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Demanding HOA

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by ivyhill1, Dec 17, 2007.

  1. ivyhill1

    ivyhill1 Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    This is kind of related to the back and forth with the carwash owner. I have some board members of a large HOA that are gun shy from the big ice that central PA got last year (it burned up their budget in 4 days with a month left in the season). I have a nice solid, signed contract through the property management company with a 2 inch trigger and all reporting decisions left up to me and my sub, who runs my equipment on the site.
    After a lame 3-4" inches 2 weeks ago, a board member called me (on my sub's cell phone!!) and informed me that we were doing a good job but "didn't need to be plowing" and from now on should only show up when called by the HOA. I explained that that is not the contract that they agreed to and he sort of insisted. Then I got an email from the property management company asking for justification of the work and I pointed to the 2 inch trigger. Then he asked who I spoke to at the board.
    So now I'm stuck in the middle a bit, and need to clean this up gracefully. I think that I need to write an addendum to the contract allowing the HOA to make all the calls but very clearly taking any responsibility of reporting decisions or arrival times from me AND placing all liability for these decisions and an unsafe site on the HOA. It'll still be a money maker if I do this because they will wait out a storm rather than call me and then I'll have to have to take twice the time $$, use twice the product $$$ and u$e larger equipment $$$$. I just would like to know how forceful to be in the revised contract language to ensure that I'm not on the hook for their decisions without getting canned altogether. If I'm not crystal clear then I know it'll burn me later. Any thoughts?
  2. Young Pup

    Young Pup PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,522

    Thought I would add one other thing to the response from the previous thread this was in. I deleted some of it cause you started your own thread. The other I was going to mentioned, the hoa put a time restriction in the contract saying I needed to be there within a set time to perform services. I said yeah right, you want me to drop all my others accounts that I am working on to come to you. I don't think so. So be very careful of what they want from you.

    On edit, you have a signed contract by a board member. Hold them to it. Don't back down.

    First welcome to plowsite. Second no way no how would I let them make the call. I had a hoa that wanted to do just that and I said thanks but no thanks. No matter what you will still be held liable.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2007
  3. tjlands

    tjlands Senior Member
    Messages: 579

    Sounds like the perfect time to sign them for a seasonal multi year deal, very good for them and hopefully something you would entertain. HOA's are always worried about their budget.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2007
  4. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo Senior Member
    from nw ohio
    Messages: 115

    hold them to the contract,

    for one its the principle of the thing, second...its your reputation at stake, i dont know how long you have been in business, but i wouldnt want to get to be known as the guy who get manipulated.........

    and the other guys are right, you are still liable, hell its in my contract that they cant sue me, but in the long run, i am still liable too... just the way it works , i just hope that some one would think, hey i cant sue him its in a contract i signed, but if they investigate further......

    luck ..:drinkup:
  5. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    There is no way you want the "I'll call you" deal. Way too many potential problems. First, just think about it. They want this in an attempt to save money - Do you think they'll go along with the "twice the time $$, use twice the product $$$ and u$e larger equipment $$$$"? Hell, no. They're wanting the same end result for less money. In other words - Push it all at once for what the 2" push would cost. You think the provisions of your contract would dictate the cost? No, you've already shown that you'll ignore the contract. You think they'll take responsibility? Not going to happen and any judge in the country will hold you responsible for your "professional" actions (or lack thereof). Bottom line - I'd tell them to go by the contract or pay me what you owe me and find someone else.
  6. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,760

    what Mick said.

    on call's aren't worth it, and as he said they'll want it for cheap.

    Tell the property manager (ignore the board ) either to abide by the contract and you'll continue to do your good job. That's what they signed, they should hold up to it. But you don't want a client that doesn't want you, who needs it?

    Perhaps there needs to be a breakup fee in these contracts. (like they do in big financial deals). You can get out, but it costs some money. Which isn't unreasonable, because you have guys to pay, insurance to pay, equipment purchased, etc and it's unlikely you'll be able to put it to work this late in the season.
    They should pay you for their trouble, everything is negotiable.

    make sure you remove them as a named insured from your insurance if you do go your seperate ways, and put EVERYTHING in writing. (we are releasing you from this contract as of this date because it's too expensive blah blah blah). You'll need that when someone slips and they try to go after you.
  7. Kramer

    Kramer Senior Member
    Messages: 386

    You're not their maid, and you're not on call either....you're a professional snow management company so tell them its your way or the highway...believe me if you cave in they will ask for more and more.....

    Stick to youre contract and be firm with the fact that you are liable and you're not taaking on that kind of risk....more importantly, you have other customers that will suffer because they will wait till theres 14" and then call and ultimately complain...don't make your other good customers suffer for thesemis-managed losers---if theres not enough money in their budget, what msakes them any different then the homeowner who gets behind and cant pay?? Its NOT your problem.

    FYI, I had a guy yesterday demanding that I be at his place at a certain time--- I told him to forget it---in the end he still is a customer.

    Ive got a prop manager who I will be telling the same thing to in a few minutes---if she walks, fine--- I just keep thinking of my good customers when these self absorbed people start demanding things....theres always more work out there....remember one thing , they wont get anyone else to sign up to that except a scrub so let them have that and the liability that goes with it.
  8. Plowin in VT

    Plowin in VT Senior Member
    Messages: 233

    You said it all right there, so keep up your end of the contract. If they don't like it, they can fire you AFTER paying you for the rest of the season. If they do not, you can take them to court for the total amount due.

    The only way that you will not be liable for a slip/fall is if it is not your acct. Sure it's expensive for them to pay you to salt, but so are lawsuits. Remind them that after someone sues you, they'll be going after the HOA and the board members personally for hiring some incompetant hack! Scum like this will sue their own mother if they think they can make a buck.

    Good luck!
  9. ivyhill1

    ivyhill1 Junior Member
    Messages: 5


    Thanks to all of you who responded with advice. I've been mulling it over for the past couple of days and I'm sticking with the contract and if they don't like it, well that's too bad. Thanks again!
  10. tjlands

    tjlands Senior Member
    Messages: 579

    Wow you guys are tough.
    You did say it was a LARGE HOA, so it must be worth at least trying.
    Set up a face to face with the board and the management company, straighten it out
    quickly or you might lose a Large customer. Just explain to them your "job" procedures etc.
    Maybe they just don't understand proper snow removal procedures. Explaining it in person always helps.
  11. ivyhill1

    ivyhill1 Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    Ultimately, I think the majority is right on this one. I left out my other relationship with this HOA, as the property maintenance company for 3 years with another already signed for. There is always an unhappy board member who happens to be quick to pick up the phone. I've dealt with him before and talked him back to his senses, so I think I can make him/ them see the wisdom of letting me do my job. I may be a rookie in some respects, but the combined knowledge and ability of my company and my sub contractors would be silly for the HOA to walk away from at this point in the winter season. Besides, like Plowin in VT says, I've already got it my way IN WRITING, so why let them change the rules now?

    CARDOCTOR PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,312

    i wouldnt allow them to put me on a on call basis however perhaps you can change your trigger from 2" to 3" and shift liability on the HOA. find out when the board meets and see if you can set up a meeting with the board. might be that only one member has a problem with you contract.