There was a recent article in the Villages FL Voice by the Villages Homeowners Association that highlighted one of the most common problems that Villagers face when purchasing services. Paying in advance for services and then not getting the service or getting unsatisfactory service. This is the most common problems that Villagers face.
It can be risky paying for a product or service in advance. Sometimes you don’t have a choice and a pre-payment is required.
Try to use a credit card to pay for services so that you can dispute charges if necessary. Some smaller companies do not accept credit cards so you’ll just have to be careful if you write a check. Make sure to write your checks out to a company and not the individual’s name if possible.
If a contractor requires a large upfront down payment it might be a warning sign that the company doesn’t have enough cash to buy materials for the job. Do you really want to do business with a company like this?
On large jobs timed payments may be appropriate. How much you pay and when is negotiable. Try to reserve at least 25% of the total price as a final payment released to the contractor upon completion to your satisfaction. Ask if the deposit is refundable if the job is canceled prior to the start.
Here’s a typical timed payment schedule for a large landscape job
10% upon signing the contract (make sure to get proof of liability insurance and workers comp)
15% The day the contractor shows up to work with their crew and materials to start job
25% When plants are in the ground
25% When all the mulch and flower bed borders are in place
25% When job complete and cleaned up and you are satisfied. If any subcontractors are used make sure your contractor provides proof that the subs have been paid by showing “lien waivers” from each of them.
When it comes to protecting yourself in regard to property rentals check out our prior blog article about Stopping Scams .
When in doubt as to whether you should pay someone in advance, you can always call your local seniors vs crime office for help. There’s not charge for a consultation! You can reach seniors vs crime at 352-753-7775 in Marion County or 352-689-4600 ext 4606 in Sumter County. Volunteers are ready to assist!
Remember to visit VillagesHomes4Rent.Com for The Villages Rentals!