mowing contract with customers-need to get one

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by ariensman, Jul 6, 2008.

  1. ariensman

    ariensman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 25

    Never have had a need for a contract and alot of people in my area don't have one. This spring has been a killer for excess growth and I have lost a couple of customers to extra charges for handling double mows and truckloads of grass from thier property. I am hoping to get a contract to lock these customers in and protect myself when these things occur but don't know where to find what I am looking for and I don't even know what to look for. Looking for help. Thanks
     
  2. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,210

    speak with your attorney. Few hundred bucks and he'll have a real good one for you specific to what you need.
     
  3. ariensman

    ariensman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 25

    any suggestions as to include besides extra charges,
     
  4. amor4421

    amor4421 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 189

    get a free download of any software. (groundskeeper pro) is one that i know has one. Then after downloading the frre trial just go to the contract section and use that one. you might have to male a few adjustments. but that is my suggestion.
     
  5. Chris G

    Chris G LawnSite Member
    Posts: 95

    Either of those 2 suggestions sound good, however if you can afford too go to your attorney as mentioned tell him all the things you would want to lock in your clients for like extra $$$ and fall cleanups etc etc
     
  6. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,210

    scope of work
    start/end dates
    fuel surcharge
    additional charges
    options
    pricing
    payment terms
    contract cancelation
    limitation of liability
    warranty
    owner/tenant info
    work site location
     
  7. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,837

    I am sure it depends on the state but for most lawn maintenance the so called "contracts" really only serve to confirm communication and expectations and are totally unenforceable due to private property owners rights to control and govern. outside of theft of service. They are over-rated. I do realize their are a few exceptions to this so don't waist your time flameing me.
     
  8. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,927

    Ditto with what Stillwater said. The list LB.. provided is what I see most people discussing. The only two items in the list that begin to address a contract is the liability and warranty information. There are many other items missing from the list to form a contract.

    What so many on LS call a contract is merely a statement of understanding. The posters of what is included in their document is much like the list of LB .., nothing legal, but only some information regarding pricing, payments, etc.

    In a thread several years ago, the topic was discussed about whether customers read the document before signing. Nearly everybody agreed that no customer reads the document, which says much about what the customer thinks of such a piece of paper. I suspect that most of them are in the wastebasket before the contractor even gets into their truck to drive away. There are so many threads that discuss the topic of the customer asking for things "not in their contract," or not paying "like their contract says." Again, all these posts speak much about what the customer thinks of the so-called contract. If a customer hires somebody else to mow their lawn, while under your "contract," what are you going to do? If a customer doesn't pick up the things in their yard before arrive, contrary to what the "contract" says, what are you going to do? As Stillwater says, their is little to do for enforcement. Your so-called contract can have all kinds of conditions and provisions, but if you aren't prepared, or have no way to enforce those conditions, the words are useless. The words provide for a delusion that something will happen just the way the document reads.

    I speak about simple task services, such as grass mowing. If the work involves other, more complex services, such as installs, or other more skilled tasks that are much more money, then a well-written contract is a requirement. If that is the case, the document should be written by somebody who knows the local ordinances and laws, the procedures of adjudication, conflict resolution, etc. I doubt that anybody who cuts grass for a living is qualified to understand the legal issues, hence able to write such a document.
     

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