Thinking about turning down rentals


LawnSite Bronze Member
salem or
getting frustrated with rental properties-
single level, row 6 plex with 50 foot oak tree and 7" grass, owner wants leaves off roof and leaf cleanup.

Bid= $375

owner; "what?!? I was thinking more like a hundred bucks!"( :laugh: )

me: "between dumping, fuel, and labor, it will cost me about a hundred dollars just to get rid of the leaves"

owner; "well I could get a kid and pay him $15/hr and be at $100!" (really?)

me: "ok, sorry we couldn't help, keep us in mind for future projects"

seriously, a kid? why didn't' you find a kid in the first place? instead of googleing legitimate companies and wasting our time?

this is a small example of stuff i deal with in rentals, seriously thinking of telling people on the phone "sorry, we aren't currently accepting rentals"

anyone feel like this, I know I just need to grind it out but all they're thinking about is cash coming in to cash going out- the bottom line and there's plenty of under the table fellas if they look hard enough.:)

Patriot Services

LawnSite Fanatic
Tampa FL
Sure and when little Johnny Scrubbenstein falls off the roof and sues your price will seem like a bargain. Where does he think Johnny is going to put the leaves?
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LawnSite Platinum Member
What's the kid going to use to clean up the leaves? A rake? Who's going to take for 7-8 hours? Most kids won't help out at their home let alone some one else. Kids are too lazy. I have gotten several mowing customer this last year because the kid down the street isn't that dependable.
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LawnSite Bronze Member
Vancouver Canada
Personally, I wouldn't say " we're not taking any rentals" Be a bit more diplomatic. Word of mouth may spread and you could lose out on a real sweet job in the future.

Perhaps if you can get an e-mail address during the interview and before you leave tell them you have to calculate this back at your office and you'll get back to them quickly. It might be easier to write a rejection letter to the rental property than telling them in person.

Start out positive with a compliment like...."Thank-you for taking the time to show me around your property. You have a beautiful yard".........then tell them that "due to insurance and safety requirements you're unable to accomodate them at this time."

You should try to avoid negatives in your message. Don't say we don't service rentals, or we don't like guys with a pita attitude.

I also wonder about any-body going onto a roof to do work, particularly in the "FALL". Does your insurance cover you for that height? Aren't you supposed to be wearing a harness too?

Our workers compensation insurance covers landscapers up to a height of twelve feet off of the ground. If an employee gets hurt, I can be looking at Scores of thousands of dollars in fines and charges.

Unfortunately some people just don't respect a landscapers hard work.


Start out positive with a compliment like...."Thank-you for taking the time to show me around your property. You have a beautiful yard".........then tell them that "due to insurance and safety requirements you're unable to accomodate them at this time." - Seriously, DONT BE A PUSSY.


I own rentals and i do 100% of the work myself so i know how you feel. Let me tell you, you did the right thing and responded the right way. Lots of times when people tell me when they can get this for, that for..... i just say ok no problem. Thank you and best of luck. You can always call if it doesn't work out.

tony b

LawnSite Member
It s funny one of my best accounts is an apartment complex. At first the owner acted like they always wanted something for nothing. We had a contract for the season so i stuck to it and did my job. The second season they renewed the contract but more of the same wanting extras for free, but as we got to know each other better and years passed they backed off. Now they have became a friend as well as a client and stated they could never imagine using anyone else. Funny how things work out.


LawnSite Senior Member
There is a reason people rent... I don't deal with rental properties, unless I know the landlord and he is paying. The people who live in a rental are, usually, not always, trash.


LawnSite Bronze Member
salem or
well, even the landlords want to spend the least amount of money.

I already tell people on the phone " sorry, we are currently only accepting year round accounts", or "I'm sorry we are currently only accepting weekly maintenance accounts" of any of my best accounts in the past, none were rentals.

and I keep rushing out to give an estimate, only to have the place already done when I get there or similar.

it's tempting to (humbly and gently) explain to them that they went through the most expensive channels for finding an LCO and that we simply can't compete with little Timmy next door, but I would be attempting to fix ignorance.

the one that really gets me is the occasional; " well why don't you just send me a couple of guys?, and I'll pay them $10 an hour"

........seriously?... right now. if there's any indication it's a rental I schedule the est. for when I'm already in the area.

I know, I know, it's all part of it. I'm just sharing my frustrations with people who can relate:waving: