does anyone not use contracts?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by ryanc, Apr 24, 2013.

  1. Ben Harris

    Ben Harris LawnSite Member
    Messages: 52

    We use "service agreements" as well. Just an agreement on work to be done and price, they can cancel anytime.

    You don't need a lawyer to go after this people, file a mechanic's lean or make a claim in small claims court only cost $30.00 per claim in my county, which the defendant must reimburse after we win, we always win, thanks to the service agreement.
  2. dc33

    dc33 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 250

    for years I had people taking advantage of me and lying to me. People would want weekly mowing, then once the April and May growth slowed they suddenly were gong to do it themselve, issues with getting paid, people being cheap and skipping weeks etc. Intordcuced the service agreements and almost all of the trouble makers fell to the way side. Simply having a simple and easy one they have to sign gets rid of 90% of the trouble. You would believe the number of people that tell me they want weekly over the phone, then call back for bi weekly once the contract is in their hands and they realive Im going to hold them to their word/request. I dont return their calls.
  3. dc33

    dc33 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 250

    Ive been to court before, they get up and ***** and piss and moan about whatever it is. I walk up and hand the judge the service agreement, case open and shut, I win everytime :)
  4. weeze

    weeze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,184

    i can't believe you guys have to go to court over mowing grass. i've never heard of anything like that in my area.

    i dont' use any contracts.
  5. TitanLC

    TitanLC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 15

    NEVER force a residential customer to sign a contract! Who the hell wants to be locked into a contract?

    Commercial accounts are obviously handled much differently.
  6. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,841

    I never understood contracts.

    THIESSENS TLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 813

    No contracts for me, seal the deal with a handshake as someone else said.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  8. dc33

    dc33 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 250

    youve never had someone NOT pay a bill??

    I get aholes that hire me with the intention of never paying at all and stringing me along as long as they can before I drop em
    ...those are the people that find bricks on the front seat of their cars :p
  9. weeze

    weeze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,184

    nope i've never not gotten paid.

    i make it a point to get paid for a cut before i do another cut unless it's a monthly billing account.

    that way if they don't pay then i don't mow again until they do. that protects me. the most i would be out would be 1 cuts worth of money.

    most accounts i have pay me the day i mow their lawn. i only have a few that i bill out monthly.
  10. magicmike

    magicmike LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 266

    You have a contract (service agreement) you can sue for the cost of the service. Without one you cant charge any kind of late fees, returned check fees, pretty much anything like that. Plus it looks more professional, if people dont want to sign a contract with you maybe you need to present yourself as a professional (not saying the guys who dont use them are not). If you have one you can also sue for damages, so say if you have payments for your truck, equipment, etc., you can sue for extra fees (if included in the contract but it needs to be written very well to get the client to sign :weightlifter:). Take a business law class before you choose not to include contracts. Very important in my mind.

    No lawyer for small cases like this only the contract with signatures.

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