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Top 5 Tips for Commercial Cleaning Contracts

A commercial cleaning contract is an agreement between a person and a cleaning business. A cleaning contract should describe the cleaning duties and the fees for those services.

For businesses offering services to the public, customer satisfaction is important to keep the business goodwill. Service providers must establish a clear customer expectation of the quality and scope of service. To achieve that goal, a commercial cleaning contract should set out clear terms and conditions for the cleaning service.

A commercial cleaning contract outlines the scope of work, payment terms, and other details. A clear contract will set expectations and ensure the smooth execution of cleaning services. However, drafting an effective contract can be challenging.

Here are 5 things to consider in creating commercial cleaning contracts. These tips help businesses and service providers establish a clear and mutually beneficial agreement.

These 5 tips will help you make a good and useful contract if you own a business and need cleaning services. They will also be beneficial if you run a cleaning company and want better contracts. Plus, they’re helpful for business owners seeking cleaning services and cleaning companies looking to improve contracts.

Farrah Motley, a qualified Australian lawyer, wrote this article. Farrah joined the Supreme Court of Queensland in 2014 and is the Director of Prosper Law. She has provided legal advice for cleaning companies and their customers.

Tip One: Clearly outline who can attend the site and any site requirements

A commercial cleaning contract should state who will clean and what is needed at the site.

cleaner in gloves tiding up bathroom after agreeing to a commercial cleaning contract

Here’s an example of how you can clearly outline who can attend the site and any site requirements:

 “Site Access and Requirements:

1.1 The Service Provider shall ensure that all personnel who are assigned to perform the cleaning services at the Client’s premises (“Site Attendees”) have undergone the necessary training and are fully qualified to carry out the tasks assigned to them.

1.2 The Service Provider shall provide the Client with a list of all Site Attendees, including their full names and qualifications, at least five (5) business days before the commencement of the cleaning services. The Client reserves the right to approve or reject any of the Site Attendees.

1.3 The Service Provider shall ensure that all Site Attendees comply with the site requirements at all times. These requirements include but are not limited to, wearing appropriate personal protective equipment, adhering to the site’s safety protocols, and maintaining a professional and respectful demeanour while on the premises.

1.4 The Service Provider shall ensure that all Site Attendees attend a site induction conducted by the Client before commencing services on the Site. The Service Provider must ensure that all Site Attendees comply with the requirements of the site induction at all times while they are on the Site.

1.5 The Service Provider shall be responsible for any damages or losses caused by the Site Attendees while on the Client’s premises. The Service Provider shall also be responsible for any breaches of the site requirements by the Site Attendees.”

Why a cleaning contract should specify who is doing the cleaning

Clearly outlining the site attendees and requirements is important in a commercial cleaning contract for the following reasons:

  • to ensure that the service provider only allows trained and authorised personnel on site. This is important because cleaning often involves the use of equipment and hazardous chemicals;
  • if the site contains sensitive information or valuable items, it’s crucial to control who has access to the premises;
  • to be able to properly identify any person or personnel responsible in case of damage; and
  • clear site requirements can help prevent disputes that could disrupt the cleaning schedule.

Tip Two: Be specific about the cleaning tasks

Items that require cleaning

Specifying the cleaning tasks establishes boundaries and the scope of the cleaning service. This is to ensure that the service provided was not underworked or overworked.

The contract should indicate the following items (as relevant):

  • Sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, and carpet cleaning of the floor
  • Dusting, washing, and removing any marks or graffiti of the walls and ceilings
  • Washing both sides of the window and cleaning window sills and frames.
  • Cleaning both sides, as well as door handles and frames
  • Cleaning and sanitizing toilets, sinks, mirrors, floors, and walls, replenishing supplies like soap and toilet paper, and emptying trash bins.
  • Cleaning appliances like microwaves and refrigerators, wiping down countertops and cabinets, washing dishes, and emptying trash bins.
  • Dusting computers, printers, and other office equipment.
  • Dusting and polishing desks, tables, chairs, and other furniture.
  • Cleaning light fixtures and replacing bulbs as needed.
  • Emptying and cleaning all trash bins.
  • Sweeping walkways, cleaning entrance areas, and removing trash.
  • Specialised areas that need to be cleaned may also be indicated in the contract. This may include display shelves, product racks, gym equipment, medical equipment, and more.

