5 Important Things to Know About Commercial Landscape Maintenance Contracts
An agreement can be made verbally or by email. But do you know how much of it exactly has any legal standing? The answer is, very little. A written contract allows both the business and the individual using the services of that business to enter into an agreement that legally protects each party, documents the expectations of both parties, and includes a course of action in case of a dispute – all very necessary elements of a contract. More generally though, a contract should be well-defined, detailed, and transparent.
Here are a few things to consider before finalizing and signing a commercial landscape maintenance contract that best serves the interest of both parties:
Clearly Stated Rates and Payment Terms
When it comes to writing a contract, all agreed upon costs should be stated in the document, with the breakdown of individual services and their respective rates listed clearly. After all, you need to know what you’re paying for and how much exactly.
Your commercial landscape maintenance contract should also state, in detail, the set payment structure, costs involved with the types of payment methods, specific timelines in which payments need to be completed, and late fees. Why is this important? Clearly stated and detailed terms and conditions help avoid disputes and possible legal action when it’s time to pay.
Service Details and Schedule
No two commercial landscape maintenance jobs are similar. Specific to your landscape maintenance requirements, your contract should have a well-defined and detailed list of services requested and their schedules (i.e., how often a task/service will be performed). Instead of broadly listing “landscape maintenance service,” which could mean a million different things, your contract should clearly state the specific task and the frequency of that task. For instance, your contract should state “tree trimming services, twice a month.” This level of detail should be specified for all services rendered for the landscape project.
Start and End Dates and Renewal Policy
At the time of finalizing and signing a commercial landscape maintenance contract, both parties need to know when the services requested are going to start on your site, and how long they are going to last. While some ongoing services might not have a specific end date (like mowing the lawn), a general contract end date will still be required for the landscape business owners to adjust for future rate fluctuations. After the end date, the contract may be extended/renewed with revised rates agreed upon by both parties.
Your contract should further have a clause defining how to proceed in case of adding new services or amending the current ones. Changes to the contract should be documented, and if required, a completely new contract drafted if changes included are extensive in nature.
Insurance Coverage and Liability
Accidents happen! Especially if you are operating heavy machinery and tools required for landscape maintenance. When it comes to a landscape maintenance contract, make sure it clearly states that the services outlined to complete the project carry general liability, auto liability, property, and workers compensation insurance. If not, you could be held responsible in case an employee is injured on the job.
A Dispute Resolution Policy
It is absolutely essential to have a contract dispute resolution clause incorporated into your commercial landscape maintenance contract – actually any contract. While most parties do not go into a contract with the intention of getting into a conflict, certain circumstances can place you in the middle of one. For this reason, to protect both parties, your contract should include the specific course of action that needs to be taken in case of a dispute, including early termination, breach of contract, unsatisfactory services, and late or missed payments.
When it comes to signing a contract, both parties should be able to understand all the services and obligations essential to forming a great partnership. When you sign a landscape maintenance contract with Peel Exterior Maintenance, you can be sure that we will be transparent and honest about our pricing and our services, with no hidden costs.
We’d be happy to discuss all your commercial landscape maintenance needs and objectives, and provide our expert opinion. Call Peel Exterior Maintenance toll-free today at 1-888-265-7214. Mississauga residents can also reach us directly at 905-277-2993 or contact us here.