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Contract Issue

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Gmgbo, Dec 2, 2010.

  1. Gmgbo

    Gmgbo LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 382

    I have a 12 month snow/lawn maint. contract with a condo complex. April 2010-April 2011. Sept 24 i received a letter that they voted to cancel the snow portion of the contract.

    To me it is a combined contract, can they cancel a portion. The reason they canceled was that they got a cheaper price, but the cancelation letter says nothing about that.

    The contract was 1841.67 a month. Lawn=$9600 Snow= 12,500

    What should I do?
  2. memphis.landscape

    memphis.landscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 141

    I would start charging them more for the lawn, and let them know the reason it is going up is because tou gave them a package deal.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  3. wbw

    wbw LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,996

    Then he may not have either. I would talk with them and maybe match the price on the snow for this year only.
  4. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,937

    How did they know the breakdown? If that information was in the contract, then you had already split out the parts, giving them the freedom to make the separation. If these are your numbers only, then they wouldn't know how to break out the parts.
  5. Gmgbo

    Gmgbo LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 382

    The price is broken down to fill in the blanks on the bid specs provided by the management company, if you dont break it down, you dont get the job.

    Cant charge more in a one year contract, lawn work is over for the year.

    It is one signed contract, can they break it for no reason, when contract says you need a reason and try to resolve a dispute. We have had zero complaints or disputes.
  6. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,937

    By definition of how they required the pricing, they have already broken it out into two separate pieces.

    Sorry, but your failure to require it as one package leaves you in the cold (warm?). Obviously, they knew what they were doing, they knew that requiring the breakdown allowed them to consider the two parts separately.

    While not meaning to point fingers, your example demonstrates why LCOs are not good contract administrators, negotiators, or writers of contracts. LawnSite is filled with lawyer wanna-bes, those wanting to write their own contract and not utilize the services of those who understand contracts to protect the best interest of the LCO. The management company handles contracts every day. They do this on a routine basis, and have the experience to know how to write contracts to their benefit. Their position and leverage in the contract negotiations is far superior to that of anybody who knows how to choose a ZTR, maintain the machine, and cut straight stripes across a yard.
  7. Gmgbo

    Gmgbo LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 382

    The title of the contract is landscaping and snowplowing contract. I am not a "want to be lawyer" just looking for some feedback. I barter with a lawyer, Im
    waiting to meet with him right now about some other things, I will bring this up and see what he says, I'll let you know...
    Posted via Mobile Device
  8. Gmgbo

    Gmgbo LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 382

    Lawyer sent out a certified leter today giving 7 days for them to respond. He said they had no right to or cant cancel the contract. They will either give me the snowplowing back, or pay me the remaining balance minus what I would have paid for materials, fuel, drivers ect. So I will get my profit margin for free pretty much.

    Lawyer said it is all one contract, it doesnt matter that prices are broken down, adding it all up and dividing by 12 makes it all inclusive.

    Roger, is my lawyer incorrect? Where in PA do you practice law? LCO's may not be able to write contracts, but their lawyers sure can. :)

    Ill keep you posted
  9. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,547

    How much does your lawyer charge you for something like this? I had to get a lawyer for an issue once and can't see how so many people can afford to hire an attorney for relatively simple issues.
  10. wbw

    wbw LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,996

    Sure you can sue them. You may even win in court. But you won't work for them again. And they will talk bad about you at there property management association meetings to other property managers. Either do it for the other guys price or walk.

    Unless you can prove damages by their breaking the contract you would probably lose in court. If you had to purchase specific specialized equipment for example.

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