Apartment community trash service is similar to other businesses for the need for properly worded contracts. The business world rotates around contracts. If you do not have an effectively written valet trash service agreement outlining the terms and conditions of your agreement with your client, sooner or later you will be stung.
Unfortunately, customer memories often fade. While you may have one understanding, your client may have another. It may be an honest disagreement or you may have entered into business with a dishonest con. To avoid future problems, you need to have your main points in writing. If you fail to do so, it’s only a matter of time before it costs your business important dollars.
The Importance of a Contract
Contracts can be as simple as a plain-language document that explains the structure of the general business between you and the customer. In the world of business, contracts are important for the following reasons:
- Provide a written document that frameworks the full understanding of the business affiliation and scope of the work so that no one can claim any confusion later
- Are binding and legally enforceable
- Protect both you and the client
- Specify how and when you get paid, what needs to cause that payment, and what alternatives you have if the client stiffs you
- Reduce risk
In addition to the importance of having a contract in place, it is what is actually contained in the contract that is most important.
Here are several valet trash service agreement mistakes to avoid:
Not Putting an Initial Signing Area Next to Important Clauses
Many contracts contain unique clauses so important in outlining the relationship and action(s) to be taken that simply cry out for a specific indication of understanding and acceptance. This is the place to use an initial ‘signing’ area. It can be as simple as a blank line with the word ‘initial’ underneath.
Initial Signing Example: _______ Initial
Failing to Include a List of Expectations
A very important ‘must have’ part of any agreement, especially when dealing with apartment communities. It spells out what is and isn’t expected from your valet trash company. Conversely, it spells out what is and isn’t expected from your customer. This is the outline of your responsibilities.
Failing to Limit Your Liabilities
A limitation of liability clause in a contract normally limits the liability to some proportion of its fee or a defined dollar value. Why is this important? It’s a pre-determined, capped amount, for which you would be liable for in the case of a defective service/product or breach of contract. Limit is the word.
Making the Contract Language Complicated or Confusing
The trash valet industry generally allows for a plain language contract. Complicated or confusing agreements could scare away customers, especially smaller communities with owners also being managers. Understanding is increased and your customer’s eyes won’t glaze over as you attempt to discern the terms and read the small print of legalese.
Not Making the Contract Assignable
It’s a good idea to include a clause in any contract specifying whether or not the contract can be assigned. It’s standard to say the contract may be assigned by either party so as long as the other party to the contract approves. It’s also standard to say the other party may not withhold approval unreasonably. If your contract requires the other party to approve the assignment, it’s a good idea to get the approval in writing. If the contract does not have an assignable clause, it is legal to assign.
This material is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. These materials are intended, but not promised or guaranteed to be current, complete, or up-to-date and should in no way be taken as an indication of future results. They are not offered as and do not constitute legal advice or legal opinions. You should not act or rely on any information without first seeking the advice of an attorney.