It has come to my attention, in the past three to four months, that Landscape Companies on the Central Coast have left themselves wide open to Clients taking Lawsuits against them for the following reasons:
Case 1: A young Landscaper from Kariong, employing other staff, had taken on a contract, way too big for his experience & is currently facing the Department of Fair Trading, for a $27,000 debt. About three months ago he was recommended to speak with me and upon early investigation he had no Terms and Conditions of Trade, legal contracts or variation documents in place, which ended up causing him massive grief, both physically and financially.
About three quarters of the way through the contract, he was evicted from the job. Within three weeks, the Department of Fair Trading called him back to the jobsite and threatened him with loss of licence for not having surveying experience for setting the job out correctly, not having co-workers legally covered and other matters that related to the quality of his work. Four conciliation meetings were held with himself, his Father-in-law and the Department of Fair Trading.
I immediately introduced Terms of Trade into his business, which was paid by the Father-in-law and assisted in clearing up most of his problems. If I didn't intervene at the time, he would have lost his business, causing financial and family grief as well as other related dramas.
The matter is currently before tribunal hearing and will get a satisfactory result with the advice I have given him. The Client has relied on EC Credit Control documentation and my guidance to make sure this will not reoccur in the future.
Case 2 and Case 3: Are very similar, both Central Coast Landscapers, with no Terms of Trade or signed contracts, prior to our meeting. In each case the final payments of the amounts being $8,000 & $6,000 respectively, were held up by the clients over trivial matters. Again both of these cases have had delivered, by myself, Terms of Trade and proper contract documents related to the value of future jobs and to ensure these scenarios don't happen again in the future.
The importance of these experiences, proves that no matter if you are a plumber, electrician, landscaper or any tradesman type business on the Central Coast, it is vital to have the proper legal documentation proofed and signed by the Client and themselves before any work or variations commence.