In order to assist in understanding these terms and conditions, we have provided “In English” summaries of important terms. Whilst these are designed to aid your understanding, such summaries do not constitute legally binding obligations on our part. They are designed solely to improve the user’s experience. The full terms and condition are still available below and printed on the reverse of any proposals/contracts.
In English: We use these terms throughout these Ts&Cs. They are the important things we have to refer back to a lot, rather than having to write War and Peace every time, this keeps things a bit shorter.
In English: These terms and conditions cover our relationship with you and the services we supply to you. If we want to change them, we have to write and tell you. If the law gives you any extra rights on top of these Ts&Cs, then we recognise that. In basic terms, we’ll supply you with an amazing Housekeeper who will do all the things we agreed and wrote down in the proposal (the document attached). The Housekeeper will be insured and we’ll have done our best to ensure they are a really good person. There may be occasions when we need to send a different Housekeeper. This can be for lots of reasons, but we’ll do our best to ensure they’re also a really nice person who is good at their job.
In English: All the stuff we agreed you needed help with from your Housekeeper is set out overleaf. Basically, we’ve set out everything you told us you want and have set out what that will cost. This price is valid for 30 days so you have time to make your mind up. After 30 days, things may need to change. You have to be sure that we’ve covered everything, as what is written down is the deal we’re striking with you – if it needs changing, let us know before we start. If you let us start, then we will take it you have accepted what is written in the Proposal and the Price. If we send the Housekeeper along to start work, or write to you saying we’re going to start work, then we have agreed a legally binding contract. Up to this point, we can say “no” we can’t help you, but this is unlikely as we love to help new customers. By law, you are allowed 7 days to change your mind on a contract like this. This is known as a “cooling off” period. However, sometimes people like our Housekeepers to start sooner than that. This creates a problem, and therefore we give you two choices: a) you can wait seven days after we sign up the contract before we’ll start work (thus giving you time to change your mind); or b) You can waive your right to the seven day cooling off period by ticking the box overleaf and our Housekeeper can get started before the seven days have passed. However, if you go for option (b), you can’t cancel the deal as you’ve given up your right to the “cooling off” period. It’s completely up to you.
4 SERVICES AND DELIVERY
In English: All the things your Housekeeper is required to do are set out in the Proposal. If you need to change anything, it has to be agreed with us in writing. The Proposal has times and dates as to when things are going to happen (e.g. the date and time of your weekly clean, for example). We’ll stick to these as best we can or notify you if we need to change them. It makes our life easier to work to a timetable and we know that this is probably best for you too. However, whilst we really will do our best, we can’t make dates and times legally binding – nor can we be held responsible for any sort of loss you may suffer because of a delay in the Housekeeper providing you with services. Housekeepers are humans – not robots. Thus, whilst they do their very best, unexpected things can happen in their lives too.
5 PRICE AND PAYMENT
In English: We’ve set out our prices in the attached Proposal. If we need to charge any extra for any cleaning materials (or anything like that), we’ve set out those prices too. Prices include VAT unless we say otherwise. You’ll need to pay us monthly in advance by standing order and we’ll need to first payment before any work starts. We think that’s only fair. Payments are made in two parts. You pay us for our wonderful organisational skills, picking the best Housekeepers and all the admin stuff that holds this business together, and you’ll also need to pay the Housekeeper directly. Their hourly rate is set out in the Proposal – we reserve the right to change this from time to time (but we’ll always try to keep it totally reasonable). All the rules to do with payments are set out in the Proposal. If you pay late, we can charge interest. If we have to chase you for payment, you agree that we can recover our costs of doing so too. You can’t hold back from paying us (or our Housekeepers) - if we or they have done the work its only fair that you pay us. We try not to fiddle with our prices, but we may have to change them if you ask us (or the Housekeeper) to do extra things, if our suppliers start charging us more for any materials (where we are not using your own materials) or if things change and it turns out its going to take longer to do a job than was anticipated at first. If we are going to change things, we have to tell you. If you’ve paid us in advance and the Housekeeper / Cleaner doesn’t show up, we will of course arrange for someone else to come and do the job at a time that suits you and us / the new Housekeeper. Fair’s fair.
