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-   -   What should I do with this condo association? (

musician/lawnman 02-14-2008 07:16 PM

Ok guys I could use a little more insight here. My prother is a postal carrier & let me know about a group of condos on his route that had been being maintained by another large lawn care company, He hasn't seen that company around & the lawn has been neglected for about a month now. He spoke to the guy in charge of maintenence (plumbing & what-not)
there. It seems the condo association (handled by a property management co) had gotten behind 2-3 Months in paying this Company so they quit. They are now of coarse looking for a new company to maintain the grounds & the flower beds. This is a huge complex, 6 large buildings each are multi-family
Just guessing.... probably worth $500-$600 per cut. I could use that kinda business but I need to protect myself from getting burned without letting them know an inside source leaked that they are slow to pay! I could try to demand advance payment but I know the 3 property managment companies I do work for already wouldn't fly for that so I doubt this one would either.
Any Ideas or advice fellas?
Thanks in advance.

StartALawnCareBusiness 02-14-2008 10:32 PM

This is a good question and it brings up a point that LCOs do not have to just accept contracts as they are written by the contracting agencies.

I would be very leary to work for this management company. *You have to learn from history. *If they stiffed the other guy, *they might do the same thing to you.

You have a great idea to get them to prepay for work to be done. *If they won't go for that, try to think of a work around.

Can you get them to pay an escrow company for a month's billing? *The escrow company will keep the money and release it to you should a problem arise where the management company is unable to pay.

How about a co-signer to the contract? *If bills are defaulted upon the co-signer is liable.

How about a bonding company willing to write a bond for payment should the management company default?

These are extreme measures by common standards but if the contract is important enough you may have to consider creative methods of assuring their fiduciary responsibilities are met.


musician/lawnman 02-15-2008 02:46 PM

Thanks for the ideas, we'll see what happens. I spoke to the property managment company today: They said the developer (it's a new development) was responsible for the lawn maintenence cost for the 1st while & that he had gone default on payments. Supposedly the residents are scheduled (per whatever agreement they have) to start footing these bills themselves withing 30-60 days. So weather or not thats B.S. I don't know. I know it is a new condo & as per my brother (the postman there) only about 11 units currently recieve mail there so it's mostly vacant yet.

They say the want everything included in one contract.... lawn maintenence, trimming & pruning (to be done about every 6-8 weeks), Irrigation maintenence (which I've never done other than adjusting sprinkler heads), & Fertilization & pest control ( 4 times per year which I'd have to sub out as I am not licenced for pest control ). It's a big job & it'd be nice to land but I'm a bit apprhensive of their ability to pay & it's alot more work than I've ever been resposible for at one stop.

Any suggestions?

Steve 02-15-2008 04:21 PM

My initial thought is that this is going to be a disaster. With the real estate market collapsing and these condo associations losing money because their member default on their mortgages, more and more HOA's in areas hard hit by the real estate downturn and going to have more and more problems.

Keith had a lot of great ideas there.

With what you know now, I would say offer to do this property but only if you are pre-paid per month. Otherwise, you are in for the same problem the previous company ran into.

What's your view?

musician/lawnman 02-15-2008 06:32 PM

That's probably the bottom line on this one, Pre-pay or the highway.... eh the saying kinda works!

I figured I'd have to hide that I knew the last guys didn't get paid, but on the phone today I asked the PM "was there a problem with the last company? Was there a problem with their work? Or how often they came out?" he just said well no, we couldn't pay him! For the 1st deveral months the developer was on the hook for the bills & he didn't pay us so we can't pay them..... He then informed me the home owner association would be responsible for these expenses soon as I stated above.

He stated payment "shouldn't" be a problem once that transition takes place but I think it's both a chance to make or lose a lot of cash, I don't think I'll take that leap If I can't be gauranteed to be paid. Big risk against a guy who casually says "yep we couldn't pay the last guy" like oh well?

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