Is this contract okay?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by zackvbra, Dec 1, 2012.

  1. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,943

    Several observations:

    1. I don't consider this a contract, only a letter of understanding. It has no legal binding authority (nothing about adjudication, indemnification, remedy procedure, etc.). It falls short of being considered a contract. No, I'm not picking on semantics here.

    2. What does "twice monthly" mean when the work day (day-of-week) has five days in a month? Do you do EOW, then skip for three weeks?

    3. I would concur with another comments above -- trimming, blowing, and edging are optional? Don't think so.

    4. If you have a rainout on an afternoon, why do you need to make contact with customer? Why any contact for a delay, unless the delay will be many days?

    5. "full service" should not have a list of choices. Either you are choosing to "do everything," or you need to offer ala carte. Ala carte is not full service. Providing a choice, yet calling "full service" is confusing.

    6. What is bush hogging? Maybe it is a local term, one that I've never heard. Brush hogging is a well-known term, but bush hogging ....?

    7. Why would you offer a leaf cleanup schedule of the customer's choice? Either you are going to handle the leaf drop, or not. Giving the customer a choice of schedule may mean that you are unable to use methods not to your liking, or making the task more costly.

    8. How can you state a price for "each and every visit," when you are unsure of what needs to be done. For example, you may trim bushes a couple of times over the season. Having the additional work may mean that your price for that visit will be different than others. Or, are you intending that these extra tasks have their charges spread out over all the payments? This may be what you mean, I'm not sure.

    9. What about Sales Tax? Are you required to collect Sales Tax? If so, it should be stated clearly.

    10. I'm not sure anybody would agree to your terms of no liability. If this is enforceable, then you have no need of liability insurance, right? (I would not agree to this.)

    11. You mention an Invoice, but don't say how it is used. You say to send payment, or hand it to you. If this the case, then there is no need of an Invoice, right?

    12. Are your late fees legal in your state. Most states have regulations on what can be changed for late fees. These rates are extremely steep, and may not be enforceable, or legal. You have no "end game" in late payments. Using your language, the $15 charges can accrue for months, or years, and yet you still have the customer.

    Just my $0.02 on what you developed...
  2. cpllawncare

    cpllawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,659

    choose not chose, I personally don't like it it's very confusing I would have a hard time explaining it to the customer.
  3. zackvbra

    zackvbra LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 553

    am working on revising it again. Will post new one soon. Thanks for all the constructive criticism guys it has helped me alot!
  4. zackvbra

    zackvbra LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 553

    Okay, here is my revised contract. If it has typos or the letter head is messed up again, something is happening during the transfer from my computer to here, because there are NO typos. if there are, just ignore them. Is it okay now?

    Attached Files:

  5. bmoorefield

    bmoorefield LawnSite Member
    Messages: 132

    The client is responsible for picking up non-vegetation items, such as toys, hoses, pet droppings, pieces of metal or wood, etc. Lawn mowers can cause damage to anything left in the yard, especially if they are in tall grass, unseen.

    I would add that "If the objects are not picked up you can be charged for the time that it takes to remove the toys, metal, sticks and debris" (I wouldn’t pick up the crap)...I tell my customers we won’t use a string trimmer if there are several piles of poo in the yard.
    The piece on late invoices that you removed should be included “If payment is not received 30 days after the invoice is dated you can be charged 8% on the cost of the bill” (just an example). I personally never add the charge but I will remind the customer that if they don’t pay that I can charge the late fee.
    I personally prefer the “a la cart” menu for my business. Many of my customers that we mow for like to add a few services but not everything. It gives more freedom and people like choices; I rarely come across customers that want the full gambit. However, we all love those type of customers.
    Contracts are tough to make clear and to cover all the angles. Every year I change something on my contract to make it easier to read or change because something happened. This year a homeowner put a herbicide down after my application killing the areas from their spot spray. So they blamed me and expected me to fix the lawn for free. So I am making it clearer in my contract for next year so that doesn’t happen again.
    You are doing the right thing by creating this letter/contract. You one step ahead of where you were last year.
  6. cpllawncare

    cpllawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,659

    First, I would take out the word "Contract" people don't like contracts, even though the signature itself makes it's a contract, I use "service agreements" You are giving away the farm on your full service, too much is included, For full service we do all the basic stuff plus shrub trimming and bed maint that's it. No leaf cleaning as of next year, we got burned on that a few times, some of the yards took us way longer than we expected and we ended up losing money so I decided to put it in the option catagory, along with mulch installs and basically anything else IE: plant installs, tree pruning, bed edging all the other stuff that you don't think about, but they do, it all falls in the optional catagory. I'm thinking "a la cart" menu this year as well, I gave away to much work last year for sure, and they WILL want FREE work if you don't make it perfectly clear to them about what is and isn't included.

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