Weeding is in the contract, but...

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by tmhtm, Jun 11, 2013.

  1. tmhtm

    tmhtm LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    Hi Folks,

    I have a contract with an HOA for both snow removal and mowing and trimming. It's my second largest customer. This is my third year here, and last year they decided to sign a four-year contract. The problem I'm running into is the weeding. I've been suggesting since the first year for them to mulch (either through us or someone else) and they keep saying "maybe next year". There are quite a few mulch beds and they have not been mulched in at least five years. The mulch beds are totally out of control now. I suggested preen this spring but they did not want to spend the money on it (and someone on the board was afraid of having it around pets, despite my reassurance). Now they are complaining about the weeds. It is in the contract that we are responsible for weeding the mulch beds, but at what point does a mulch bed become lawn? I'm trying to make the customer happy, but I can't afford to pay someone to weed there 40 hours a week.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks so much!

    Kindly,
    HTM
     
  2. Sprinkler Buddy

    Sprinkler Buddy LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 1,187

    That's a tough spot to be in. Are you licensed to spray them where possible? Maybe get beds mulched at-least every other year in the contract the next go around. Sounds like your on the hook for now unfortunately.
     
  3. tmhtm

    tmhtm LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    Hmmm that's what I was afraid of. Thanks for the input.
     
  4. Colaguy

    Colaguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 599

    It is in the contract that we are responsible for weeding the mulch beds, but at what point does a mulch bed become lawn? I'm trying to make the customer happy, but I can't afford to pay someone to weed there 40 hours a week


    Weed eat down to ground, rake out, Spray Roundup and add mulch. Since you let the weeds get out of control, you should pay for the mulch. Spray regularly with Roundup & that will solve the problem.
     
  5. tmhtm

    tmhtm LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    Thanks for the suggestions.
     
  6. CircleC

    CircleC LawnSite Senior Member
    from NW
    Posts: 309

    Round up every week!

    Take a little hit and put dimension or snap shot. Its gunna coat you now but you will work it out in the long run.

    I losy my biggest account last season due to the same issue. I was too cheap to spend a little $ on pre-emergant and it cost me $20k....i should have spent the $500 and kept the 20k account.

    Round up!
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  7. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,984

    Why sign a contract when you had no intention to pull weeds?

    Customer does not have to pay for mulch or pre emergent when they do not purchase it.

    A bed becomes a lawn when the LCO does not pick the weeds as he is being paid to do.

    Can't afford to pay someone to pick weeds for 40 hours. Then you should of not signed the contract promising to weed the beds.

    The longer beds are neglected the longer it takes to get them cleaned up.


    Edit to add: Weeding is in the contract, but..............................

    No buts, honor the contract pull the weeds. Or ask them to find a new landscaper and replace you.
     
  8. Colaguy

    Colaguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 599

    And I'm sure its in the contract, that the HOA can stop payment for work not done and/or void the contract within (30) days.
     
  9. windflower

    windflower LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,080

    I don't think you ever thought hand weeding the beds was main route for weed control. I'd have a talk with the board about options to correct a situation that is probably driving both of you nuts. Tell them you can clean up the beds (however works for you), but you need either lots of mulch or a pre emergent or both. I'd also try to amend the contract to allow you control weeds how you choose.
     
  10. jsf343

    jsf343 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,767

    I would trim all weeds to the ground, rake it well and AFTER doing that nuke with a mix of round-up and surflan (if you are licensed) you kill the weeds and lay a pre-emergent all in one shot, quick and will be the most painless way or at the very least will save you the most time and money.
     

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