6 CUSTOMER OBLIGATIONS
In English: We’ll need a few things from you to help get the job done properly. First of all, you’ll need to let our Housekeeper in at the time and dates agreed. They’ll need things such as electricity for the hoover and water to put in their buckets. Simple stuff really. If you need someone’s approval for our Housekeeper to do their job (e.g your landlord, if the house isn’t yours and you’re going to let the Housekeeper have keys), then its down to you to get this approval. If you have specific instructions for the Housekeeper, its best you tell us from the outset (so that they are included in the Proposal). For day-to-day requirements, its best you leave a note or speak with the Housekeeper. Please remove any delicate furniture / family heirlooms etc from the areas to be cleaned. Please provide cleaning materials otherwise the Housekeeper may elect to buy them and can charge you for these (plus a surcharge for the time and expense of getting them for you). They’ll try and buy the right things if you don’t supply it but it’s best to provide your own materials. The same applies with equipment. Most importantly, no poaching our Housekeepers! We work really hard to find and make available the very best Housekeepers. We give them top quality training and make sure they’re all really nice, good at their jobs and ensure that they are properly insured. We have to protect our business. Therefore, if you breach this clause, then you agree to pay us 12 months worth of fees and that this is fair.
7 SUPPLIER OBLIGATIONS
In English: We’ll ensure that all of the services detailed in the Proposal are fulfilled by one of our Housekeepers. Incidentally, our Housekeepers are not employed directly by us. They are self-employed. You are retaining them under what the law calls “a contract for services”. You are responsible for paying the Housekeeper promptly. We’ll do our best to ensure that the services provided are done to a reasonable standard and with reasonable care. We’ll comply with all the Health and Safety laws. We’ll make sure any licenses we need are all “ship-shape” and up to date. We’ll comply with any waste management rules. We’ll make sure we hold appropriate insurance. We’ll do our best to provide replacement Housekeepers if your regular one can’t attend. However, you must respect that Housekeepers need time off. We can’t make them work Christmas and Easter (no one likes doing this) but they may choose to do so, if they want. If your Housekeeper elects not to work during these holidays, we can’t guarantee we’ll be able to supply you with another Housekeeper who is willing to (although we will try).
In English: If you cancel a visit by a Housekeeper, unless we accept there is a really special reason for that, then you’ll still have to pay us our fee. If a Housekeeper turns up as arranged but can’t get in your property (because, for instance your locks have changed) then you’ll have to pay their travelling time. To keep things simple, this is always charged at one hour of their regular hourly rate unless it actually took the Housekeeper longer than an hour to get to you, in which case, you’ll cover their actual time to get to and from your property. If you cancel a Housekeeper with more than 24 hours notice, then you can agree a time when the Housekeeper will come instead. The Housekeeper will do his or her best to come at a time and date to suit you, but bear in mind they have lives, and other customers too, so you may have to work with each other to find the best time and date from them to come instead.
9 DEFECTIVE SERVICES
In English: Regrettably, it’s a fact of life that sometimes things can go wrong. If a Housekeeper messes up and doesn’t do a good enough job then let us know within 24 hours. Assuming we agree a job wasn’t up to scratch, and you’ve paid us for it and are not in arrears of payment on anything else, we’ll arrange for it to be done again, properly. Alternatively, we may elect to refund you a fair proportion of our fees. However, because our Housekeepers are self-employed you’ll need to negotiate any refund in their fees with them directly. We’ll do what we can to help though, as we want you to be happy.
10 INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS
In English: Don’t pinch our fancy logos or business name or business model and don’t pretend to be us (or anything else sinister to do with what the lawyers call our “intellectual property”). We work hard to build a brand and we are proud of it.