How many rooms are you going to clean?

The number of rooms often directly impacts the cost of the cleaning service. By specifying the number of rooms, both parties can agree on a fair price for the service.

When a site has multiple rooms, it is important to specify in the contract the number of rooms that require cleaning. This can help to prevent any additional costs. If there are rooms that people can’t enter, the contract should mention it so the cleaning staff know.

It also helps define the scope of work for the cleaning service provider. By defining the scope of cleaning services, both parties will:

  • know exactly how many rooms they are responsible for cleaning. This allows them to allocate resources, such as staff and cleaning supplies, more effectively
  • know in advance the number of rooms to be cleaned. The cleaning service provider can then ensure that they clean all areas within the agreed time frame.

Having a specific number of rooms in the cleaning contract provides a clear reference point and can help resolve issues. Being specific can also help cleaning businesses identify when there may be a variation.

The frequency of cleaning tasks

Stating the frequency of the cleaning tasks sets clear expectations between the client and the cleaning service provider. We often notice a difference in the frequency of cleaning tasks and the frequency desired by the client.

This helps avoid any disputes in the future.

crop woman dusting lamp during housework

Further, it allows the cleaning service provider to plan their schedule and resources effectively. Knowing the frequency of tasks helps them allocate their workforce and manage their time efficiently.

Moreover, the frequency of cleaning tasks can directly impact the cost of the service. A daily cleaning service, for example, will likely cost more than a weekly or monthly service. Therefore, it’s important to specify this in the contract to ensure transparent and fair pricing.

An example of the contract clause providing for the frequency of tasks would be:

If the premises require cleaning every day: “The service provider will perform the agreed-upon cleaning tasks every day within business hours.”

When cleaning is needed less frequently: “The service provider will perform the agreed-upon cleaning tasks every Monday and Thursday.”

If the cleaning is needed only occasionally or on an as-needed basis: “The service provider will perform the agreed-upon cleaning tasks upon request with a 48-hour notice.”

photo of vacuum cleaner on floor

Tip Three: Variation clauses in commercial cleaning contracts

A variation clause is a provision in a contract that allows changes or modifications to the terms of the contract after it has been signed. The common changes are, as to the scope of work, frequency of service, and payment terms.

Here’s an example of a variation clause in a commercial cleaning contract:

“The Client (acting reasonably) may at any time request in writing from the Service provider to carry out a Variation to:

(a) increase, decrease, or omit any part of the Services;

(b) change the nature or quality of any material or work to be used or performed as part of the Services; or

(c) perform additional services.

A variation clause provides a clear process for making amendments to the contract. A variation clause in a commercial cleaning contract ensures that both parties understand the process for changing the fee or scope. Further, a variation clause prevents disputes that could arise from unauthorised or unexpected changes to the services.

Moreover, a variation clause can help control costs. If additional work is required outside the original scope, additional payment is often required. A variation clause protects the service provider from absorbing extra costs. In this way, a variation clause helps manage risks associated with changes in the scope of work.

Tip Four: Explain the process for terminating the commercial cleaning contract

The termination clause of a commercial cleaning contract outlines the grounds for the termination of the cleaning contract. This is done by documenting a process of terminating the cleaning contract including any notice periods required. This establishes clear expectations regarding the conditions for ending the commercial cleaning contract.

Further, it helps both parties to understand their potential liabilities and prevent disputes between the parties.

You may be able to terminate a commercial cleaning contract in the following ways:

  • By mutual Agreement of the parties agreeing to end the contract;
  • When the contract is only limited for a period and such period has arrived;
  • If one party wilfully fails to fulfil their obligations under the contract, the other party may have the right to terminate the contract;
  • If the cleaning service provider becomes insolvent or goes out of business, the contract can be terminated; and
  • If the cleaning service provider consistently fails to meet the standards of cleanliness specified in the contract, the client may have the right to terminate the contract.

