Commercial cleaning contracts accomplish multiple things at once. Not only do they protect the customer’s interest but they also help avoid misunderstandings that could turn into legal problems between the service provider and clients.
It’s important for professional cleaning companies to use clear, legally sound, complete contracts for all their projects, even small, one-time jobs.
Years ago, some providers relied on verbal contracts, but today’s service company owners opt for the reassurance that written contracts provide.
When everything is in writing and signed by both parties, there is very little room for a “we-said-they-said” kind of dispute to develop.
For starters, anyone who owns or intends to own a cleaning service should review the basics of contracts.
They should know how they help everyone involved, realize what typical contracts cover, and understand how to write a contract that meets the key legal requirements of the industry.
What Cleaning Contracts Are and Aren’t
Each year, business owners all over the world spend more than USD$300 billion on commercial cleaning services.
While contracts can be verbal or written, nearly all serious, professional providers use legally precise, thorough written documents in this day and age.
These agreements are simply a list of services that the cleaner will provide to the customer, along with the date, time, and prices for the job.
One thing people often forget about the cleaning business is that service providers are given exclusive access to the personal property and private space of customers.
Few other business services have that kind of intimate access to a client’s space and property. Contracts can recognize this special relationship by clearly stating who will pay for any accidental damage to the client’s property.
Why Contracts Help All Parties
What is true for most service industries is also the case for cleaning services. Written contracts that have been reviewed or created by lawyers protect all parties and make for smooth business relations.
Contracts serve dozens of purposes because they spell out specific data about pricing, dates, exact duties to be performed, who the cleaning team will be and how long the job will take.
It also covers what happens in the event of cancellations by either party, what the conditions are for refunds or re-doing of services, and much more.
What a Typical Cleaning Contract Covers
Corporate managers and owners hire professional cleaners for reasons of safety, hygiene, and having an attractive workplace. In the age of global pandemics, the need for expert cleaning teams has become more apparent.
Companies that provide such services need to use contracts on every project.
In most cases, the typical cleaning contract covers the following five things, which are easy to remember by using the acronym “CRISP,” the letters of which stand for the following key items covered by a standard commercial cleaning contract:
C is for “Cost” Be specific about what you’re charging for the job or for a series of jobs.
R is for “Responsibilities” Delineate the responsibilities of both parties, like time of arrival of the cleaning crews, what they’ll do, whether the customer needs to be on or off-premises, etc.
I is for “Insurance” The document should state what kind of insurance you have and what it covers, in explicit detail.
S is for “Services” The heart of the document is the list of cleaning services you will provide.
P is for “Payment” Finally, every contract should spell out how and when the customer will be required to pay, and how much they’ll pay.
10 Steps For Creating Your Own Cleaning Contract
You can and should write your own commercial cleaning contracts even if you are not a lawyer. However, before finalizing the document, be certain to have a legal professional review it to make certain that it contains all the necessary components.
When you do create your own contract for use on cleaning jobs, consider the following 10 steps:
1- Basic company data should be listed first, namely the company’s address, hours, name, etc.
2- Payment specifics like amount, due date, and the form of payment (credit, cash, annual billing, etc.
3- A clear, precise statement about who is obligated to provide supplies and equipment
4- Statements about how to conclude or end the contract and how much notice each party must give to the other
5- Details about the work schedule if it is not a one-time job. Namely, will it be done on certain days each week, once per month, etc.
6- Contact data (phone, email, etc.) for the customer
7- The precise time of day and the calendar date when the job will begin
8- The exact physical place/location where the work will take place
9- Have it reviewed by a competent lawyer
10- Get the document signed by the customer and the cleaning professional
Avoid These Contract Problems
Because keeping commercial spaces clean, hygienic, and safe is such a huge job and encompasses a wide scope of work, there are long lists of what to do and what not to do for service providers. When it comes to contracts, specifically, avoid the following:
Wording that is hard for customers to understand
Clauses that coerce clients into committing to multiple visits
Phrasing that does not allow for cancellation by either party
Promises you can’t fulfill
Unclear wording about when and how payment is to be made
Commercial Cleaning Contracts
Since the COVID pandemic, the worldwide commercial cleaning industry has been in a state of rapid growth. In the U.S. alone, the $117 billion sector is experiencing a demand increase of historic proportion.
For entrepreneurs who clean professionally, it’s essential to use the services of a lawyer to make sure contracts are sound.
Plus, it’s also necessary to amend standard contracts when situations change. Expert cleaning company owners should aim to slightly over-deliver on services rendered even though the contract does not require them to do so.
Giving excellent service on every job and going the extra mile is just smart marketing.
But, written contracts are vital for protecting providers and clients on every job, even very small ones.
Cleaners who understand how contracts work and use written ones on every job with every customer will prevent lots of headaches and hassles.
Contracts make customers happy, protect everyone involved in the transaction, and are the sign of a truly professional entrepreneur.
Speak to a business lawyer for help with commercial cleaning contracts.