contract question

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by lukemelo216, Jun 6, 2009.

  1. lukemelo216

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

    ok so I did this lawn renovation the other day. Wasnt able it finish it. Some unforseen reasons came about and I told the guy that I wouldnt be able to finish it, and recommended him to another company. I also gave him a refund for the amount he had paid thus far. We finished roughly half the job. Then he tells me, that I did an unsatisfactory job and wants me to fix it at my expense, within 14 days but does not give me a consequence. Then he writes me this letter and says the same thing and says his refund should be more.

    He broke it down and said, I quoted two hours for the bob cat only used it for 1, 3 hours labor, only did 1.5. 7 yards of soil only used 3.5, and then 1/4 of the debris were hauled away.

    The final specs on the job were, 1.5 bobcat, 3 hrs labor, 4 yards of soil, and a 1/4 of material hauled away.

    He said that I am in breech of the contract by not finishing the job, and that if I fail to fix the part we did do, I am responsible for paying another company to fix it. I will fix it becasue it will be easy. We just have to build up some areas, shouldnt take more then 1-2 hours.

    I am more concerned about the refund. The Refund I came up with was about $100 his is like 275$. Any advice?
  2. Fvstringpicker

    Fvstringpicker LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,643

    You could be and probably are in breach of contract. If you and the other party mutually agreed to do something, supported by valid consideration, you ordinarily don't have the option to quit without incurring some liability, unless you can show the contract was defective. It sound like your unforeseen reasons is unilateral on your side. You could have delegated or assigned the contract to another company. I don't know what your defenses are, but the courts tend to award minimum damages sufficient to put the injured party at least in the position they were in before the work. Sorry but it sounds like your client is holding all aces. You may however be able to claim substantial performance but under this doctrine, the performance must be so nearly complete that it would be unjust to deny the contractor any compensation.
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2009
  3. salopez

    salopez LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 271

    let me make sure I understand....

    you credited the customer what he paid you... and you recommended someone that can complete the job?

    did you leave his property a total mess? I can't see anyone taking you to court for 300 bucks. its just not worth it. it will cost him way more then that in legal fees.

    see if he will let you finish the job or have someone finish the job and call it a day.
  4. lukemelo216

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

    No, he said there were a few areas we undercut on his driveway, and he would just like it brought up some more. And he paid for a certain percentage of the job up front, well after I completed half of it, I ran into some issues I would rather not discuss, and had to leave the job. I recommended him to two different reputable companies in the area, and wrote him a check for about 100$. Then this all came about.
  5. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,220

    MAN ya gotta love the contracts. I'm sure you had a bail out clause.
    one of the best things in the contract
    Of corse your bond should kick in too.
  6. lukemelo216

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

    alrighty well today I went and fixed the problem and cut the guy his check. Everything is ok now between us. But now I have another problem regarding my contract.

    How long of a time frame do you guys let your customers make a complaint and actually validate it.

    I get to this guys house today, and roll back the straw blankets to find that the parts of his drive way that were undercut, were driven on. Looks as if when a car is turning in or backing out they cant see and drive off the driveway.

    This really shouldnt be my problem to fix. Especially since it allowed it to go on for 16 days before he notified me and demanded that I fix it at my cost.

    So my question is, how long of a window do you allow in which if a customer makes a valid complaint that should be addressed and fixed at your cost, to when you say well I can come and fix it but its going to be $x amount.
  7. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,220

    5 days.... also when the bid goes in, it's only valid for 3 days.....

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