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Changing around my contracts and would like to pick your brain.....

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by Mick76, Mar 1, 2010.

  1. Mick76

    Mick76 2000 Club Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,157

    I've got a contract drawn up by a lawyer but it (believe it or not) doesn't cover as much as the contacts that SIMA gives its members... My question to you, did YOU use your own contract, one drawn up by a lawyer, one of the SIMA's contracts or maybe a mixture of them all? And why did you choose the contract you did? I'm really trying to draw up a bullet proof contract (cya while still being professional) and would like to see what other professionals have done. And please don't comment on this thread unless you have experience with contracts. I don't want to hear your opinion if you don't have the experience.
    * Sorry if I offended anyone on the last statement but I want to hear from experienced people only.

    Thanks for your time!

    MIDTOWNPC PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,556

    if you have found additional things you want to add to your contract and an laywer has already made one I personally would bring it up with your laywer. after all they would be the one looking after the case if there was a problem. I have really no experience with having a contract of mine tested on a case however I dont know that I could get any of my customers to sign a bulletproof contract.
    no matter what the contract says, there is always a way for someone to sue or challenge it. if someone has enough money, they may just do it to make you ante up.

    court is totally different game and if you have never been i would suggest you view a few even if they have nothing to do with snow. I was amazed.
  3. Pristine PM ltd

    Pristine PM ltd PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,891

    We originally received a contract from a property management company. Over the years we took the best parts of contracts from management companies and made our own which we felt covered the necessary information and was fair the both sides. There are many management companies using old contracts that don't actually make sense anymore (pesticide regulations, modes of work that nobody uses anymore) and we sign them because they are such hard companies to work with that it is often easier to just have an understanding with the manager that their contract is wrong then to go through the bs of fixing it. We try and use ours, but often are told that we have to use theirs. It is annoying, but we want the work.

    The truth is that even if someone were to sign your contract and it clearly said that you are not responsible for any slip and falls, you still would get dragged into it and have to deal with the lawsuit. The laws are on the side of the "victims" always, and it is one of those times when you are guilty till proven innocent.
  4. Mick76

    Mick76 2000 Club Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,157

    Thanks for the responses guys....

    MidTown, Usually I do have to sign their contracts but this year was different... alot of accounts signed mine (very unusual) .. I know the contract isn't a sure bet by any means and realize I'd get dragged into something no matter what I did... I understand that, I'm just trying to "tweak' the contract to have a stronger contract. I've done the court thing a few time (non plow related) Been sued and sued someone in small claims (damn tenants!) anyway nothings a sure thing in court and judges can "bend" the laws as they see fit to do so......

    Pristine, I agree just looking to strengthen mine
  5. TCLA

    TCLA 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,707

    Obviously it won't be "bullet proof".

    Don't make it unfriendly with a lot of "lawyer speak" that the layman can't understand....it really isn't necessary. Pristines suggestion is good....it's always easier to edit than it is to create. Take bits and pieces of other contracts to help create or revise yours. Of course add specific things that you have run across in the past that have become problems...one that comes to mind for a residential contract would be not being responsible for landscape lighting, yard art or plantings immediately along driveway edges that will be plowed with a truck where the natural snow discharge will to go. Sometimes it's ok to leave some things vague.....this can work in your favor.

    We have a separate contract for residentials, and one for commercials that address different issues. Often you will have to sign the clients contract.

    Don't make it so one sided either. Put something in there that states you will be responsible for neglect on you part, and give a few examples.

    Good luck to you.