If I never signed a contract with a lawn service company and am dissatisfied with their service so have not paid, is their threat to get “legal counsel” a serious threat?

I had them seed and put various chemicals on my lawn for fungus and weeds. I have taken pictures to document the lack of change in my lawn. The owner and I spoke some time ago and he was going to come look at my lawn and then get back to me. He never did. One of his employees and I have played some phone tag and I expressed my concerns to him. I paid $200 of the $500+ bill but am hesitant to pay the rest until I see results or even get a call from owner. Their policy is to turn 60 day + balances over to their legal counsel. Can they do anything with out a signed contract?

Asked on July 19, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Minnesota


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

For most transactions, the law does not require a signed written contract, so they can take legal action on an oral or verbal agreement, or one evidenced by a quote or proposal or an unsigned contract.

If the contract did not guaranty results, then if they did the things called for in the contract, they are entitled to be paid even if you lawn did not improve. In the absence of a warranty or guaranty, it is no defense to nonpayment to say that the treatment was not successful. If there was some warranty or guaranty, you can enforce it as per its plain terms.

From what you write, it would appear that if there is no guaranty or warranty, they could sue you.

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