Reasons to Cancel a Pest Control Agreement

By Belinda Tucker
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There are some legitimate reasons to cancel a pest control agreement. Because a pest control agreement is a signed contract, there are rules that must be followed to legally cancel the agreement. There are consumer protection laws at the state and federal level designed to prevent the public from being unfairly exploited. Getting information about these laws to determine any legal recourse available is a good place to begin.

Breach of Contract

A breach of contract by one party relieves the other party from fulfilling its side of the agreement. For example, if the pest control agreement requires that the pest control company treat the property once every three months, and the company never appears to treat the property as agreed upon, then the consumer does not have to continue paying for the service. In order to stand up in court, the breach of contract must be deemed to be a material breach. Not appearing in order to perform the service agreed to within a reasonable period of time would be considered a breach of contract for a pest control contract.

Fraud

If a company uses fraud or misrepresentation to trick a consumer into signing a contract, then the contract is voidable and can be rescinded. For example, if a pest control company signs an agreement with a mentally incompetent, elderly individual who is incapable of understanding what they are signing, then the contract is legally invalid and can be rescinded. Or if a company promises to provide a service they are not capable of providing, then the pest control company's claims are fraudulent, allowing for a legal way to cancel the agreement.

Mutual Rescission

If both parties decide they want to rescind a contract and replace it with a new contract prior to performance of the old contract, then the the old pest contract agreement is canceled. All parties to the new contract must agree to this option for it to hold up legally. They can agree to rescind either orally or in writing.

State and Federal Consumer Laws

Cooling-off rules provide parties to a contract a brief period of time to cancel an agreement without a legal reason. The Federal Trade Commission established this rule to protect consumers from making rash decisions under pressure without a way to get out of the contract if they changed their mind. Only certain contracts fall under these protective laws, including door-to-door sales contracts, which cover pest control services that are usually signed for at the home after a brief sales presentation. Consumers interested in state laws pertaining to contract enforcement can consult with their state's consumer protection agency.

About the Author

Belinda Tucker has been a professional writer since 1983. She has published articles in "Surviving Career Transitions," Healthy by Choice," Eleanor's Eyes" and "Congestive Heart Failure." Tucker holds a Bachelor of Science in industrial management from Georgia Institute of Technology.