Spring has sprung in Northeast Ohio. It was a long and cold winter and now that the weather is breaking you may be thinking about doing some landscaping around your yard. Depending on the size of your project, you may be considering hiring a local landscaping contractor to help you out. I had the same idea a few years back when I hired Tony Chasar of T-Trim Landscaping in Macedonia, Ohio. Unfortunately, Tony and T-Trim were unable to complete the project to our satisfaction (and ultimately to the court’s satisfaction) and it’s turned into quite the ordeal. I’m putting this post together so you’ll know the kind of contractor you’re working with when you hire T-Trim Landscaping and Tony Chasar.
We’d actually known Tony for quite some time as we’d hired him to do some work over the years including spring cleanup and snow removal. To be honest he did a great job on those so we were confident when we hired him to build a small pond in the backyard. Sadly, that’s where our trouble began. You see, even though T-Trim Landscaping shows some nice ponds and water features on their (horribly outdated) website, they simply cannot do this type of work. I applaud them for giving it a shot, but it’s just out of their realm of expertise.
Tony Chasar (and if memory serves me correctly, several other T-Trim Landscaping employees) worked for a couple of days building us a beautiful pond which including a nice water feature (waterfall) in our back yard. Unfortunately, it was leaking. To his credit, Tony came back several times to attempt to fix it. Sadly, he couldn’t find the leak or didn’t have the skill to be able to fix it.
We’d paid Tony half of the total contracted price at the beginning of the job with the balance due upon completion. Tony continued to send me a bill for the balance despite the fact the pond was still leaking. This, in my opinion, does not constitute a completed job. I told him that several times via email and phone conversations. No additional work had been done on the pond and we got another invoice from Tony (or rather Tony’s mother who does T-Trim’s accounting) but this time the invoice not only showed the balance due, but also LATE FEES! I once again told Tony that I would be happy to pay the balance but that leak would need to be fixed and our job completed. We heard no additional communication from Tony Chasar or T-Trim until we got notice that he had put a Mechanics Lien against our home. Talk about an unprofessional response.
This wasn’t an issue until a year or two later when we decided to refinance our home and we had to pay off the lien. So at this point, I not only had paid Tony for the entire job but also the interest that was running on the lien. We took Tony Chasar and T-Trim Landscaping to small claims court and won judgement on 8/2/2012 for $1,000 plus court costs. Sadly, the story does not end there.
Tony and T-Trim decided to appeal the decision. When the judge saw the details of the case they naturally lost their appeal. We went through several official channels to get this matter closed including several “Debtor Disclosure” where Tony is asked to disclose where his assets are kept so they can be seized. Tony gave us bank accounts at Fifth Third and First Merit. When the garnishment notice was sent to those banks the official answer from them was “No Funds Available” which tells us that between the time Tony and T-Trim disclosed where their assets were and the time the official court notice showed up, they closed their accounts and moved the money to a new account / bank. Bush league to say the least.
Just to show you that I’m not simply a bitter plaintiff looking to drag Tony and T-Trim’s name through the mud, here is the official court docket of our case – Case #2011CVI02430. You can do your own search here.
So… left with no other recourse, I was forced to file a Judgement Lien against Tony Chasar and T-Trim Landscaping. You can see the details of that lien here – Case #JL-2013-8999. Documentation is available here on the Summit County Clerk Of Courts website. As you can imagine, we didn’t want to have to go this route, but I suppose it’s poetic justice as that’s the route Tony decided to go with us.
So the good news is, we’ll get what’s owed to us someday. The bad news is that until that time I’ve got nothing to do other than to warn others about working with Tony Chasar and T-Trim Landscaping. Ask yourself… Is this the type of contractor you want to be working with?
Tony Chasar & T-Trim Landscaping
9384 North Bedford Rd, Macedonia, OH 44056
You can see that T-Trim Landscaping is NOT BBB accredited. We tried to open a complaint with the Better Business Bureau but they said that since we’d already won judgement against Tony and the company they couldn’t open a case. Too bad… would have liked to have warned more folks. This is a very unfortunate situation cause I truly do think that Tony just got in over his head and promised something he wasn’t capable of delivering.
Do you have a similar story about Tony Chasar or T-Trim Landscaping? Let me know!
Update September 2016
I continue to get contacted about Tony and T-Trim on a pretty regular basis. Will add details here if I get permission from the users but suffice to say I’m not the only one that had (and continues to have) issues with the work being done (or not done as the case may be)
I mentioned his horribly outdated website in the initial post. Wanna know HOW outdated it it? He’s still got a picture of MY POND (yes, the pond this entire post is about) in his gallery.
If that’s not funny enough for you, check out this photo that I took and posted to my Instagram recently of a home in the area of another fine job “completed” by T-Trim: