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Signing " their " contracts/agrrements

Going Commercial

LawnSite Member
Location
Buffalo NY
In regard to Commercial Properties like small apartment associations,senior living, and property management companies who lease to tenants. I have my own contracts/agreements that I use. I am seeing more of the Commercial Property Owners or Landlords are requiring us as a landscape and snowplow contractors to sign their contract that they provide or they will not use our services. My ? is, do you sign their contracts? Thanks for any replys!
 

stevenf

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Louisiana
I have two commercials right now which are my first contract accounts.
They required I sign a contract as well. I read over it myself and noticed a small section saying that they could cancel at anytime with 30 day written notice. I did not include any cancellation in my contract. I brought both papers to my lawyer and he told me that I should not include a cancellation term on my contract. If I dont include it and they want to cancel anyway, they will have to prove damages otherwise could end up paying the entire years worth of service.

Odds are, if you have there contract in your hand, it means you won the bid. If you are that far into the bidding process, you might as well bring there contract to your lawyer just to be safe.
 
OP
G

Going Commercial

LawnSite Member
Location
Buffalo NY
I have not even submitted my proposal at this point. These commercial accounts asked me to submit bids for multiple properties. They sent me a landscape & snowplowing specification sheet that outlines what they want and expect along with a copy of their contracts they require me to sign if I was awarded the business. Should I ask or expect them to sign my contract as well? Thanks
 

MarcSmith

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Washington DC
I had to sign their contracts as well, but my contract was always included as an attachment and became part of their contract. so even if they did not sign my contract when they signed their contract with my contract as an attachment they are essentially signing your contract as well... The key thing to look for on commercial contracts is payment terms, cancellation clauses, and # of visits. I had one add a line in their contract that specified I would be on site every week. I had them change the verbiage to i would visit the site 52x a year... which by the time I did squirt/fert, mow, shrubs, parking lot sweeps I ended up exceeding that number...but I did not want to get cornered into being on site every week...

fwiw we make all contractors sign our contract here on campus but their contract is part of the attachments...
 

mikeny

LawnSite Member
Location
Saratoga, NY
As far as should they sign your contract too, NO you should never have 2 contracts for on job. Most of the time if not all the time our comm. acts have a "boiler plate" contract that is used when ever they hire a contractor, any deviations from that are handled with an addendum or change order.
 

stevenf

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Louisiana
As far as should they sign your contract too, NO you should never have 2 contracts for on job. Most of the time if not all the time our comm. acts have a "boiler plate" contract that is used when ever they hire a contractor, any deviations from that are handled with an addendum or change order.
I disagree. There contract is designed to protect them just as yours is designed to protect you. There is nothing wrong with signing both as long as the two contracts dont contradict each other on some of the terms.
 
OP
G

Going Commercial

LawnSite Member
Location
Buffalo NY
My contract states the terms of payment, sheduling, and things of that nature along with the basics. Their contract states what they want and expect but does not mention anything about payments. Theirs does state that in the event we do not have snow cleared by their deadline they will back-charge us $300 if they have to send someone out. Theirs also states they can terminate at their sole discretion on 3 days notice, which would suck if you have salt or other products purchased for their properties. I just want to cover my butt! I have heard how both parties contracts become an attachment to each other.
 

stevenf

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Louisiana
I dont think there is anyway around that, just a chance on the people you are dealing with.
The contract that I signed said that they would charge a 1% per day if the job wasnt completed in the time frame given. My contract said the typical " In the event of weather or unforseen circumstances, the work would be scheduled on the next available date." I am no lawyer but it seems to me that your contract would hold up over theres in that area.

I would just go to a lawyer with your contract and theres.Tell him what worries you about there contract. My lawyer was only $50.00 an hour and I got all of my answers within 30 minutes.

Also,my lawyer told me that you can write (of cause) next to there cancellation term and have you and the other party sign your signatures. This will ensure that they need a reason for cancellation and require proof(pictures, witnesses). That way they cant just cancel last minute for no reason.
 

JohnGalt

LawnSite Member
Location
Terre Haute, IN
Remember, these property managers generally don't want any more hassle than we do. They are getting enough hassle from their tenants. More often than not, that contract they want you to sign is coming from their parent company, two states away. Sign their contract, do the work you told them you would do for the price you said you would do it, and you shouldn't have a problem.
 
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