I think i just come up against a stupid mistake luckly not to costly
I had a man ring up asking to cut his lawn on a rental property he was handing back to the agent. I never met him stated my price of £90 which he agreed to. I did the work for him now I have not recieved payment, I thought I should have taken a deposit prior to doing this. Looks like I was right!. Luckly I have got a forwarding address which I assume is correct?
My question is as trading standards advise against deposits how do you get the customer to trust you and understand the need for deposits prior to working. I think I am far to trusting in people and need to be firmer.
I am considering stating legal advice but how long do you need to leave it before you do?
Get on to the agent fast. They will have all his contact details, and his deposit on the rental. They might well be willing to help, and it's a good contact to make anyway!
A deposit for grass cutting jobs is not really acceptable in my opinion. There are no materials to purchase. If you have a funny feeling about a client then avoid the job.
Exactally as dan said - there are no materials involved so taking a deposit is off the cards really.
Get the guys forwarding Details and send him the bill - no payment - deal as you see fit.
I had a bad paying one off job last month, only just got paid for it. lots of knocking on doors 2 or 3 times a week. I still had the waste from the job in the back yard so I was planning on loading it back into the trailer and taking it back to them. 4 builders bags full of stinking half rotten waste dumped out in the middle of their patio might have encouraged a response. Luckily it didn't come to that.
I am lucky it's not happened to me much but it really annoys me that anyone can get someone in to do a job then just not pay!!!
i specify a deposit of either 150 or 200 for the larger landscaping jobs we do. I dont take anything for smaller jobs below £1500 ish. Its only to get a bit of commitment from people when they accept teh quote. Prior to this i have had a few people call off a job just before starting. With regards trading standards we are patrt of the buy with confidence scheme they run and when they looked over all our terms and conditions etc they thought it was perfectly acceptable.
Sorry but I would have smelled a rat immediately but that comes from 40+ years experience. It is very common for tenants when about to vacate a property to have tradesmen carry out work before they disappear without paying. In such circumstances we contract only with the agent.
We had a new Neighbour move into our hamlet last year (holiday home, soon to be permenant) - she asked us to cut her grass. We did it September. We got paid in April this year! We havent done it since. She arrived in the village last week to find a jungle. She asked us to cut it and gave us cash in advance.......already done and looking a bit better. Mind you, the 160€ she gave us wasnt enough................
Where's the customers from Hell on TV?
There might be the odd customer ripped off here and there but all the time tradesmen get it.
I have a policy rightly or wrongly
I dont trust police, accountants, doctor, dentists and school teachers!!! For some reason they think they dont have to pay at the end of the day.
My family have suffered in the past due to people owing me money and I wont let them do it to me again.
My policy is I do a good job, I dont charge over my quote and in return I expect a prompt payment. TC state that all goods remain mine until paid in full and all waste remains the customers responsability until payment has been received that way I can go and get my slabs back or tip their rubbish back on their drive.
On some work I do offer a discount for companies who make a payment within 7 days get 10% off. This has stopped 1 company taking the mickey and taking upto 2 months to pay. They now think they are getting a discount.
Personally, I'd persue the customer for the money in writing if you have a forwarding address because it might just be enough to make him think he will not get away with it now you know where he's moved to however, how much time & money would you need to spend going down the legal route for £90 in the event he refuses to pay? It might not be cost-effective for you.
Moving forward, you may be best to put it down to experience and only deal with the landlord via the agent for any future work on rented properties. I believe the landlord can claim the costs of maintenance against their tax and they could have their own agreement with the tenant to pay them so it's better all round.
I hope you get the money owed.
We do work for letting agents and also reccomended by the letting agent and invoice the customer, I have been cought once when the letting agent instructed us to do the work and told us the tenant would pay, it didnt happen the tenant moved and didnt pay us, luckly i had kept the email from the agent instucting us to do the work so they had to pay. it can be tricky when there are several people involved landlord agent and tenant, i always request instruction in writing in these situations then you know who will pay and who to chase if not paid. A well worded letter threatning leagal action usually works, but it is not worth taking that action for a small sum. just right it off and put it down to experance.
Thanks for your advice, I have written a letter to the agent as I have managed to see the house in an advert as its round the back of Stansted Airport I have a strong belief it maybe be a BAA house that they have instructed them to rent out.
As BAA went trough a period of offering to purchase homes that would be affected by the second runway. You get people changing houses fairly regularly with short term airport contracts I may think of introducing a scheme of half fee taken up front on this type of customer again. Then if they go elsewhere I do not loose anything and If they go ahead it saves a bit of hastle. As I still need to pay the bills in the meantime for rubbish disposal, insurance and fuel etc.
I tell customers to try and take a sack of potatoes or loaf of bread from Sainsbury's or Tesco's and see if they will let them pay in 60 days time! I think not!!! so whats the difference?
I may have to write off unless another letter may to him may help.
Hope you get it sorted. PS Did you hear from the Rye's?