Beware the red flags. They’re the pesky items in your commercial landscape contract that should make you pause and think, “Wait a minute. What?”
Contracts are designed to protect both you and your landscaping company. You need a solid one from the get-go to prevent potential problems down the road.
Read through your commercial landscape contract thoroughly before you sign it. If something isn't clear, ask questions. A good company will be up front about all contract items and be happy to explain them.
Here are six red flags to look for in your commercial landscape contract.
The Price Seems Too Low
You want the best possible price — who doesn’t?
But if a commercial landscape contract bid seems too low, then it’s probably too good to be true.
Chances are, when you compare bids from a handful of qualified landscape maintenance companies, their estimates should be in the same ballpark. If they’re skilled and experienced, they know what it takes to care for your property and will price accordingly.
If one bid is significantly low, why? Are they cutting corners? Do they save money by not offering staff training or securing insurance?
What key services are they not including in that low price? Your property could suffer because of shortcuts made to keep that price so low.
Super low price? Red flag.
Fuzzy Language In Scope Of Services
The scope of services should describe in detail what services the contractor will perform, where and when. The more detail, the better. What does “landscape maintenance services” include? Mowing? Edging? Fertilization? Irrigation adjustment?
The contract should also include how often they’ll perform each service. This will give you an idea of how extensively they’ll take care of your property.
Without this, you won’t have a concrete understanding of exactly what services you’re getting for the money, which could lead to disputes later.
Fuzzy wording? Red flag.
Unclear Payment Terms
The contractor's pricing arrangements should be crystal clear. What are the rates for services? When are payments due? Are there late fees? Is there an extra fee if you pay with a credit card?
This helps avoid any questions or disputes when it’s time to pay.
Unclear payment terms? Red flag.
Sketchy Insurance Coverage
Be sure your contract outlines that the service carries general liability, auto liability, property, and workers compensations insurance, and will provide a certificate of insurance if you request one.
If they don’t have the proper coverage and one of their employees is injured on your property, you’ll be responsible.
Sketchy insurance coverage? Red flag.
No Mention of Dedicated Contact Person
It’s crucial to have a point person to call if you have questions or concerns.
Who is the account manager overseeing the landscape maintenance on your property?
No obvious person you can call with any needs? Red flag.
References may not be in the actual contract, but you should ask for them. And if the company balks at offering them, be suspicious.
A reputable company that does quality work should be eager for you to talk to their customers. They know you’ll hear glowing remarks.
No references? What are they hiding? Red flag.
Sign On The Dotted Line With Level Green
You’ll find no red flags at Level Green. We know commercial landscape contracts are meant to protect both you — the customer — and us.
Ask us anything about our contract or services and we’ll explain it all, up front and in clear terms.
At Level Green Landscaping, our core service is commercial landscape maintenance. We offer maintenance services like mowing, trimming, blowing, pruning and edging.
Our team works on sites in Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia, including office buildings, mixed-use and retail, HOA and condominium, municipalities and institution properties.
We go beyond landscape maintenance to offer construction and landscape design, landscape enhancements, snow and ice management and irrigation management.
Contact us at 202-544-0968, or fill out our form online to get all of your landscape questions answered. You can also schedule a free consultation.
We’d love to hear from you.