Hiring a cleaner - help!(4 Posts)
Hello! DD will be four weeks old tomorrow and I'm fast realising that we have absolutely no time (or inclination) for cleaning. We're keeping the house tidy and managing to keep the kitchen just about respectable, but really our house is getting pretty grubby!
We live in South London and ideally would like someone fortnightly for 3 hours at the beginning - does that sound feasible? We have a three bed (one is a box room) semi.
How best to pick a cleaner? Would rather not go through an agency as then we can pay full amount to the cleaner. Would imagine paying Â£10 an hour.
Any help or advice gratefully received!
I've always been happy with people from an ad in local charity-shop, theirs or mine, and presently have two people coming in, alternate weeks, to ensure no gaps due to illness, holidays etc.
Best advice is to try and agree versatility in jobs, ie spring cleaning, shopping, ironing, garden help etc and to pay top local rate plus petrol expenses etc.
Hi - do make sure they are fully insured and trading legally as self-employed (ie tax registered) otherwise the liability issues are potentially huge.
Word of mouth is the best source of referral. I wouldn't risk using someone who put an ad up in a shop unless they could show you insurance documents.
Never pay cash in hand as paying into the bank will expose and flush out those trading illegally.
I would expect to pay between £12 and £15 pound per hour for a legal operation but occasionally some will do it for less for a time. Anyone really good will have a waiting list unless you can catch them as a start-up before they get booked up. It's very much worth joining a waiting list rather than hiring the wrong service.
Make sure they let you know what is included within their service and what is additional when they come round to quote your home. Also they should let you know what is beyond the scope of their services and insurance cover.
Occasionally a cleaning service will also offer laundry tasks and even the odd one does gardening as a bolt-on service, and with the occasional service, carpet cleaning can be arranged by that same service too, same with oven cleaning, this can sometimes be arranged as an add-on by the same provider or some will outsource these, all are different so make sure it's all clear from the start.
Most are dedicated domestic cleaning services especially if the operate solo or in a team of just two, they will not be able to spread themselves too thin with what they can offer and will specialise in this field only and not offer the additionals for which they do not have the man-power.
Once you know what that particular service offers you can see if it fits your own requirements and at some point in your search you will find a good match for one another. It's no use hiring a service who does not offer ovens if that is what you need regularly, you need to make sure what they offer is everything you want.
The vast majority of clients just want the regular domestic cleaning service but if you want any extras make sure they are able to offer these.
Definitely get a one referred from someone you know if possible. The other thing is when they first come round and you're showing them what you want doing, be very specific and picky. I think I was way too relaxed in the past, and if your cleaner thinks you're not too much of a stickler then they're more likely to do a less good job. It's not in my nature to be really finicky but I think if I had started like that I'd have had better service.
Also I'd rather have an individual who cares about their reputation and is working for £10-£15 an hour (but who may occasionally be ill or on holiday) than someone working for an agency who's on minimum wage and so has no pride in the job. The only agency I used were rubbish - the boss did an amazing sales job so I went with them but the standard of cleaning was rubbish.
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