    Hi,
    I'm gettting tired of being postponed for weeks at a time not knowing when I'll be next paid.
    I've come up with a contract that I believe is reasonable. I would like some honest input on things that may need to be changed/things that are good. No flames please.

    Here's the contract text:
    For the length of this contract, the maximum number of mows per month for the lawn will be determined by the number of mows specified in the "Frequency of Mows" section of the contract. The lawn will only be mowed if the majority of turf exceeds the maximum height specified in the "Height to be Kept" section of the contract. If the height is below the maximum height on a scheduled mow, mowing will be postponed one week, at which time it will again be evaluated for a mow. In case of rain, the lawn will be postponed until dry conditions allow for a mow. Clients will be put on a first come-first serve basis if rain postpones mows for an extended period of time. If the lawn is not mowed due to rain or it has not yet surpassed the specified height, the monthly amount is still due. The client is responsible for clearing the yard of hoses, toys, etc. Cimarron Lawn and Landscape is not responsible for items left out.

    If an extra mow is desired that is in addition to the scheduled mows for the month, the client should request it as early as possible to allow for scheduling. The extra mow will be added into the schedule If there is an opening. The extra mow(s) will be added in to the subsequent invoice.

    The contractor may add a fuel surcharge at his own discretion if local fuel prices rise above $3.00/gallon. Surcharges will be included in the subsequent month's invoice and labeled as such. The surcharge will be relative to the price increase.

    Invoices are normally sent for mid-month delivery. Payment is due by the first of the month, payments are considered late after the tenth of the month. Late payments will be charged a $15 late fee. Lawns for Clients in arrears will not be mowed until payment is received.

    If for some reason the client would like to cancel services before the length of the contract has expired, Cimarron Lawn and Landscape must be contacted one (1) month in advance of the intended cancellation date. Clients will be required to pay for the remaining amount of the contract at the time of cancellation.

    Initials: ______



    And here is an alternate Commercial property Contract:
    For the length of this contract, the lawn will be mowed a maximum of the number of times per month as specified in the "Frequency of Mows" section of the contract. Mows will continue until the lawn height has not exceeded the height specified in the "Height to be Kept" section of the contract for one month. If the height has not exceeded the maximum in one month, mowing will be postponed weekly until the lawn again exceeds the maximum height, or a mow becomes necessary for appearance. If mowing of the lawn is postponed, the monthly amount is still due. In case of rain, the lawn will be postponed until dry conditions allow for a mow. Clients will be put on a first come-first serve basis if rain postpones mows for an extended period of time. Throughout the duration of this contract, payments are due monthly.

    If an extra mow is desired that is in addition to the scheduled mows for the month, the client is to request it as early as possible to allow for scheduling. The extra mow will be added into the contractor's schedule if there is an opening. The extra mow(s) will be added in to the subsequent month's invoice.

    The contractor may add a fuel surcharge at his own discretion if local fuel prices rise above $3.00/gallon. Surcharges will be included in the subsequent month's invoice and labeled as such. The surcharge will be relative to the price increase.

    Invoices are normally sent for mid-month delivery. Payment is due by the first of the month, payments are considered late after the tenth of the month. Late payments will be charged a $15 late fee. Lawns for clients in arrears will not be mowed until payment is received.

    If for some reason the client would like to cancel services before the length of the contract has expired, The contractor must be notified in writing one (1) month in advance of the intended cancellation date. The contractor reserves the right to cancel services with a one (1) month written notice to the client.

    Initials: ______

    Obviously the contracts are worded differently in places, but say the same thing essentially. I'm working on pulling them both together, with only a few differences.

    Thanks for the help.
    ~Brian
     
  2. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Posts: 4,900

    I'm not gonna slam you. just want to point out that at 16 your contracts are a non issue legally.
     
  3. scagwildcat

    scagwildcat LawnSite Senior Member
    from nw. ct.
    Posts: 507

    your better off having your lawyer take care of your contracts? that is if you have one, i hope you do!!!!
     
  4. Cimarron Landscape

    Cimarron Landscape LawnSite Member
    Posts: 72

    Older than dirt:
    I live in Texas in a small town where most people are honest. As far as I know, all my customers are honest and would not 'test' my contract. You're right. The contract technically isn't worth the paper it's written on. It does however let the customer know what I expect, and most people I know here are willing to abide by the rules. Sure, I'll get a few pushers, but I can drop them.
    Anyway, if I really needed to, my dad would be willing to co-sign.

    Scagwildcat:
    What are you implying? Nothing? No I don't have a lawer, refer to Olderthandirt's post. Most lawers wouldn't draw up a contract since it's techinically useless. The other reason is cost. Yeah Yeah, I know it will 'save me' in the long run. The contracts will only run for a year, so I can easily change stuff the next year.

    Thanks for the comments,
    ~Brian
     
  5. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,220

    Lets face it guys.....

    If you cut homes and charge around 20 to 35 a cut....

    Then you bill at the end of the month, The homeowner is going to owe you

    80 to 140.

    if you have a contract or not. And the home owner does NOT pay you.

    You have not lost any great deal of money and, anyone who knows anything about anything. will tell ya that the contract is a written agreement that states a starting point. Very few contracts have ever been followed to the "T"
    it's a boundary.
    If you HAVE to sue someone in small claims Cort for this money, You can Use this contract as a Boundary even though a 16 year old cant enter into a legal contract,

    For some one to take off work to go to a small claims Cort is a pain,

    Lets say that a person did sue and the other party didn't show " or did show" and you won.
    YOU CAN NOT MAKE SOMEONE PAY.....
     
  6. kleankutslawn

    kleankutslawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,185

    alot of times the word CONTRACT frightens customers,if or when i do use them,i call it a service agreement.
     

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