How Would You Handle This?

Birdyman88

Member
I knocked on door yesterday to inquire about removing a dead poplar. Before it was over, they took me over to a large oak that had lost a large limb 2 years before and wanted to discuss options. Tree had a large cavity left from damage and the tree had virtually no weight on the side where the damage was and a lean was quickly developing. Obviously removal was high on the list. Turns out the customer was renting the property and wanted to be the go between with the landlord. The property is still co-owned by a divorced couple, with the ex-wife handling the management. I don't have a problem dealing with tenant as far as passing along quote, but am hesitant when it comes time for contract and payment. The tenant says they pay for stuff all the time and the landlord reimburses them. Tenants seem clean cut, but property isn't a model property by any stretch. I don't normally get into removals this size, but this one is straightforward with virtually no rigging. Will still have to be stripped, topped and cut down to the 25 ft mark at minimum.

1) Would you deal directly with a tenant for contract and payment if landlord requested it?
2) Due to the price of the job, $2,800, would it be ridiculous to ask for an escrow, or at least 1/2 up front?
 

Bango Skank

Well-Known Member
Only...only...deal with owner. Including delivery of estimate and discussion
This and nothing but. If they're renting the property then they're not the customer and they should have no part in the agreement. If the landlord is requesting that you deal with the tenant, beware. Added parties are an unnecessary complication.

I collect payment upon completion of the job.

Why are you planning on leaving it 25' high?
 

Bucknut

Well-Known Member
I think he means it will have to be no more than 25 feet before they can drop it.

Agree with the above. We did a job for a guy years ago. Turns out he was a renter and never told us that. Never got our money but we do have a lien on the property. So maybe we’ll get a nice check in a few years when/if the house gets sold.
 

Serf Life

Active Member
Down payment should be understandable, highly reccomend having late payment charge on your invoices too. As an incentive for prompt payment and little bank account bump for pain on the ass people. Collect on delivery is common in many other trades and you could stipulate that on jobs like that if you end up dealing with the tenant.?
 

RBJtree

Well-Known Member
On a long multi day job or if I am a little unsure if I will get paid, I will sometimes ask for 50% when I start the job and the remainder on completion. That way I will at least have payroll covered. I agree with the others that you should deal with the owner. I don't remember for sure if I ever did work directly for a renter, but I think I might have. I would have the owner sign the contract at the very least. I don't care who pays me as long as I get paid, but in the event of non payment, I would want the owner to be on the contract.
 

Birdyman88

Member
I think he means it will have to be no more than 25 feet before they can drop it.
^^^Yes this, and thanks for replies^^^^
The landlord will be contacting me within a couple of days. LOL, I'm a landlord myself, so I feel like a moron even posing these questions. But, my current renter of 5 years communicates very well with me and has been ridiculously trustworthy so my view is slightly skewed.
 
I just had a call from the owner of a rental property asking for a quote on a dead tree on his property that was hanging over his neighbors garage, he said that the town had gave him a notification and he had to get it taken down ASAP. I took a look and called him with a price to cut it down and remove it and he said he would get back to me the next day. Now I don’t really like to give an estimate unless the homeowner is present so I had a slight degree consternation about taking on a job that wasn’t a referral and the homeowner was a bit sketchy to boot, so after doing a title search I found out he doesn’t own the property, another search revealed he’s actually the owner of the neighboring property (with the garage). Now I don’t know if he was going to pay me or not but I feel like I dodged a bullet passing on that job and I hope to fck he doesn’t find another tree guy to con.
 

Kenny Sanchez

Active Member
Put a contract in place. Have the tenant contact property owner and advice him you will be calling him to check with make sure is okay to remove tree and specify on the contract tenant is paying, request both signatures, then ask for 50% upfront deposit and remaining balance due immediately upon job completion. Make sure to be very clear on everything they should expect of the job on that contract so it doesn't come back and bite you.
 

TimBr

Well-Known Member
I just had a call from the owner of a rental property asking for a quote on a dead tree on his property that was hanging over his neighbors garage, he said that the town had gave him a notification and he had to get it taken down ASAP. I took a look and called him with a price to cut it down and remove it and he said he would get back to me the next day. Now I don’t really like to give an estimate unless the homeowner is present so I had a slight degree consternation about taking on a job that wasn’t a referral and the homeowner was a bit sketchy to boot, so after doing a title search I found out he doesn’t own the property, another search revealed he’s actually the owner of the neighboring property (with the garage). Now I don’t know if he was going to pay me or not but I feel like I dodged a bullet passing on that job and I hope to fck he doesn’t find another tree guy to con.
Wow, this is pretty shocking behavior. It seems to me like a possible felony in progress of some kind. It would have been nice to have a recording of the conversation to give to the police. Encouraging a stranger to enter a property they have no right to be on and to do thousands of dollars worth of damage by pretending to be the owner of the property seems like it ought to be a crime. Really nice job listening to that small voice in the back of your mind that tells you something is amiss. Also great that you knew how to check the facts and stop before getting into trouble. Funny that the guy did not know enough to give the name of the property owner as his own, in order to sell the scam.

I would want to tell the police about this even if I had no evidence to support my statements, just to put the guy on the radar of the police.

Tim
 
This just happened and the tree is still standing, so I’m not sure what to do if anything I warned a couple of local tree guys. and as far as the detective work I have to give all the credit to Mrs. Dunderpaps lol
 

Tom Dunlap

Here from the beginning
@dunderpaps have you stopped at the police station to give them a heads up? Letting the neighbor know that they're being watched might put him back in his place.
 

guymayor

Well-Known Member
" Obviously removal was high on the list." NO way to say this without a competent inspection. Hustling removal work on uninspected trees is sketchy to start with. It all goes downhill from there.
Arborists care for trees.
 

Birdyman88

Member
" Obviously removal was high on the list." NO way to say this without a competent inspection. Hustling removal work on uninspected trees is sketchy to start with. It all goes downhill from there.
Arborists care for trees.
@guymayor, send me your contact info and I'll pass it along to the owner and the neighbors with kids running around the yard. I'll let them know you'll be swooping in to save this baby.
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