Can’t break out of your commercial cleaning contract?
The performance of your contracted cleaners is consistently falling short of standards, your colleagues are complaining, your feedback isn’t resulting in improvements but you are stuck for options…or… your budgets have tightened and you need to reduce the spend on your cleaning service but you can’t!
YOU CAN’T MAKE CHANGES BECAUSE YOU ARE TRAPPED INTO A BINDING CONTRACT
What we see with some cleaning contracts (examples):
…can only exit or renegotiate contract terms within one month of contract anniversaries or significant penalties …..can only issue a termination notice subsequent to a formal non performance notification (cannot terminate without going through this process)…..how about tihis one:
…can only exit contract after a term of four years or significant penalties…
We aren’t legal practitioners and we are not attempting to give legal advice but these don’t appear to be mutually beneficial agreements. They remove all risk from the cleaning contractor and place it with the client.
THE SOLUTION: Ensure your contract has a reasonable exit clause for both parties:
- both parties should be able to give notice
- the period of notice (for small to medium size contracts) typically shouldn’t exceed 3 months
- it is normal to expect a requirement for liquidated damages if you, as a Client, try to exit without appropriate notice (unless you negotiate otherwise)
- FEEDBACK: the Client should commit to providing timely and accurate feedback of issues, with the contractor provided with the opportunity to address the issues reasonably (trying to make the relationship work is often preferential to going through a recruitment process…up to a point!)
- EXCEPTIONS: If you, as a Client, are responsible for a large facility where the contractor has had to make significant equipment and people investment in order to implement the contract it is reasonable to expect the exit time frames to be longer
In a nutshell, a contract should reflect a mutually beneficial arrangement, for both parties, long term.
We will offer more thoughts on cleaning contracts in the future but in the meantime we hope you have gained some benefit from our thoughts above.
If you have any questions on this or other commercial cleaning topics please feel free to contact the team at Duticall.