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Legal insight: business closes but still owned by same Company

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by DeereGuy, Feb 23, 2005.

  1. DeereGuy

    DeereGuy Senior Member
    Messages: 346

    I Plow a Comm. Lot owned by a Chain of Hardware Stores. Half the lot is leased to another retailer of truck caps and trailers. The Hardware store is closed for business as of 8 weeks ago but the property has not changed hands. I now receive payment from the Realty branch of the business of the same name. They own the prop. My contract is with "the property owner and/or Auth. agent", in this case the past store mgr.

    So the store closes and the truck cap retailer has tons of mdse brought in and pretty much covers the parking area. I approach them and ask them to consolidate the equipment so I can resume snow operations . They get mad and go on and on about how much they pay etc.

    I take pictures as I have been doing all along, email them to the person in charge who sends my payment and she states that the store mgr who signed my contract was out of line and that the lease agreement only allows for the leasee to do their own plow subcontracting. In fact, I was not supposed to have been contracted to do both sides; only the Hardware store side. Beyond that she states that the Cap place has not paid anything in the last two seasons that I have done their lot. So now the prop owners are 1. going to invoice the leasee for their portion. 2. They have sent me info telling me where the dividing line is and what I am allowed to plow. 3 Asked the leasee to remove all product from the hardware side.

    All of this info because I want to know:

    1. Is my contract still valid? Both parties thus far have abided by the specs.

    2.Is the detailed info and directions on future plowing enough. Is this an amendment in itself if I agree to it. I did state to the person in charge that the pricing(by the inch in 6" intervals) would stay the same.

    I have already been paid by this other branch of the company and if business continues as normal other than amending areas that are to be plowed shouldn't this be proof that the contract is still binding. It's kind of late to be paying a lawyer and I really don't need any more expenses this year. I think that I should just keep plowing and billing them until April 30th or they stop paying me. What do the experts think.

    Also for future reference, How do you know that your contract has been signed by an Authorized agent of Company Z?
  2. pbeering

    pbeering Senior Member
    Messages: 266

    Amend your contract (for the future) to include a representation by the signer that he/she has the authority to execute it.

    As for the other, so long as you get paid by the property owner, don't sweat it, leave it to them to hassle with the cap folks. They are likely to be annoyed that in effect you ratted them out, so don't be surprised if they are difficult. I'd buy the cap outfit's manager a cup of coffee in a week or so.
  3. DeereGuy

    DeereGuy Senior Member
    Messages: 346


    So, if I understand, I should put a statement in the contract stating that the undersigned has the authority to create a binding contract for said Company. Is this what you mean?

    I have conducted myself in a professional manner always with these folks going beyond the contract specs most of the time. The person, who is new to this Cap store came up from a boston store. He made it very clear that he is not my friend in a in your face personal way. To me, this is business. If I can't complete the job to the contract specs, that I am bound to, then the contract is void anyway, right. So, I had to contact the folks who I am contracted with. Because the Hardware store Mgr is gone I called the folks who write my checks, whom I've never met.

    I had no idea this guy was feeding me a line. He was addament that I take all the snow and push it through a 15' opening over a gravel/sand lot to the very back. Obviously my time means nothing to him and I did need to qualify this order with the Owners, as the contract is clear where the snow will be piled. Anyway, What it did was expose all kinds of problems with his lease agreement. It was not malicious ratting out, just covering my butt. What he should have done was to hire a loader to move some of the piles to the back like everybody else around here. Since he was not paying, he felt the need to infringe even more. Funny thing, the store mgr who I've delt with for the last 2 seasons was absolutetly quiet through out the verbal ordeal.

    Believe me, I'd buy him a cup of coffee every week for the rest of the season if I thought it would help. I don't need the stress. He has not been a reasonable person. I don't expect him to change.

    I was thinking that if I can keep my plow down most of the time, It may sweep up all the nails etc. that he is likely to put down. What do you think?
  4. pbeering

    pbeering Senior Member
    Messages: 266

    Not having reviewed your contract, not being licensed in your state, and not knowing more detail, you probably have a valid contract and amendment.

    I'd keep plowing and billing just like normal. Keep a log and photos in case there is a problem.

    Good chance this will blow up, but so long as you are paid, and make reasonable efforts to collect you can, at a minimum, write off anything that doesn't get paid.
  5. DeereGuy

    DeereGuy Senior Member
    Messages: 346


    Thanks for your input.