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I need a lawn maintenance contract

Lawn Outfitters

LawnSite Member
Location
Culpeper, Va.
Hello folks,
It has been about 8 years since I was in the lawn business as a part timer and I will be relaunching my business this year. Eight years ago my word and a hand shake was the contract. It worked well at the time and today, my old customers are glad to see me return. However, things have changed and I need a written contract. I have found some home grown contract templates on the internet but nothing I feel good about using. Any suggestions on where to find a lawn maintenance contract. Your comments would be appreciated.
 

SangerLawn

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
indiana
welcome to the site!!

Why use a contract? We have been in business for several years and only have 1 commercial property that requires a contract. We do not make any of our other customer (residential or commercial) sign a contract. We have not had any problems yet and to be honest with you….we get a lot of customers that hated there old service but only stayed with them because of the contract. Once there contract is over they call us because they know our work keeps customers not a piece of paper. We might have some slow payers but never had anyone down right stiff us.

Hope this helps?
 
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Lawn Outfitters

LawnSite Member
Location
Culpeper, Va.
LOL. Can I get a second opinion! Surely you must have some kind of service agreement to describe the service you will provide, when it will be performed and the cost.
 

101Prolawns

LawnSite Member
Location
Columbus, IN
Hey buddy, I get my contracts at officemax they have some some general contract forms. When you look t them they are pretty self explanitory and what I do I get the customers request of what they want done and then I get my wife who has reallly good hand writting (Mine looks like a doctors hand writting) and she helps me write them out so they look really professional. They are pretty cheap Like $15.00 for 50 copies. Don't Hire a lawyer to do them you'll pay for a arm and a leg for just one to be maid. Give me a hollar if you have any more questions.
 

AzLawnMan

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Glendale, Az
All you have to do is download one of those general contracts you found on the internet and go from there. After you have the general idea you can add your own stuff, such as services offered. My contract is broken down like this.

1) Top of paper is my company name and logo.
2) Name of property, address and the name of the person who will be signing the contract.
3) Invoicing. When I invoice, when I expect and How much I charge
4) Services specific to the property: Grass/turf, tree trimming, shrubs, etc.
5) A break down of each of those services. Example: "We will maintain grass/turf at our descretion to be an acceptable height" And so one. I list and explain all, trees, shrubs.
6) Irrigation. What we charge and how we maintain the system.
7) Any and all extra services that I offer and the prices to those services. *Prices subject to change without notice.
8) Any other info I would like to add to cover my a$$.

Last, your name and signature, their name and signature and then your off. Once you get it done, proof read it and re-word the things that dont sound right. I have a great girl that I used to re-write mine once I was done and I think she charged me like $75. I can send you her email if you would like. All you would do is email it to her and she will take it from there. She works for a law firm and does that on the side. A lawyer friend of mine recommened her. I think my contract is as good as I can get it. Other friends of mine in the business also use my same contract as well. Hope this helps.
 

JMiller08

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Brunswick, Oh
Here is what i use. I get a copy and so does the customer. Not really a contract just more of an agreement on when, how much, etc. Thought id try to help ya out. I got it from another LS member and tweaked it somewhat to fit my situation. Here ya go.
 

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Lawn Outfitters

LawnSite Member
Location
Culpeper, Va.
Each of you have given me something to use or consider. I now better understand what sangerlawn was getting at by not using a contract. I'm glad I found this site and appreciate the input from each of you on this thread.
 

SangerLawn

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
indiana
Each of you have given me something to use or consider. I now better understand what sangerlawn was getting at by not using a contract. I'm glad I found this site and appreciate the input from each of you on this thread.
Lol…that’s why I kept my mouth shut after your last post about wanting another opinion. You know, its funny….from what I have seen I would say about 60 percent of us on this site do not use contracts….I have been on here for a long time..even before I was a member I was coming here and….it honestly seems like the people that get on here complaining about customers not paying are the companies that use contracts (not all of them but a lot of them)…and the companies that don’t use contracts don’t seem to have a big issue in getting paid???
 

SangerLawn

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
indiana
By the way, your original statement said “Surely you must have some kind of service agreement to describe the service you will provide”. We do give a written estimate however that is it. Just so you know I am not BSing you. Here is my website homepage. Read the part about NEVER SIGN A CONTRACT. It is about half way down the page. sangerlawncareplus.com
 
We use contracts and people love them. We divide all their services into 12 months and they pay the same every month. Retirees love them especially because many are on fixed incomes and they know they will not get stuck with a high lawn bill in the spring and summer. Plus it helps us survive in the winter. Its a win, win in my book. Our contracts have a simple terms at the bottom that state 'This contract is terminable by either party at any time. At early termination, performed services will be itemized to determine whether a credit or amount owed is due'. Short , simple and to the point. And its held up in court because I have been there. There is no need for a three page contract that scares or confuses people. One thing for sure is if you dont have anything in writing, you dont have to worry about collecting if they dont pay because you have no supporting evidence. We do have a few 'pay as you go' customers but if they dont pay in the 15 days after invoice, we cut them off till they pay. I have been a little more tolerable with late payers on contract if they have been a long term customer and I know their paying habits.
 
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