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What to do with apartments

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by M&G lawn, Oct 5, 2005.

  1. M&G lawn

    M&G lawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 5

    I have a appartment complex that we service. Just signed a new contract on Aug. 1 for a 1 year period. The appartments were bought by new owners about 2 months before we got the contract signed. The manager just called and said the owners want to change lawn services, because they got a cheaper bid. In the contract it states that in order to cancell the contract a 60 day writtin notice has to be given. It also states that within those 60 days we have a opportunity to correct any problems in order for us to complete the contract. The manager says she has no issues and she doesn't no what they are talking about. She is very happy with our service, We have been cutting it for 1 year now. What can I do if they try and stop the contract? The have never complained about anything and the complex looks good.
  2. newz7151

    newz7151 LawnSite Silver Member
    from Tejas
    Messages: 2,419

    Hmm... I say talk to the owners directly and make them aware of the cancellation stipulations in the signed contract. Is there a monetary penalty to be paid for cancellation of the contract without going through the 60 days notice?

    Also, if the "you get what you pay for" saying starts to apply after the cheaper bid takes over and they call wanting you back tell em you are like the red and blue wire on a bomb.. you only get one chance to make the right choice.
  3. M&G lawn

    M&G lawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 5

    No buy out on the 60 days on the contract, but I'm going to keep servicing the account until I get the cancellation letter. I will service the account for the entire 60 days, just to get the money. The new owners seem a little shady to me.
  4. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,281

    Offer to meet the other bid. If you are on a 12 month contract and have essentially done all the mows for the year then you should get more than just two months pay. Sometimes when these guys understand what they need to get out of the contract they might change their mind. Keep working the GM of the unit to help you...tell him/her you will pay them $200 if they will help you get the contract. On the other hand if the new owner has a friend that is in lawn business you won't win.
  5. J Hisch

    J Hisch LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 952

    I dont feel it is very professional to solicit business by offering someone a kickback. What if someone did this sort of thing to your company. I think it is shady.....
  6. M&G lawn

    M&G lawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 5

    Thanks guys. It's weird we cut the complex all last year and even got a contract renewal for another year. The new owners are out of state and I had a meeting with the new supervisor at the apartments complex to go over the grounds he never showed up. I think they just want a cheaper price and is going with a friend to do it. The contract was signed on 1 aug never had a complaint from the manager.
  7. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    Sorry to hear that.... it sucks.... but it happens.

    My guess is you are out of a job there. I've seen much of the similar politics that go on with 'tier managed' properties of all sorts. To be honest, this is my #1 renewal killer on commercial properties.

    Much of what I have been reading on here lately has had me in a 'stir' so to speak. I've spoke out about some issues lately and I'm about to do it again.... My advice to you is this....

    First, chalk this loss up as a learning experience and make sure you learn from it.

    Second, make a mental note that this sort of crap is to be expected of all properties managed in any such manner and be prepared for it to happen, because it is going to. Has nothing to do with you or the services you provide, just management politics.

    Third, since you will now come to expect this, I strongly suggest you re-draft your contract into something that is worth the paper it is written on.... even if that requires hiring an attorney. I have recently came to the conclusion that a large majority of owners in this industry use contracts that are almost basically pointless.

    Fourth, also make it a point to draft a supplement to your contract, tailor made to address mid-season contracting dates. You need to do that for your own protection or refuse them outright. You may ask why?.... but I am afraid you are about to learn all about it first hand, especially if this property is of any size.

    I have a supplement I use to protect me.... even in the event of non-renewal. Yes I understand lots of places have odd physical years, such as August 1 - July 31.... and they have a proposed budget for that time frame.... which in all honesty is seldom adhered to down to the letter. But that's cool and I have no problems with that.... afterall, I have to budget as well.

    So since we are no different in that respect, what I do have a problem with is getting hung out to dry due to the fact my business is totally seasonal in nature. In other words, I don't want to go through what you are about to, or find out sometime late in July that a big job is not going to renew again on August 1st.... putting a gap in my schedule and budget for the remaining 4 months of the season that will be hard to fill due to time of year.

    It's not an impossible point to sell... in fact it is very rather matter of fact when properly negotiated. I have sold it, and also collected from it as well.
  8. specialtylc

    specialtylc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,656

    Since there is a new owner, your contract is now worthless.
  9. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    I'm not sure that subject even applies on this one....
    Forgot already which happened first....
    The renewal of the contract or change of ownership...

    Either way though, if a contract is properly worded, the original signature on it binds that party to the contract... and they are still responsible for payment.

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