Contracts for Cleaning Services
By Robert Kravitz
was published on a former website ‘Build A Business’ by James Nokes.
I learned a lot from Mr. Nokes back when I was new to
the Internet and looking for information for stating a
Years later after I had
formed my own company to assist cleaning businesses I
was honored to have an article featuring
CleanOutlook.com on the Build A Business website and
then two years later he wrote a feature article about
us. That was in 2007 and the publication was
around the same time that our services became more of a
business than a part time hobby.
article was linked to from several places on our website
and it wasn't until just recently when I was searching
for the link to send to one of our customers that I
realized James Nokes had passed away. Because I
had printed this along with other information and tips I
found useful we were able to type it up and place it
here. Hopefully it is able to help another new
company or two as much as it helped me.
Why do you need a cleaning contract?
will start a new account with a “handshake.” However, it is best to
have something in writing, detailing clearly the details of the
Why? The office manager you are working with could leave and the new
manager will not know what is and is not expected, things are
forgotten, and some things changes. Any understanding that can be
discussed can be put on paper; it’s just the professional way of
Below is a sample of an Agreement and Terms for a janitorial
contract. It’s rather simple but it covers almost all the bases.
Moreover, in the very few times this contract has been needed in
court for clarification of the basis or an arrangement, it
Try to avoid using
the work “contract” in your terminology. It’s a legal term that
makes most people take a deep breath and wonder what they may be
getting into. And indeed, some contracts, even in the janitorial
industry, are so complex that they do require a few deep breaths and
time to understand. Refer to your contracts as “Agreement and
Terms.” This sounds more comfortable, gentlemanly, and less
agreement says you agree to do what you say you are going to do and
how often you plan to do it. Your insurance information should be
listed in the agreement. If you provide your own cleaning supplies
but not hand soap, paper products, trash liners, etc., make sure it
The agreement states the monthly charge. But it should also clearly
state when the customer will receive the monthly invoice and when
payment is expected. To help your cash flow, many contractors bill
at the start of the month, by the 1st or the 10th and expect payment
by the end of the current month of service. If this is your policy,
make sure it is listed in the agreement.
If you charge a finance charge for a late payment, definitely
mention it in the agreement as well as the rate and when it takes
affect. It’s often a good idea to have finance information printed
on your invoice as well. States vary on the amount your finance
charge can be so be sure you investigate this. A standard rate is
1.5% per month of the outstanding balance.
This agreement has a termination clause. The most frequent time a
janitorial contarct is presented in a court is when a customer does
not adhere to the “30-day written termination clause.” Some
contractors do not enforce this policy, even though it is listed in
their agreement. Others are very strict about it and insist upon it.
Some contracts even ask that the customer give the contractor 30 –
60 days to correct any problems or issues before allowing a
termination. This can be enforced in court but it becomes a bit
messy because it is so subjective. The client may simply tell the
judge the remedies were not enough to meet the contract
specifications. They ca bring in a second person from the office to
state the same things. As a janitorial contractor, you will then be
forced to prove your point and it could be difficult. You would need
to decide if it is worth the battle to enforce this type of
agreement or just move on.
Sample Agreement and Terms:
AGREEMENT AND TERMS
The janitorial service shall be responsible for the upkeep and
cleanliness of <<CUSTOMER>> as set forth in the proposal. To
protect both parties, all services are covered by General Liability
Insurance, Workmen’s Compensation and all employees are bonded. The
janitorial service shall provide it’s own cleaning supplies,
materials and equipment. <<CUSTOMER>> is responsible for
providing hand soap, paper products and trash liners as needed.
For these services, <<CUSTOMER>> shall be billed
<<CHARGE>> per month for service <<FREQUENCY>> days per
week. This rate shall remain unchanged for 12 months unless an
adjustment is agreed to by both parties. Billing is on the 5thof
each month for the month of service and your payment is due by the
30th of that month. This agreement shall continue on a month to
month basis unless terminated by either party by giving the other 30
days written notice. Your use of our service and your signature
below indicates your understanding and agreement of these terms.
Monthly Service Charge: _________________________