Non/late payers

Discussion in 'Florida Lawn Care Forum' started by minx, Mar 31, 2013.

  1. I'm thankful I don't have to chase anyone down for money. I get paid within 2-7 days by most, one does online payment and I get that around the 25 of every month and one lady eeks it out till the very end or the first few days of the next month. I do work for good people. I also think how you present yourself and company helps. When you come off as a pro running a biz, people look at it like that. At least that has worked for me....
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  2. minx

    minx LawnSite Member
    Messages: 82

    I think I come across as a soft touch... But no more.. Not falling or any mre sob stories.. My regulars are good.. Even write lovely comments on the return slips.. Just I think I've become a poor judge of character on newbies.. Thans guys.
  3. Don't beat yourself up, we are all learning. Just remember its business and to keep personal stuff out of it.
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  4. jvanvliet

    jvanvliet LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,944

    Under the $hit happens clause, we give our long term regulars a grace period & a phone call.

    Otherwise, after 30 days, we send them a notice saying we will file with the credit agencies for every thirty days the bill goes unpaid. After 90 days we send a notice of intent to lien (this is cheap and I got boilerplate mechanics liens online). In Florida, I just pay the court clerk to file the lien (about $25.00 in Palm Beach) and while we always have written agreements, the clerk never asks for them.

    Hell, I filed two liens on a guy living in PA, one on his property here and the other in PA, on his property there. I was never bothered with a burden of proof.

    90% of the time telling them we will file with the credit agencies produces a lot of noise and eventually a check, threat of a lien (if it goes that far) does the same... don't back down, just say "don't pay and find out". For lawn care, I haven't had to file but one time with credit reporting agencies and have filed one lien. Guy was broke, oh well.

    On the irrigation side we have threatened on numerous occasions and have filed liens, particularly against HOA's run by the residents. It's been very successively in shaking loose money.

    Threatening peoples credit really shakes a lot of them up. Even if our legal footing is shaky, the mess it causes in their personal or business finances is enough to get them to cough up.

    The know they owe you the money. They just think just because we are lawn turds they can walk on us. Don't let them, you'll never do business with these guys again anyway.

    It really pi$$es me off that they think they can just shaft me because I run a property maintenance business and presumed not smart enough to stand up to them. :gunsfirin
  5. MR-G

    MR-G LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 479

    we wont start service for any residentials without them first opening a billing acct....what this means is we keep their credit/debit card info on file and we run card just before any servicing is done....if the card is declined we will call and try to get a good card to run....if not we skip and move on.....
  6. ztman

    ztman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,115

    FYI, you cant legally place a mechanics lien on a property in PA for landscaping services. :nono:
  7. Greg78

    Greg78 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,010

    You can't legally in FL place a lien on a property for lawn services such as mowing, shrub or tree trimming. It has to improve or add value to a property such as a paver patio install, shrub installation, palm tree installation or sod install.

    The cases are Legault v. Suncoast Lawn Services, Inc., 486 So. 2d 72 (Fla. 4th DCA 1986) and Parc Central Aventura East Condominium v. Victoria Group Services, LLC, 54 So. 3d 532 (Fla. 3d DCA 2011)

    Florida law requires that in order to have lien rights, the contractor (lienor) must have “improved” the property.
    Improved is defined as (Section 713.01(14)):
    “…build, erect, place, make, alter, remove, repair, or demolish any improvement over, upon, connected with, or beneath the surface of real property, or excavate any land, or furnish materials for any of these purposes, or perform any labor or services upon the improvements, including the furnishing of carpet or rugs or appliances that are permanently affixed to the real property and final construction cleanup to prepare a structure for occupancy; or perform any labor or services or furnish any materials in grading, seeding, sodding, or planting for landscaping purposes, including the furnishing of trees, shrubs, bushes, or plants that are planted on the real property, or in equipping any improvement with fixtures or permanent apparatus or provide any solid-waste collection or disposal on the site of the improvement.”
    If the question remains after reading that definition, the 4th District Court of Appeals has provided an example upon which to provide more criteria for analysis. In Legault vs. Suncoast Lawn Service, Inc., (April 9, 1986) the Court stated that “an improvement, in order to support a mechanic’s [contractor] lien, must result in a permanent benefit to the land or the real property [building].” From the facts in that case, the contractor had mowed the property owner’s lawn and trimmed their shrubbery, and thereafter filed a lien for “lawn service.” The Court found that, although planting for landscaping purposes may be a permanent improvement, landscape maintenance services did not.
  8. ztman

    ztman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,115

    Great recitation of Fl law, but that doesnt have anything to do with Pa mechanics lien
  9. Greg78

    Greg78 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,010

    We're in the "FLORIDA LAWN CARE FORUM" So what does PA law have to do with FL?
  10. ztman

    ztman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,115

    My original comment was directed to Jvanvliet's post where he said he liened a FL and a PA property. You may be able to do it in FL, but not in PA. You are right in FL, PA is behind the times on many things. Our local police cannot even use radar. You should be able to lien for landscape work, but you cant.

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