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I nned some advice

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by polecat63, Feb 10, 2003.

  1. polecat63

    polecat63 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,655

    Just wanted a little advice about a past due invoice. I maintain a 170 unit complex that has always been a little slow to pay, but now is past due. I have not received a check for December (due in January) and now they also owe for January. My contract states that I will be paid when they receive my invoice. They have never paid before the 15th, but never later than the 21st. I have contacted the management company and was informed that they have a new accounting staff and checks are coming out late. I have no desire to lose any more money and was wondering what your opinion on stopping work at this complex is. Non-payment is a material breach of this contract.
  2. baddboygeorge

    baddboygeorge LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,249

    my experience dont go beyond 30 days without a paid invoice. a few years back i had 6 properties under the same ownership , we started the mowing an maintainence work in march. i sent staement after statement , continued working until july . in july that was 5 months of service an we had sent statements , talked to management an they all promised a check . after the 5th month i discontinued the service due to non payment. these guys had the nerve to call me an tell me about 3 weeks after the service was discontinued that a check was gonna be overnited an they would like to have the service reinstated . i told them that i was not willing to wait 170 days at a time for a check on service .this is a multi million dollar company so money wasnt an issue .big companies think they can take ya for a ride but sorry they wasnt takin me anymore .now there tite butts have the maintainence man doing it an boy does it look like s%$t .dont trust big companies if they are past the 30 period stop the service ,show them you aint playing games !!
  3. grassworks

    grassworks LawnSite Member
    Posts: 134

    I would probably firm up on a date the check will go out to you. Telling you it's going to be late does not help much when it's already over 30 days. I have had this happen and the squeeky oil gets the greese , so to speak , So find out WHEN they will be getting caught up. In the mean time , I would hold off on any major mulch , pineneedle or any other large expense item related to the complex. Keep up with any low overhead duties however so they see you out there. Most always, these things work out as the need for your service increases ( grass growing!!) but I would mention tactfully the terms of payment they agreed to if it happens again or you have to call back to get the MONEY that is YOURS !
  4. dougaustreim

    dougaustreim LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 488

    Be tactful, but keep some pressure on. I have had these kinds of things with changes in staff and/or ownership. Often it works out fine, but we have been bitten too.

    We had a video chain last year that we plowed snow in November for and got paid the next October. They also had excuses etc about what was going on, but didn't mean anything. If they break too many promises, it is usually best to cut them off. That'll get their attention better than anything, especially with snow removal. I find that snow usually gets paid quite promptly until the last snow in late March or April, then things can get really slow, cause they know they won't need you for awhile.

    Austreim Landscaping
  5. cklands

    cklands LawnSite Senior Member
    from MA
    Posts: 360

    I would try to get a date from them as to when the check will be going out. I have a few residential accounts that seem to always carry a balance with me. I always get the money so it's not that big of a deal. You would have to way the risk of losing them.
  6. sheppard

    sheppard LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 542

    After being in this business for a year I took some advice from my wife and changed my billing. On my commercial accounts I bill on the 1st and give them 30 days to pay. Even disorganized companies can sort through that.

    My residentials I bill on the 15th and expect payment on the 30th. Al most all of my residentials are on time. The few that are not are predictable by now so I don't sweat them or loose any sleep over them.

    Have 3 commercials who are always late, 1 of them I think has a psyco for accounts payable. Thinks of the strangest reasons to delay printing my check. When I can afford to drop them I will. Now I'll keep them but not let them go over 90 days. By then my wife is screaming anyway.

    All I can say is that this is your business. Since I'm only in my second year I'm still kissing up to some of my larger accounts. When I've acquired all that I want or can handle I'll tell to pay on time...no excuses.

  7. Mickhippy

    Mickhippy LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,251

    Is there any way that after you get payed, ask them for the next mow or what ever in advance. That way you owe them not the other way around. You could use it like a bond or something.
    I know this may not be feasible but its just a thought.
  8. polecat63

    polecat63 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,655

    Thanks to everyone for your advice. I heard from the property manager today and he said the checke were printed and waiting for the association president to sign them. Of course this is what they told me last week so we'll have to see what happens. The property manager is a pretty good guy, but the pres. of the association is more than a little nuts. I'll keep ypu all posted and check back for anymore advice. Thanks again!!!!!

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