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residential contract disclaimer help? what to say

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by hankhill, Aug 30, 2010.

  1. hankhill

    hankhill Member
    Messages: 47

    This will be my first season on my own, I need some contract help, I will want all customers to sign and I will be offering pertrip and seasonal contracts and will be plowing residential only, I've been trying to do a really good job on it but need disclaimer help.

    That said, do any of you put this similar in your contracts? something like "I take no responsibilty for any damage done to the property of the customer or to the customer his/herself"

    my biggest fear is someone trying to sue me, happens all the time or in the spring time saying that I need to come reseal their driveway for free because I left marks, so I would like to add something like the above but I don't want it to seem like I'm going to smash something or break anything.

    Looking for some comments on this from you all, thanks
  2. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    i would put something like "acceptance of this bid is done with the client understanding that the contractor well not be held liable for any "normal" wear and tear (maybe a list of items not covered)"
    u well always have some liability when it comes to things like wrecked sod, or badly damaged concrete, but for the minor expected scuffing, i would put something simple in your contract, it might also help to do a list of things you are responsible for, some thing like "we are fully insured and licensed" either way plan on explaining your policy to any potential customers
  3. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,993

    I would write a contract in simple language covering all the points you need to make then take it for a lawyer to prepare the actual contract. Ask the cost up front. It should not be overly expensive but then you will know you have a defensible contract.
  4. martyman

    martyman Senior Member
    Messages: 281

    I would have your customer at least pay a monthly flat rate fee up front. Just make a simple contract that says "I will not be held responsible for any damage to (address of customer) when plowing driveway" "I will not plow driveway when conditions are icy" and what ever other things you might not feel comfortable doing...I've had driveways very steep and write in stipulations about how I will plow and when because of things like super dark driveways that have no lights and trees....protect yourself and if they don't want to sign it then don't do it.
  5. forestfireguy

    forestfireguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,276

    Don't list exceptions. Beacuse if you include Belguim block curb for example and hit their oil fill neck, they can and may pursue it as "not part of the exclusion" better to make a blanket statement. But the best move is have insurance and get you contract reviewed by an attorney in your state, not online.
  6. Mick76

    Mick76 2000 Club Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,157

    For $200 I'll email you mine payup ;) In all seriousness, go to a lawyer and have them draft one up... best money you will ever spend
  7. pohouse

    pohouse Senior Member
    Messages: 322

    I include the following paragraph on my contracts:

    "Limitation of Liability: The contractor will exercise reasonable care to avoid damage to pavement, curbs, shrubs and trees. However, the contractor is not responsible for damage to items that are snow-covered or personal injuries resulting from slip and fall accidents. Customer is aware that plowing may not clear their property to bare pavement and that slippery conditions may prevail, even after plowing. XXX, Inc. assumes no responsibility for slip and fall accidents or vehicular accidents as a result of this naturally occurring condition."

    My contract has never been tested in court though...
  8. JayD2

    JayD2 Senior Member
    Messages: 309

    Marty......sense you brought this up about asking for a month payment up front, how do most of you guys bill? Do you just bill at the end of each month or at time of each service or what?

  9. pohouse

    pohouse Senior Member
    Messages: 322

    I bill at the end of the month. If my customers have a balance at the end of the month, they receive a statement with a payment due date of 30 days. This year, I might try billing electronically.
  10. JayD2

    JayD2 Senior Member
    Messages: 309

    Yeah, I use quick books this year for my mowing customers and love it.....No more stamps and the bill gets there a lot faster then mail man.....Best thing I have ever done.