Ignorance is Not all Bliss!
All house cleaning services are not created equal. There are thousands of people who consider themselves a housekeeper, housecleaner, or even a maid that can offer very low pricing for their services.
I have no doubt many of these people can provide a great clean to your home. I had an individual house cleaner when we were stationed at Fort Polk (years before I started Precision Clean.) I put an ad in the post newspaper because there were no local companies to choose from. (If you know anything about Fort Polk-that shouldn't come as a shocker!) The house cleaner I had was efficient and she did a great job. However there are some important things that she could not provide.
I have to admit ignorance was bliss in this case because I never had to deal with a large amount of unexpected costs; and frankly did not know about the risks. Most individual house cleaners are able to provide low prices because they don’t provide three main things which put the customer at risk:
1) A license
They can not provide a license showing they are a registered business with their state. What that means is the government doesn’t know they are a business so any money these individuals make is not taxed. Why should you care? Because the money you saved on hiring an unlicensed individual will not compare to the potential costs and penalties if you are liable for having a “domestic” worker in your home. A licensed house cleaning company handles all payroll taxes for their employees and the client is not held liable.
2) General liability insurance
They can not provide (or can’t afford to provide) general liability on themselves. Slip and fall accidents or weight-bearing injuries are more common in service industries than office jobs. What if the unlicensed, uninsured cleaner you hired, falls down the stair and breaks her arm? Check out this All State commercial which says it all. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ib4Dq4MO95U You will be held liable for all the medical costs since the accident happened in your home. You could also be held liable for lost wages since the unlicensed individual has bypassed the worker’s compensation requirement. I will admit insurance is very expensive and most individual house cleaners can not afford it because they offer such low prices.
General liability also covers damage in the home. House cleaners do their best to not break anything; but accidents do happen and that’s why licensed cleaning companies can afford to replace or fix damaged items.
3) Employment screening
Does the house cleaner you choose from a Craig’s List ad or a Facebook recommendation pass a proper employment screening? How much do you really know about the person coming to take care of your home while you may or may not be present? How do you know the three references you received aren’t just friends of the person you are hiring to take care of your home?
A reputable company will conduct thorough background checks, multiple interviews, and reach out to references to make sure that potential employee can be trusted in someone’s home. That company will also have a plethora of reviews from different sites so the client can see what the company is all about and what type of people work for them. The client can rest easy that this licensed company is hiring people that are trustworthy and have passed all background checks.
As the owner of Precision Clean, where the company is licensed, insured, and bonded, I now understand the risks I took when I hired an unlicensed house cleaner. I was ignorant of the risks back at Fort Polk and I vow to make sure no one has to learn the hard way about hidden costs for hiring someone who can not provide these three vital things.