Should you add this clause to your lawn care contracts?

There are times where a clause in a lawn care contract can really help better explain a process a home owner is agreeing to with a lawn service provider but there are other times where clauses can wildly spin out of control and cause more problems than they solve. Here is a great discussion on this topic from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum highlight the point further.

One lawn care business owner wrote “lately I have been thinking more about the question of purchasing mowing customers from another lawn care business. From all this thought I may have come up with a possible solution. In some contracts you sign, such as your mortgage or when you finance a car, they include a clause in it that gives them the right to sell your contract to another service provider.

Lawn care contract.

Lawn care contract.

So then it got me to wonder what if you were to put a clause in your lawn care contract that gives you the right to sell that contract or service to another mowing company? Would this give your customer list more value if you should decide to sell it? Could you also knock down the value of a customer list purchase from a lawn care company if they didn’t have such a clause in their lawn care contract?

Without such a clause the customers would not have to stick with the new owner because the mowing contract they may have had was between them and the previous service provider, not you.

While you are at it, should you also add a clause in your lawn care contract that allows you to subcontract out jobs if the need should arise? You might need this if your equipment broke down and the job had to get done so you called a competitor and paid them to cut the lawn. Or you might need this if you were asked to perform other services you don’t normally offer. Say for instance pressure washing. I would think it would be better to make 10-20% on a service you subcontracted out than 0% by telling the customer you don’t offer it.”

A second business owner said “you can add anything you want to your contracts, whether they will hold up in court when tested is another matter.

The thing about adding a clause in your lawn care contract that tells the customer you have the right to sell their service contract, is that it has no bite or penalty if the customer cancels service once you sell them to another mowing company. If the customer does cancel service, it’s not like the new owner of the contract is going to be able to report them to a credit agency and hurt their credit rating. You also can’t repossess a lawn that has already been mowed like you can a house if a mortgage isn’t paid or a car loan isn’t paid.

As far as the sub-contracting clause goes, if you are going to sub-contract a service out, you are probably going to want to let the property owner know what you are doing. They wouldn’t appreciate having someone they didn’t know and didn’t invite onto their property without being given a heads up. Just a little communication with the customer before hand can avoid a lot of problems later. A clause in a contract is not a substitute for a phone call.”

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