What would you do? : Contract terms cost 16 jobs ....

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Andyinchville, Apr 5, 2004.

  1. Andyinchville

    Andyinchville LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 270

    Hi all,

    Just wanted an opinion from you all....I had a chance to bid 30 Residential rental properties fairly close together...The owner is a lawyer who is not satisfied with the current lawn care co's quality (he wants half mowed every 2 weeks and the other half mowed once a month from April 15 until October 15). I gave him a price for all of them....I was over his budget by $350 per month....I told him that I'd rather not do the once a month jobs but would do the every 2 week jobs (I told him once a month could be done by his current company since appears quality is not an issue to start with , with a once a month cut) . Any ways he agrees to my price on the remaining 16 Properties to be done every 2 weeks but has a problem with a couple of terms in my contract namely : 1) In the event that the account becomes delinquent , customer arees to pay for any and all costs associated with the collection process including but not limited to : Attorneys fees, court costs, Collection agency fees, internal costs to the company etc.....and 2) The companys records are deemed official
    (That was put in because in the past I've had several clients argue that a job was not done on a certain day even though I was the one doing it! ...I wanted to keep situations like this from happening in the future.....I bill monthly and of course during the growing season if 5 days pass it's hard to "see" or "prove" that it had been mowed especially if you have to go to court over it a month or 2 later)....So what do you think....Was I wrong to stick to my contract and potentially lose the 16 yards or shoud I delete this from the cotract to get the job from this lawyer (Yes seems like I'd be on the short end of the stick being that he is already a lawyer).....What would you do?
     
  2. charlies

    charlies LawnSite Senior Member
    from earth
    Posts: 587

    do not waver on item number one. red flags are going up all around this one for me. first of all, anyone trying to get away with mowing once a month is very tight with his money. second, large rentals properties often are hard to collect. on top of that, he's a lawyer. and finally, he is asking you to remove items from the contract regarding your collections process (which seem reasonable, at least #1 does)? why should he care if he always pays his bills on time?
     
  3. Trevors Lawn Care

    Trevors Lawn Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,180

    NO WAY. he is a lawyer and it obviously seems he is a stiff with money, he could easily know something you dont (they get paid to do that you know?) DONT DO IT
     
  4. Willmow4dough

    Willmow4dough LawnSite Member
    Posts: 56

    TAKE HIS MONEY!!! Just be slicker than he is. I passed the BAR and I know I (as well as you!) can out slick this slick. Be careful what you agree to and do what he wants while charging a premium. Good Luck!
     
  5. Bryn

    Bryn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 207

    Leave #1 the way it is. That is standard wording for collections. By cutting someones lawn before payment, you are entering into an unsecured loan. You are loaning them the cost of your time, expertise, rental of equipment etc. You should therefore have every right to expect payment, but as it is unsecured, you only recourse is to enter into a contract, which you are trying to do. The agreement is still limited by the aggrevation level of going to court and placing a judgement against them, taking a lean against property etc.

    Best of luck

    Bryn
     
  6. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,494

    Wait a minute... First, you gave him a price of 350 for all of them. This gives you an average of let's see....
    30 accounts total.....
    Half mowed twice a month = 15x2.....30
    Half mowed once a month = 15x1 .....15
    Total number of cuts ..........45
    $350 / 45 = $7.77 per cut....
    I'm sorry,... but why are we even discussing this??????
    Sir, with all due respect, you need to concentrate on going out and earning money. This is NOT enough to justify earning money. I don't care HOW small the places are, or how close they are together. This is not business. Don't let the big number (in this case, a whopping 350 bucks) fool ya. Move on, and let the amateurs have it. This is one of the reasons why many companies you see now won't be around in two years. Leave room for yourself to make some real money. Trust me on this one,... I've been in this business for 20 years, now, and I've seen 'em come, and I've seen 'em go. Oh yeah, I've met alot of jerks like this guy, too.
     
  7. shorty7616

    shorty7616 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 230

    he was OVER the lawyers budget by $350.
     
  8. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    Without seeing the exact wording of your contract it's hard to tell but to what you have written here I wouldn't sign it either.

    Your statement number 2 gives away all of his rights to dispute charges. That would be like if your cable company started charging you for a full package and all you are getting is basic cable. They take you to court to get the money and you have to pay them because their records are "official". It doesn't matter whether you actually received the service or not, they're always right.

    Does statement number 1 have the words "to the extent permitted by law" at the end of it?

    The problem with number 1 is you have a lot of different subjects all lumped into one heading.

    You should get out a Retail Credit Agreement that you have around (like from a credit card company) and see how they word it.
     
  9. PMLAWN

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,535

    Negotiating legal terms in a contract with a lawer. Hum, Better get a better lawer. To be fair, He does know exactly how your terms affect him so he will most definitely make sure he does not lose any rights. Did he tell you why he objects to the wording. Maybe just tweek them a little
     
  10. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    this is what makes the lawn business such a bullsh!t business. when we try to protect ourselves with a written agreement, we are questioned and then turned down. i got the same cr@p last week.
     

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