But inviting a stranger into the privacy of your home on a regular basis is undoubtedly a big risk, especially if you’re not going to be around during every visit. This raises a problem: how can you tell if a house cleaning specialist is running a trustworthy and legitimate business?
That’s the question we’re here to address. When searching for your next house cleaning service, keep the advice below in mind and you’ll be sure to pick a safe option.
A quick search of Craigslist will turn up dozens, if not hundreds, of cleaners in your area willing to work cash-in-hand. Often, this will seem like a tempting route to go down because individual workers are normally able to undercut the prices charged by a professional service.
However, even if you find an attractive looking offer in such a setting, you should steer well clear as very few people working through classified ad sites are legitimate house cleaning specialists, potentially resulting in major problems. For example, while a real professional maid service will arrive kitted out with the right tools for the job and a custom cleaning plan for your property, a casual worker is unlikely to clean to a consistent standard.
Even worse, there’s a good chance, if you hire casually, that your “house cleaning specialist” might turn out to be working without a proper permit, business license, or insurance.
Request Bonding and Insurance Details
Although insurance might not be the first thing you think about when hiring someone to vacuum your floors and scrub down your kitchen surfaces, it’s actually extremely important. If a maid gets injured or a piece of furniture is damaged during cleaning, you could wind up involved in a lawsuit instead of filing a straightforward insurance claim.
The financial risk of using a maid service without proper coverage is simply not worth taking, so always ask for information about a cleaning service’s insurance policy before taking them on.
Another kind of protection a legitimate maid service will have is known as bonding. Essentially, a janitorial bond is an amount of money the service agrees to pay in the event that your property is stolen by one of their employees. Although cleaning specialists will typically charge a higher rate to take on this risk, if you have a lot of valuables lying around, the piece of mind will almost certainly be worth it.
Licenses and Accreditations
To operate a legal cleaning business, most states require house cleaning specialists to hold some form of business license. If you’re not sure whether you’re dealing with a totally legitimate service, ask to see details of this and then follow up with the relevant local authority.
It’s also worth looking for accreditations from services like the Better Business Bureau (BBB). These are normally only given out to companies that have built up a solid reputation for good customer service over many years. If you see one, you’re almost certainly looking at a legitimate cleaning service.
Get Referred by Friends or Family
Online reviews can be a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to finding a legitimate cleaning service as anyone can submit a recommendation for a company, whether or not they’ve actually hired them. A better way to search is to ask people you know and trust if they can recommend someone.
There’s a good chance that there’s somebody in your network who has hired a house cleaning specialist in the past and will be able to give you a personal recommendation. If you find such a person, be sure to ask them for details about their experience such as what they paid and how thorough their housekeeper was.
Know What Price To Expect
Depending on your area, a legitimate house cleaning specialist may charge between $40 and $80 per hour for a two-person cleaning team. A major red flag is a cleaning service with a rate that seems too good to be true, as this means they probably are skimping on costs like insurance premiums, fair employee pay, or high-quality cleaning equipment.
Equally, it’s important to have a good idea of rates being charged in your area to avoid being ripped off. Some less-than-reputable services will attempt to charge you far more than the market rate without cleaning more thoroughly than competitors or providing any extra services. The best thing to do, once again, is to ask around to find out what other people in your area have been charged by their house cleaners.
Ask Who Will Be Doing the Cleaning
In order to trust the person you’re inviting in to clean your home, it’s vital that you understand the relationship between them and their company. Are they contracted or a full-time employee? Will a new cleaner come each week or will it be the same person every time?
In terms of quality and reliability, there’s a big advantage to choosing a house cleaning specialist that hires workers as full-time employees. Maids working in this way will be subject to increased oversight and receive more benefits and training, resulting in a better overall experience for you.
Check What Guarantees Are Made
Satisfaction guarantees are commonplace in the house cleaning industry with a large proportion of services happy to give you your money back or discount your next visit if your expectations aren’t met. A policy like this is a sure sign of a legitimate cleaning service as it means the company has faith in the work done by its maids.
Hiring a Trustworthy Housekeeping Specialist
Searching for a new person to take care of your home and trust around your prized possessions can be a stressful experience. But don’t lose hope. By taking a logical approach and working through the guidance we’ve given here, you’re sure to find a reliable house cleaning service.
Remember, don’t be pressured into making a decision too fast. Once you’ve found a suitable cleaning specialist you’ll be able to rely on them for months or even years to come, so take your time to shop around.