Customer says he lost thousands in abandoned landscaping project

Posted at 6:53 PM, Jul 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-01 18:53:45-04

A Collier County man says he's out thousands of dollars - and unable to move into his new home - over a dispute with a local landscaping company. Steve Veneziano says he paid Cheney landscaping $25,000 to landscape his home and install irrigation, but that they abandoned the project.

"The contract was for $43,700 and change," Veneziano said. "I gave $25,000 up front."

But he says that the company left the project largely unfinished after he complained that they brought the wrong trees and the wrong plants.

"The irrigation for the entire lot wasn't complete, the hedges weren't proper, the plants weren't proper," Veneziano said. "They fulfilled maybe about 30 to 40 percent of the project, and it wasn't complete."

He said that dealing with the landscaping problem - and a front yard that looks like a desert - is delaying his moving into the new Golden Gate Estates home.

"I'm probably out about $11,000, plus not being able to move into my new home," Veneziano said.

Fox 4 reached out to LaWayne Cheney, owner of Cheney Landscaping. He said there was a dispute over the terms of the service contract with Veneziano.

A letter to Veneziano from Cheney's attorney stated that Cheney had already spent over $27,000 in products and services for the home, and asked Veneziano to release the company from the contract.

Veneziano said he would consider moving on if the company paid back what he paid a subcontractor to fix the irrigation system.