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  • Writer's pictureCleaning Cents

Five Questions to Ask a New Cleaning Service

New Cleaning Service Checklist

We want you to be downright picky with what cleaning service you choose. Seriously. Who you trust to let into your home or business is an incredibly important decision. That’s why we’re bringing you a five-question checklist you can use to quickly vet prospective cleaning services. Because, trust us, you don’t want someone you can’t trust in your space.

Criminal Record Check

First up on your new cleaning service checklist is a question that should be easy. What is the cleaning services policy on criminal records for their hires? This should be an easy question, but it’s all too frequently not. Lots of cleaning services don’t even have permanent staff. They hire out unvetted subcontractors who could be… literally anybody. 

Now, you can have whatever opinion you like about whether businesses should hire former criminals that have served their time. The important thing, here, is whether the business in question has even checked. If they haven’t… well, you still might be okay… but we definitely wouldn’t advise taking that risk.

Also, know that you don’t have to trust cleaning services to vet their staff. There are quick and easy ways you can check on any cleaner–whether they’re solo or part of a business.  If you’re in Virginia, you can easily look up a criminal record on anyone here. Other states likely also have similar lookup systems. Our advice? Check.

Current Reference Check

Online reviews are nice and you should definitely check them, but there’s always the question of where they actually come from. Remember, anyone can post a review. References, on the other hand, allow you to actively call someone and ask them questions directly about a prospective cleaner or cleaning service. It’s always worthwhile to ask for references. 

Again, this checklist item is as much about whether the prospective service has references at all as it is about the quality of those references. If they don’t have references, it’s worth your time to ask why. Or, honestly, it may be time to call a different service.

Insurance Check

If a person working on, in, or around your home or business has an accident of some sort and is injured, guess who becomes financially responsible for their treatment? If they’re not insured, it’s likely you. So, don’t guess. Ask. If they don’t have personal insurance, that’s a big risk for you. Not least of all because an injury on your property could be charged to your property insurance, potentially raising your rates forever. 

Then there’s the other importance of insurance. Let’s say they manage to seriously damage something on your property, who pays for that? If they don’t have business insurance, it’s again likely you. And, again, that will likely jack up the rate on your insurance. Don’t put yourself through that, please. Make sure your prospective cleaning service has insurance.

Licensing and Bonding Check

This one is a twofer because, most places, licensing and bonding is a package deal. Licensed, in a nutshell, means that you’ve proven to the government that you are qualified to offer the service you’re licensed for. Bonded means that there is a credit guarantor on call to financially cover any mistakes your business makes. These are both matters of public record you should be able to access relatively easily through your local chamber of commerce or online. If you’re in Virginia, click here to look up business licenses and here to look up professional licenses. 

If they aren’t licensed and bonded, you probably don’t need them on your property. If they say they’re licensed and bonded but you can’t find any record of their license, do not let them in your home. Not having a license is bad. Lying about having a license is an obvious, enormous red flag.

In closing, there’s an awful lot of people out there with an awful lot of claims. Most of them–we fervently hope–are legitimate. However, there’s enough that aren’t on that level that it’s incredibly important to check and make sure that whoever is stepping in your home or business is reliable and safe. With this checklist, you now have a head start on doing just that.

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