Cleaner Advice(12 Posts)
I am returning to work soon after having my baby. My husband and I think it would be a good idea to hire a cleaner to help with the housework.
We have not done this before so looking for any advice or suggestions you might have:
1) Did you give your cleaner a contract to sign?
2) We presume you gave the cleaner a set of keys to your house. I do feel a little nervous about doing that but I guess that would be most convenient for both parties.
3) What sort of problems, if any, did you have with your cleaner.
It will depend on whether you use a company or find a self-employed one man band cleaner. When we had a company we had a formal contract that they provided with notice periods/cover cleaners when ours was on hols etc. However since we used a one man band type cleaner we get better service. I did take references but we have no formal contract. You get used to the idea that someone has your keys. Definitely get references though. Someone I know hired a painter gave him the keys and he burgled them! Insurance would not pay because she didn't take references!
Thanks for your reply.
I was leaning more towards the self-employed cleaner just for the reason that all the money goes to them.
That is exactly what I am scared will happen or they will steal things and I have so much stuff that I probably won't even notice until I go looking for it years later. Yes, will definitely ask for references then.
Mention to your friends and neighbours that you're looking for a cleaner. It's always best to have a personal recommendation, lots of cleaners get their customers through word of mouth.
A good cleaner will have references, preferably public liability insurance and the business will be registered with HMRC, even if they earn below the tax threshold.
If you don't want to leave a key with them straight away, could you leave it outside well hidden (under a plant pot for example). They can then leave it inside when they go. After a few weeks, if all works well, they can keep it permanently. A good cleaner will appreciate that they are in a position of trust, and should therefore be happy to go along with something like this.
The best advice I can give you is not to go with a private cleaner. I made that mistake once few ago. Private cleaners are not covered, they can't provide you with a replacement if they can't attend and most of all it is time consuming to find a new cleaner. I have been using London Domestic Cleaners for 3 years and am really happy. Our cleaner is so lovely. Their customer service staff is very friendly. If she can't attend they always find a replacement and she is fully vetted and insured for our peace of mind.
Xandra, you had one bad experience with a private cleaner, so now you say dont go with one. I am a private cleaner, all legit, all above board, insured. Do not judge everyone the same. Its a real rarity that I cant clean for my clients on the day that I have agreed. If it does happen I clean on another day. Everyone I clean for would not touch an agency with a bargepole. You end up with a different person nearly everytime so no-one really gets a chance to know you and the way you like things done. A private cleaner will no doubt work the hardest as it is their livelyhood that is at stake, they need their clients to be 100 %. My advice op is to go with a individual recommended by friends or family. Someone local who you will get to know through time and will know your home.
Xandra, Joey is right, most cleaners are operating legally and are covered with insurance, it's the dodgy types who are not, these are things you need to find out before you hire. Sometimes cheaper cleaners can turn out to be very expensive when you find yourself with damage they are not insured to cover.
There is a market for every kind of cleaning service, solo cleaner, agency cleaners, private cleaning company's, franchises, you name it, it's like comparing apples with oranges, they are all different prices and all offer differing service levels, they are all in more demand than they can easily supply, it just depends on what you need as to which service level suits you best, it depends upon your priorities and if what they are selling can meet these requirements.
I wouldn't advise you to go for a private cleaner either. There might be good ones as well, but it is always time-consuming to find one that can be trusted. If there are agencies out there all set up, licensed and covered, why take the risk to hire a private cleaner? Additionally, agencies normally train cleaners beforehand so you can be sure that they know how to do their job right. And if you are not happy with your cleaner, they can always provide a new one for you at no extra cost. I have been using FastKlean for quite some time now and couldn't be happier. Our regular cleaner is amazing and their service is fantastic. Even when she's had to go on holiday, all the replacement cleaners that they have ever sent to us have been really good. So if you are willing to consider an agency, I will definitely recommend this one.
Adrianabelshaw, so when your cleaner goes on holiday, you get a different one? And if your cleaner is off sick, you get a different one, again. So, you have a string of complete strangers coming into your home?
I know which I would rather have. A legal insured private cleaner, whose references I have checked and who has been recommened by friends, work colleagues or family. Do not slate all private cleaners. If you do things sensibly, there is no risk to hiring one. I have 6 regulars and a waiting list built up, all wanting my time. You should not judge.
I always prefer to use a small local business rather than a big chain or franchise if at all possible. Ask around, among 'real' people rather than your local FB page, and get some recommendations.
When you do find a suitable person, feel free to ask to see their insurance certificate, and make sure you talk about things like holidays, bank holidays, what happens if cleaner is sick.
Also write out a check list of what you expect to be done. Not just 'clean bathroom' but 'clean bath, shower, basin, lavatory, including outside of bowl, wipe down tiles, dust windowsills and skirting boards, sweep and mop floor'. Discuss what products will be used and decide if you will provide or cleaner. Ditto mops, cloths and vacuum cleaner.
One thing that can cause seething resentment is leaving an area that's due to be cleaned really untidy. On cleaning day, at least ensure the kitchen work surfaces and sink are clear of unwashed up dishes. Most cleaners won't mind a couple of mugs and plates left after breakfast, but an entire mountain of leftover stuff from last night's supper is a bit unfair!
Joeythenutter, I never slated all private cleaners. I simply said that it is easier to find a cleaner you can truly trust through a licensed agency that has been in this business for years and has all the staff working for them fully trained and insured. And yes, I have had several cleaners coming to my house but all from the same agency. The fact that I have been using this agency for years and they have not disappointed me speaks for itself. I have been really happy with their service and this is the reason I trust them with the people they send to my house. In addition, big companies are normally way too concerned about their reputation and status so they are normally putting a lot of effort to maintain it and they would do everything to make sure their clients are happy.
Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.