uneasy about a commercial account

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Set Apart Lawn Care, Feb 21, 2012.

  1. Set Apart Lawn Care

    Set Apart Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Messages: 192

    I am a little apprehensive about taking this commercial job. It would be my first time working for an apartment complex and dealing with a 3rd party property management company and not the owner of a property. I am required to sign a document stating the property management company is not liable for any payment, that any payments from them are as representatives of the owner, which of course I understand that they dont want me to sue them if I have trouble getting paid.

    This is a one time leaf removal job, otherwise I would give them a standard yearly contract

    I am trying to figure out the best way to protect myself legally, so my question is what kind of document and what should that document say to have the property management company sign in order to best protect myself?

    A couple things that came to mind to have in there are the actual owner of the property's name, and a signature stating that the person hiring me to do the work does indeed have the authority to hire me on behalf of the owner.

    Any thoughts? This pm oversees 4 propertys and his company has atleast 20 in me area so it would could be a good foot in the door if it is a good business decision.
  2. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,983

    When something is to good to be true then it ususlly is not.

    Listen to your gut. When you have to start signing your rights away it's the first step to getting screwed.

    The company that wants to hire you doesn't want to be liable to have to pay you.

    Get a mirror.

    Go see this PM co.

    Let the PM co see you look in the mirror and then ask: where does it say I'm stupid on my face?
  3. Dr.NewEarth

    Dr.NewEarth LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,476

    Let us know where you are located.

    I think you should look up your states? provinces? laws regarding contracting, builders lien or mechanics lien.

    When I put a lien on a property, there is a filing fee that goes to a lawyer and then there is also a filing fee for each owner of the subject property.

    So, a family home may have the mom and dad listed as owners.

    An HOA can have a hundred owners in the association and because they share the common property and those costs, every one of them will have a lien on their house. No-one can sell until the lien is paid.

    The property manager is acting as a legal agent for the actual owner. If you have to put a lien on the subject property, the rightful owner will be found by the lawyer and issued the lien.

    Where I am, a builders lien must be filed within 45 days of issuing the invoice.
    So, if some-one hasn't paid by thirty days and we're confident that they won't pay on time or at all...then we have to move fast to give the lawyer time to search and file the proper paperwork.
  4. bls47303

    bls47303 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 354

    Its been my experiance in the past that if something dosent seam right when you first talk to them just to back away and tell them your not interested. Ive learned this after having a funny feeling about 2 accounts and getting burned by both of them. If its a one time job they shouldnt have any problems having you complete the job and pay you after completion.
  5. CircleC

    CircleC LawnSite Senior Member
    from NW
    Messages: 309

    Why don't they have someone already working on the property. Are you going to get the maintenance contract? Maybe that is a sign of how things have gone. If anything, do the work and bill as normal. If they don't pay just start preading the word that they don't pay their bills. OR you could have them pay you before the job is completed.
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  6. dKoester

    dKoester LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,395

    Your gut= always right.
  7. stevenf

    stevenf LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,612

    I have dealt with apartments in the past. You will get your money but it must be worth the wait. You will spend alot of time and pointless phone calls trying to get it....
    If its not enough for you to go to court over, then its not enough for a one time job with contractors or property management companies. Or any other company that you cannot get a hand written check from the person in charge.
  8. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,208

    my contract for an apartment complex reads: "By signing below the signer represents that he/she has the legal authoirty to bind the Owner/Tenant to this contract:" This is signed by the supervisor of the maintenance company for the complex.

    Get whomever IS responsible to pay you to sign it. In other words if they aren't going to be paying you demand to deal with whoevr is. its as simple as that.

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