Housekeeping Company Key
After interviewing several cleaning companies you finally made a deal with a local housekeeping company with a good track record and competitive pricing. However, just recently your spouse went back to work and will no longer be home during the time the housekeeping crew will arrive. Now you need to figure out how to allow the cleaners access to enter your home. Although the company checked out fine and have great references, you do not feel comfortable with the idea of giving them a copy of the key to your house. What options do you have? Let’s start with the most common solutions to this dilemma.
Client is always home to allow entry
The safest and most common arrangement is when the client is home to allow access to the housekeeping crew, and is home when they finish. Although no reliable statistics are available that show what percentage of people are always, or almost always home, during the arrival and departure of house cleaning service, we’d estimate it to be around 30% - 40%. Yes, even in this economy there are many households with just one working spouse, while others are retired, and many prefer to schedule housekeeping services either on their day off from work. In other situations, someone in care of the house hold will allow entry and exit to the cleaning personnel. Okay, but what about in situations when nobody will ever be home during the time the cleaners arrive?
High grade key lock box
The most recommend arrangement you can make with your housekeeping service provider is to allow them to install a lockbox, similar to the ones used for vacation rentals or for real estate properties that are on sale. Using a lockbox has many advantages. First of all, lock boxes are made of high grade steel and can resist most attempts of tampering to gain access to the key. They are affordable and can be provided either by the client or the company. The access code can be custom set and changed when necessary. When a lock box is provided by a company, the access code is usually only shared with the lead in charge of the housekeeping service, as well as with the client. It is highly recommended that the key be placed in the lock box only the day of service before the service start time. Once they are finished cleaning, and as soon as you arrive home, the key should be taken out. The key should be placed back again until the next service day. This will minimize the time frame during which the key is left inside the lock-box, and will therefore reduce the window of opportunity of unauthorized access. What if you do not want a lock box left anywhere on hour property, AND nobody will be home to allow entry?
Provide housekeeping company with a key copy.
This is an alternate arrangement for clients that do not want a lock-box installed anywhere on the property. After all, getting a copy of a key will cost a dollar or so, versus $30 an up for a decent lock-box. Although many clients may feel uneasy about this arrangement, it is actually very common. As with any business dealings, every client should do there due diligence before handing over a copy of a key to any housekeeper, independent or company. In our opinion it is best to review some basic information about the company to measure there level us trustworthiness as an organization. A number of metrics can be used to ascertain the likelihood that the housekeeping service is worthy of holding on to a copy of the key to your house. These metrics can be as simple as making sure the company has a service bond in place in case something gets damaged or goes missing. If they have a service bond, it is almost certain they’ve got a business license and meet the minimum requirements to offer service to the public. Do they at least have a website with a contact number and email? Not as important but also relevant is whether or not the company has a conflict resolution policy that will guide both parties in case something goes wrong. The point is, if a company has gone through the effort to establish a risk management plan as part of the business, it will more than likely take proper action if a staff member is found responsible for gaining access to a property at any time other than the scheduled cleaning.
For those of you that hire a private cleaner, we’d first recommend to do an in person interview and get a feel for the person. Maybe do a few trial cleanings with you present and then decide if the person is trustworthy or not. After that, ask for references of either current or previous house cleaning clients. They can give you some inside information about the person’s character and work habits.
As you can see, the options on how to allow the housekeepers access is variable and will depend on each individuals personal situation. Make sure to ask for references, service bond, and decide which way will work better for your situation.