Coming home to a clean house is a pleasure that’s worth paying for, especially if you work or have a very busy life. But there are risks when you hire a cleaning service.
First, you are allowing someone full access to your home. If you don’t know the cleaner or the cleaning service hasn’t done a background check, you could expose yourself to theft or damage to your property. There’s a risk of identity theft if you leave sensitive documents where they can be found easily.
If you aren’t around to supervise, you may not be able to tell how much work the cleaning crew actually did. Give the cleaner a list of items or rooms to be cleaned and how you expect it to be done. You should agree in advance on fees. If the fee is hourly, be sure you agree on how many hours you’re willing to pay the cleaner.
Better Business Bureau (BBB) offers these tips for consumers who hire services or work that gives a company or individual access to their homes.
• If possible, be at the residence to supervise the work. Try to arrange a time when you or another adult family member, friend or neighbor can meet the worker or workers.
• Ask for references and contact them.
• Make sure a company is bonded and insured to protect against damaged, stolen or broken items. Ask the company if they have procedures to investigate a possible theft.
• Ask a cleaning company if the staff works directly for the firm or if the work is subcontracted. Ask if employees undergo background checks.
• Make sure a company carries worker’s compensation insurance to protect you against accidents in your home.
• An outside lockbox setup may be preferable to giving a business a key to your home.
• While stamping a key “do not duplicate” is not foolproof, it may prompt a locksmith to think twice before copying it.
• Make sure valuables are out of sight or locked in a safe or drawer to remove temptation. Take a quick inventory of your residence as soon as possible after a worker has had access to your home.
• Contact BBB for a BBB Business Profile at www.bbb.org or 417-380-5074.