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Severability clause in contract

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by greenman, Apr 12, 2003.

  1. greenman

    greenman LawnSite Addict
    Messages: 1,405

    The Severability clause in the LawnCareSuccess contract. What does that mean?

    Severability. If any provision of this Contract will be held to be invalid or unenforceable for any reason, including by a court of law, the remaining provisions will continue to be valid and enforceable.

    I hope I can post that clause on LS, if not, I apologize.

    I have a client, that does not know what this means, and, frankly, neither do I. She wants it taken out. I told her that I would take it out.
  2. adrianvbarrera

    adrianvbarrera LawnSite Member
    Messages: 163

    That is simple.

    It means that if for example you state that you will mow her lawn for $35 and trim her shrubs for $65 and for some unknown reason you find out that her shrubs are an endangered species and you can not trim them......then you and her are still under contract to do the lawn for the $35.

  3. greenman

    greenman LawnSite Addict
    Messages: 1,405

    Ok, thanks. I dont need that clause in the contract ( for this property anyway).
  4. Turf Medic

    Turf Medic LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,073

    It might also allow you to sell the contract to another LCO if the need should arise, or at least allow you to sub out work.
  5. adrianvbarrera

    adrianvbarrera LawnSite Member
    Messages: 163

    BUT we do.

    Remember Contracts are for when the Ch1t hits that fan....most of us will go...well I have great customers I don't need that in there.

    Let me tell you why it is needed.
    If something is found invalid on your agreement and your whole agreement is VOID....then you have to return the money you got paid for the services that you did because there was never any valid contract stating that you were going to get paid.
    REMEMBER at this point of the game your customers will not be a nice as they are right now.

    If my customers do not want to sign an agreement with that clause then I need to get a better customer. There really should be no alarm from a customer for that clause. It is just stating that your contract might not be perfect but because of that any imperfection will not void the entire contract. BUT then again if this is your biggest account then you might have a different approach.

    Just my thoughts.

  6. LawnLad

    LawnLad LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 738

    As Adrian said.

    Ours reads more like - "Illegal provisions not effecting legal provisions: "Whatever item in the Agreement is found to be contrary to any local, state or federal law shall be considered null and void, just as it it had never appeared in the Agreement, and it shall not affect the validity of any other item in the this Agreement".

    THis protects you if you've got something you shouldn't have in your contract. As laws and precedents change you may not be up on what you can or can't have worded in your agreement. This is CYA clause that will make sure you don't accidently throw your contract out the window inadvertently.
  7. Meier

    Meier LawnSite Senior Member
    from DFW
    Messages: 269

    ++++If my customers do not want to sign an agreement with that clause then I need to get a better customer. There really should be no alarm from a customer for that clause.++++

    I totally agree with Adrian on this point. When you start negotiationg with the customer on points like this, you are making your service more and more like "Little Tommie down the street" instead of like a professional business.

    Think of it this way: If you called a plumber to your house and even though you knew it was a small operation, would you start nit-picking his standard contractual form? Would you feel just a little like an *** if you started hounding the poor guy about his standard contract? I would.

    I don't nit pick contracts like this. Most reasonable people don't even read my contracts before they sign. Maybe on a mortgage or something, but not on something like this. Unless you knocked on their door or telemarketed your services and basically force fed this sale down their throat, I think this customer is being completely unreasonable. This customer called you and asked you to maintain his/her lawn. For the customer to then start nit-picking your standard contract...well, I just thing that's pretty arrogant.

    I'd seriously consider walking away from a customer who nit-picked something like that. That prospect, in my opinion, just isn't showing you enough respect. You've got to differentiate yourself from Little Tommie. Be professional. The big players, the professional players, in any industry, wouldn't allow customers to start scratching out sentences in any of their contracts. Neither should we.

    In this instance, I'd recommend going back to the customer and explaining why that sentence is there, and that it's there for a good reason. Stand your ground and ask for the business, but politely insist that the business be done on your terms. If you allow them to scratch that sentence out, you're setting a standard for yourself that basically lowers your own sense of self worth. If you allow this customer to bully you into a compromise, you'll likely find that you continually allow customers to bully you.

    Project yourself like a big business, charge like a big business & be successful like a big business. That's my goal.

    DFW, TX
  8. bushwoods1

    bushwoods1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 101

    I totaly agree with this. I had a potential client look over my contract and said it all looked good, and had no problems with it. Then after a couple of days called back to get referals. NO Problem. I did. Three days after that I get the contract back with no signature, and with lines scratched out and he writes in the spring clean out and mulch has to be put in within two days. Yea Right!!

    It gets better.
    After I called him to say that would not be possible due to the spring rush, and he needs to sign the contract before any work, He states he wants the clean out and mulch done first, and if he likes the job, he'll sign the contract.

    He did call a number of my referals, as many of them contacted me to let me know this, and got good reports from all of them.

    After going back and forth, I told him to take a hike and quit wasting my time.

    Just when you think you've met all the idiots in the village, someone else comes along and wants to be King.

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