Breaking Contract Agreement

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by West KY Lawncare, Jun 18, 2007.

  1. West KY Lawncare

    West KY Lawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 88

    O.K. guys I am just wanting some input. I have a signed contract with a guy for this years mowing. It is suppose to be around 21 mowing cycles. I have mowed it 8 times as of today and he has told me that he wants to take the rest of the years mowing back from me that I could mow thru June. Which will be 10 mowings. We are talking about thousands of dollars for the rest of the year. My lawyer says that we have a legal signed contract but it could be expensive to fight. Do you guys think it would be worth it to fight him or just let him run over me. I had to purchase another turf tiger just for this contract and that is my big concern. He told me the reason he needed it back was because he needed to earn the money for the rest of the year. Let me know if any of you guys have had to deal with issues like this. I just want what we agreed on!!
  2. Prestige-Lawncare

    Prestige-Lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 753

    I take it there isn't any language in your contract concerning breaking the agreement. Probably the most common language states that either party can cancel the agreement with 30 days written notice.

    If you don't have a clause in your contract such as this ... I would suggest adding it for all future contracts (I prefer to call them agreements).

    Also ... if you have 12 month pay agreements, make sure you have language in there that spells out how that is handled if the contract is cancelled. The most common method is to have all of the previous mowings adjusted to a higher rate.

    For example:

    Let's say you have a property that you charge $40. per week to mow ... and your mowing season is something like 30 weeks. This comes to $1200. ... or averaged out to $160. a month for the customer. If you allow them to pay it over a 12 month billing cycle (which gives you income in the off-season too) ... it would only be $100. per month for your customer. If they decide that they want to cancel the contract part way through the season ... you then go back an adjust their final bill to make up the difference in what they would have actually paid at the $160. a month. For instance .. if they cancel 10 weeks in, they have probably only paid you $250. ... but if you re-adjust the bill to reflect the $40. a cut ... they would owe you another $150. to settle up. This keeps you from getting burnt on the front of the contract.

    Make sense?
  3. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,988

    How many thousands are you talking? Was there a termination clause in the contract?

    I'd guess it's probably not worth it. You'll end up spending a bunch of money.
  4. West KY Lawncare

    West KY Lawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 88

    No termination clause. The contract just stated from April to October 31.
  5. West KY Lawncare

    West KY Lawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 88

    The amount is over 10000.00! The lawyer said it could cost up to 4000.00.
  6. Supper Grassy

    Supper Grassy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,582

    Ok, how much did the scag cost?
    if nothing else you get payment tward the scag
  7. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,988

    Well no termination clause, you might be screwed. Likely you'll be able to get what you're owed so far and that's it. The guy can probably come up with any reason for why you breached your contract.

    This is why its never a good idea to buy a new mower for one account.
  8. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,555

    I agree.....or the guy could come up with a real sob story if it goes to a judge and you would never win. Might as well move on.
  9. txgrassguy

    txgrassguy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,083

    It all depends on why the customer wants to terminate the contract.
    To specify a breach, you have to show lack of due diligence on the customer's part and vs.
    With out some type of termination clause, and if the contract is actually signed by both parties, you have an arguable case for lost income/damages.
  10. Supper Grassy

    Supper Grassy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,582

    I have to agree, you may want to add termination clause and inform your customers and you may need to have them resign contracts with the termination clause

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