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Mowing Contract

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by dmkosko, Nov 9, 2009.

  1. dmkosko

    dmkosko LawnSite Member
    Posts: 78

    Start up landscaping company looking to gain more knowledge of the industry. I'm not looking to steal anyone's information, but can someone post an example of their mowing contract that they give to their customer to sign before the season? I'm just trying to get an idea of what SHOULD and what SHOULDN'T be in there. Thanks, it is much appreciated
  2. SangerLawn

    SangerLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    from indiana
    Posts: 736

    Most of us don’t use contracts on residential lawns. If you are knew to the industry your probably not going to get any commercial work.
  3. dmkosko

    dmkosko LawnSite Member
    Posts: 78

    As a follow up, what stops your customer from calling you one day during the summer and saying, "We no longer need your services" and that's it.
  4. SangerLawn

    SangerLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    from indiana
    Posts: 736

    you doing better work then the next guy
  5. Dave_005

    Dave_005 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 359

    Thats part of the Job, all you can do is let your work speak for you, residential customers will cancel if your work is substandard, if you dont show up on the scheduled day, they may get laid off at work and need to save money, or they may simply decide to switch to someone cheaper if its for this reason either they are a pita and you dont want them.
  6. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,896

    Yep, you can't stop resi customers from canceling for any reason at all. A contract will not prevent this, in fact best of luck trying to get customers to sign binding contracts locking them in for a full season.

    I prefer to use an 'agreement', more for spelling out what I expect of customers (clean up dog crap, pay on time, don't call saying "don't come this week"), and less for the legal end of things.
  7. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,210

    that's BS that you can't have binding contracts for lawn care.

    for those stating that "most" company's don't use contracts for residential customers be careful...when that residential customer skips town or refuses to pay then you have basically zero recourse to go after your rightfully earned money....I'm speaking from experience. However, if you have a legally binding contract, service agreement, email or whatever else it is still a contract. Legally a handshake is a contract if two party's agree on something...problem is it usually turns into a he said she said and the court of law or litigator of some kind determines the outcome of said contract.

    anyhow....here a some of the sections in my contract:

    Contractor name/contact info
    Customer name/contact info
    Worksite location/contact info
    some legal jargon about said party's agreeing to below terms
    scope of work
    duration of work
    payment terms (when, how, where...consequences for non-payment)
    additional work costs
    some other legal jargon stating that person signing is personally responsible for contract AND is legally responsible for all applicable payments
    limitation of liability

    this should give you a good start. I paid my attorney 300 or so to review my contract and add in the proper terminology. So far due to this contract I have not had to go to court...I feel the contract helps.
  8. AzLawnMan

    AzLawnMan LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 409

    Contracts with residential customer are really not even worth it. I have around 120 year round residential customers, none of which I have contracts with. But most of them have been with me for years. Even if you did convince a customer to sign a "contract" and they fire you mid-month, you really gonna take them to court for $100? Trust me, I am the first person who seeks revenge when I get stiffed, but you chalk it up as a loss and let the accountant do his job. On the other hand all my Commercial clients do have a 30 day contract, but even that doesnt mean anything. Them I will take to court and usually win. But its still a headache. Its part of our industry. By the way my contract is 4 pages long and covers, lawn, shrubs, plants & flower prices, trees, sprinkler repair and a couple of stipulations that I have.
  9. Kennedy Landscaping

    Kennedy Landscaping LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,599

    I've been thinking about a contract for a few people that bring me good money but can be a real pita about getting that said money to me.
  10. lukemelo216

    lukemelo216 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from ...
    Posts: 1,267

    I just do an agreement. similar to what LB and DA said. Just giving the addresses of both parties, scope of work, payment, repercussions, etc. I also put in there that either party may for any reason cancel this agreement with 10 days written notice. Everyone hasnt had a problem with that at all. They like it because it lets them know what we ask of them and what they should expect from us.

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