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Contract syntax

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Woodland, Feb 6, 2006.

  1. Woodland

    Woodland LawnSite Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 207

    I posted this to the Business forum but didn't get any responses so I thought I try here...

    I'm rewriting my landscape maintenance contract and I'm looking for some advice on a few aspects of the wording.

    The first pertains to contractor responsibilities. I want to include a statement that negates us from having to pay for or replace plants that decline due to insect or disease problems.

    In particular, I don't want to have any responsibility unless I make the client aware of a particular problem AND we agree that I will address or treat the problem (I don't do any pesticide apps but can/will subcontract that service if need be). I don't want a client to be able to try and get me to replace plants because a particular pest went unnoticed, they were damaged by common, untreatable or hard to treat pests such as Jap. beetle or if the client simply does not want to treat them.

    I do have a service listed in the agreement that is an option called "pest control" that states that I will inspect the lawn and beds during visits (either for mowing or regular bed maint) and will advise the client if pests are found. It goes on to state that treatment for any pest found, i.e. pest control services, are in addition to and charged separate to the agreement.

    Secondly, I have the agreement set up so that it lists and describes all of the maint. services that I offer with check boxes for the ones that this agreement would cover. It includes edging, mulching, mowing, leaf cleanup, pruning and perennial bed maint. as well as a few others. I want to include an option for maintaining annual beds or including annuals in the landscape but I'm not real sure what the best way to do this in a "generic" agreement form since there are so many variables to include. I was thinking perhaps a small description for this service like: "Beds will be planted with annuals in the spring and maintained throughout the season... deadheading... weeding... fertilizing... etc..." and then attaching a separate Specification Sheet or the like that would detail things like the varieties of plants, planting schemes, etc. Is this an appropriate or acceptable way to handle this type of situation or would this make the contract to complicated?

    I appreciate all of your opinions and suggestions.

    And one last thing while I'm here... suggestions on cancellation provisions. Right now mine basically says I can cancel the contract if you don't pay like the contract describes but I'd like to cover my self I the client starts to get to picky or demanding (see article in January's Lawn & Landscape). Also, are there provisions that I should include that would allow a client to back out. I cant seem to think of any reasons that a client should be able to but I may be biased!

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