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Help! My landscaper damaged my lawn, what is my legal recourse?

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Ruts in the lawn

Help! My landscaper damaged my lawn, what is my legal recourse?

Updated July 26th, 2019

Look, damage happens to lawns. It's normal....

In my experience, over 15 years as a landscaper I have seen it all.

Mistakes happen, and sometimes lawns suffer some damage, and its typically temporary.

It could be fertilizer burn, a mower causing ruts, or even worse damage to your home or property.

So what is your best course of action when this misfortune occurs?

Let’s find out!

The Landscaper Damaged the Lawn! Now What?

Well, naturally the first thing to do is to contact the lawn care company. If they haven’t reached out to you already.

In many cases lawn care pros will just fix the damage, if it was their fault. 

Often, with no further action required

Here's the deal, the pros know that sometimes repairing damage caused by accidents, is just the cost of doing business right.

On the other hand...

What if the Landscaper Refuses to Repair Damage?

First of all, find a lawn care pro on GreenPal, and replace the other guy.

Unfortunately, not all lawn care companies are that reliable. Sometimes people find that their lawn care company simply refuses to repair the damage they caused.

I know, it’s not fair. But should you take them to court if they refuse to repair the damage?

Truly, it depends, but usually it is not worth the effort..

Fortunately, there are a few other things you can do to push them to do the right thing.

Escalating Without Court

Online Reviews

One possible way to escalate the situation with your vendor, would be to politely inform them that you intend to leave negative feedback. 

It's true, leaving public feedback on the major review sites such as Yelp, Google, and Facebook, can really give the unconcerned landscaper a bit to consider.

Best of all, if you hire a lawn care professional through GreenPal, you can leave a review on their GreenPal profile. If they get too many negative reviews they won’t be in business much longer.

BBB Complaint

If that falls on deaf years then go to the better business bureau and open an official complaint. They will contact the company, and ask for them to mediate and resolve the situation.

If there is still no luck. Then this means the lawn care company truly does not care about its online reputation or its BBB reputation. Which probably means it's not a real serious company, and they won't be in business long.

Still No Luck?

Well, unfortunately. Should you still not gain a resolution through these efforts, taking the legal route will probably not prove to be successful either.

Think about it, if the vendor doesn't care about his online reputation, he probably isn't very serious about his business. That also means he probably doesn't have insurance.

So, most likely also most likely he would not be able to pay a judgment in the event you were to win in court.

And, if its just a bit of damage to the lawn. Typically reseeding or re-sodding will not be nearly as costly as going the legal route. 

Think about it, going to court can cost $1000’s. Grass seed and some straw costs at most $50. It is hardly even worth the time to pursue legal action over a little damage in the lawn.

What if it’s a lot of Damage?

Now, if the landscaper accidentally causes a considerable amount of damage. Let’s say knock down a retaining wall, and he still refuses to fix, or pay up. You may want to call your homeowners insurance and see if they will cover the cost.

Again, if you take them to court, they may not have the ability to pay the costs. Meaning you will be stuck with a larger bill.

Prevent Issues Before the Arise

There are a few things that you can do to mitigate being stuck in this situation ahead of time:

  1. Hire your landscaper through GreenPal: Our review system prevents such problems from occurring.
  2. Hire an insured landscaper: They may charge more, but if you need to sue you know you can collect for damages.
  3. Work with the Landscaper: Ti is very rare that a landscaper will simply make no attempt to remedy the situation. 
  4. Research your Landscaper: Read their online reviews on GreenPal, Yelp, Google and Facebook. Make sure they are issue free

What’s The Bottom Line?

9 times out of 10 a lawn care professional will always repair damage they caused, or pay to have it fixed. It is also a good idea to plan ahead and avoid issues before they arrise. 

Sorry, if I have been the bearer of bad news. However given my experience in the industry, I have met with many clients in similar situations. My company was always brought in to repair damage caused by other unscrupulous companies. Most times you have to chalk it up to life tax, lick your wounds and move on.

Want to read more? Check out:

What kind of Insurance should my lawn guy have?


About The Author


About The Author

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