The specific terms for termination should be clearly outlined in the contract, including any notice periods. The commercial cleaning agreement should also outline procedures for giving notice and any penalties or costs associated with early termination.

Tip Five: Clearly state the price for cleaning charges and explain the calculation method

Cleaning charges include the costs of using materials and equipment for cleaning. The contract should clearly itemise the equipment and materials.

You should also state how you have calculated the price. Further, indicate whether the contract is a fixed lump sum or based on hourly rates. The contract must outline how to calculate prices to ensure that charges to the customer are fair. Consider the area’s size, number of rooms, and how often it needs cleaning when deciding on cleaning charges.

Here’s an example of a payment and pricing clause in a commercial cleaning contract:

“Payment and Pricing Terms:

1.1 The Client agrees to pay the Service Provider a total fee of [insert total fee] for the cleaning services as outlined in this contract. This fee is based on the scope of work, the number of rooms to be cleaned, and the frequency of cleaning tasks as detailed in the contract.

1.2 The total fee is calculated as follows: [insert detailed breakdown of how the fee is calculated, for example, “The fee is calculated based on a rate of [insert rate] per room, multiplied by the number of rooms to be cleaned, and the number of cleaning sessions per week/month.”]

1.3 The Service Provider will provide an itemized invoice to the Client on a [weekly/monthly] basis. The invoice will detail the cleaning tasks performed, the number of rooms cleaned, and the total amount due.

1.4 The Client agrees to pay the invoice within [insert number of days] days of receipt. Late payments may be subject to a late fee of [insert late fee].

1.5 Any additional cleaning tasks not outlined in this contract will be subject to additional charges. The Service Provider will provide a quote for these additional tasks, and the Client must approve these charges in writing before the tasks are performed.”

Why it is important to have clear pricing clauses

This is important to ensure transparency between the client and the cleaning service provider. Both parties know the cost of services and how they have determined these costs.

The pricing can also reflect the scope of work. For instance, we typically see clients price more complex or frequent cleaning tasks higher. This helps the client understand the value they are getting for their money.

Further, it allows the client to budget accurately for the cleaning services. Knowing the cost upfront helps the client manage their finances effectively. A clearly established price for the service offered helps in setting the client’s cost expectations. It is also helpful for the service provider if there is a dispute regarding the collection of fees.

Key takeaways for commercial cleaning contracts

Goodwill and a high reputation are assets that every business must establish. To achieve this, a well-written Commercial Cleaning Contract is an imperative tool in every commercial cleaning service business. This outlines the duties and responsibilities of the service provider to the client and vice versa.

The 5 Tips discussed above ensure that:

  • the cleaning services company uses only trained and authorised personnel to carry out cleaning tasks
  • any site requirements that need to be complied with by the cleaning provider
  • the scope of the tasks are clearly described
  • the cleaning services business understands the items that need to be cleaned
  • both parties have a clear understanding of the frequency of cleaning tasks
  • there is an agreed way to calculate additional fees and charges

If the cleaning standard is unclear, it can lead to a decrease in service quality. This, in turn, can result in client dissatisfaction. Additionally, it can also harm the business’s reputation and goodwill. Further, vague contract provisions can lead to disputes and potentially legal action with liability issues.

A poorly written contract can lead to disputes, financial loss, poor service quality, and potential legal issues. Therefore, it’s crucial to ensure that the contract is well-written, clear, and comprehensive.

Like this article? Check out our other articles:

What is a Genuine Redundancy?

How to Make a Variation Claim

Why a Consulting Contract is Essential for your Consulting Business

About the Author

Farrah Motley
Director of Prosper Law. Farrah founded Prosper online law firm in 2021. She wanted to create a better way of doing legal work and a better experience for customers of legal services.

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