Whether you’ve used cleaners in the past or this is the first time you’re considering getting someone in, here are ten questions you should always ask a potential new cleaner.

1. How are your rates charged?
All cleaners have different pricing structures. Some charge by the job regardless of how long it takes, while others charge per hour. Speak with several cleaners to get quotes to find out which is the best for you and remember that the cheapest cleaner is not always the best.

2. What is included in the price?
How many cleaners does that price include? What tasks can I expect to be done in the agreed time, and what happens if they are unable to complete them in the expected time? Your cleaner should be happy to provide you with a checklist of agreed tasks you are paying for.

3. How experienced are you?
Just because someone has only recently started up a cleaning business does not mean they can’t do a great job, but they should have sufficient experience and knowledge for cleaning your surfaces, especially if you have expensive finishes and furnishes which could easily be damaged without the right care.

4. Can I see references?
Hiring a cleaner is the same as interviewing for another job, and no savvy employer would hire someone without first checking their references.

5. Will it be you, or an employee who cleans my property?
This is a big one as you want to know who will be in your home. If the person you’re speaking to won’t be the one cleaning your home who will be, and what sort of background check has their employer done?

6. Do you have liability insurance and bond?
Your cleaner should have liability insurance to cover any damage or accidents at your property.

7. What equipment do you supply?
Some cleaning companies bring everything they need, while others prefer their clients to supply the materials and equipment. This should also be reflected in the cost. If you have preferred products let your cleaner know, and if you’re providing the equipment make sure your cleaner is happy with them and knows how to use them.

8. How will you gain access?
The security of your home is paramount. Agree with your cleaner how they will gain access and make sure it is a way that both of you are happy with.

9. Can I have a written contract?
Ask your cleaner for whatever you have agreed on in terms of hours, equipment, tasks, property access, insurance, etc. to be put in writing for both of you to sign. This is as much for their protection as for yours.

10. What happens if I am not happy?
You need to trust your cleaner will treat your home with care and respect, and that they will be contactable if there is an aspect of their service you’re not happy with.

Whatever you do, don’t feel nervous asking a potential cleaner these questions. Professionals will expect it as they understand the trust you will be placing in them to take care of your home.