11 PROPERTY, RISK AND INSURANCE
In English: All the Housekeepers we supply are insured. They hold public liability insurance up to a maximum payout of £1,000,000. There is an excess on this policy for the first £100 of any claim for which neither we nor our insurers are responsible. You may not realise it, but you actually need to be insured to let people such as the Housekeeper work in your home. You’re probably already covered by the buildings and contents insurance on your house, but its best you check with your insurer / broker. We can ask for a copy of your policy. We (or the Housekeepers) are not responsible for any chemical damage – we’ll only use your cleaning materials, so its down to you what gets used and you must tell the Housekeeper how to use it.
In English: The contract shall continue for as long as we’ve agreed in the proposal (or any extension on top of that). The contract can be terminated by either party by giving the other notice – normally four weeks. You can terminate this contract if you give us notice that something has gone wrong (i.e. not in accordance with this contract) and we don’t rectify it within 4 weeks. We can terminate this contract if you fall more than 2 weeks in arrears on any payment. Either of us can terminate the contract if the other commits a breach that cannot be remedied, the other party become insolvent (formally or otherwise). If the contract is cancelled, any unpaid monies become due and payable straight away. You are responsible for recovering any keys from the Housekeeper. If you cancel the contract in the first three months (except for reasons of claiming on our guarantee) then we are able to charge two months management fees. It is your responsibility to cancel any standing orders. If you forget and then ask us to refund any monies, we will charge a small admin fee for dealing with refunds.
In English: We warrant (basically, make a “legal promise”) that we will perform the Services with reasonable skill and care. That is the extent of our warranty.
14 LIMITATION OF LIABILITY
In English: Legally, there are certain things, which no one is legally allowed to “contract out of”. These include causing death or personal injury. We are expressly stating here that we are not trying to contract out of such things. We do however limit our liability in the case of other matters to a maximum value of the total management fees received by us from you in the preceding 12 months (i.e. a 100% refund of all fees received in the last year from you). We shall not be held liable to you (or anyone else) for loss of profit, consequential or economic loss. Whilst we’ll do our best to ensure that everything is done on time, time obligations are not a legal basis upon which you can base a claim against us. We are human, as are our Housekeepers – we will always strive to do our best and delivering a quality service to you is at the heart of our business, but must protect our interests with these limitations of liability.
In English: If you breach this contract and we are found to be liable to somebody else as a consequence of your breach (not ours) then you agree that you will pay us any sums we have to pay anyone else, because of your breach.
In English: This is our guarantee to you. If you don’t like the first Housekeeper we supply after the initial two cleans we will supply you another. If after two further cleans, you are still not happy, then you can cancel and we will refund all monies paid to us in the first month. Provided you have been fair to us, we will be fair to you – thus to claim on the guarantee, you need to have complied with the terms of this contract yourself.
17 FORCE MAJEURE
In English: This is an “Acts of God” clause – sometimes things happen that are completely beyond either of our control e.g. fires, floods, strikes etc. In such cases, each of us agrees to allow the affected party extra time to fulfill their obligations.
In English: You can’t pass your responsibilities under this contract on to someone else without us agreeing to this in writing.
In English: If any part of this contract is found not to be enforceable, then the rest of the clauses shall survive and remain enforceable.
In English: If either of us elect not to hold the other party to an obligation under this contract, it doesn’t mean that they have waived the right to do so forever.
In English: This clause deals with how the parties can formally communicate with each other in writing – namely, by letters or email. Letters are deemed received straightaway when handed over personally, or in accordance with normal postal timings (i.e. next working day for first class, two working days for second class). Emails are deemed to have been received on the day they were sent, unless the recipient can prove otherwise.
22 ENTIRE AGREEMENT
In English: This agreement is the contract between the parties and trumps everything else, written or oral.
23 GOVERNING LAW
In English: English and Welsh law shall apply to this contract and any disputes shall be decided in the Courts of England and Wales.
24 ACCEPTANCE OF THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS
In English: These Ts&Cs become a binding contract once signed by both parties or alternatively upon you allowing us / a Housekeeper to commence work. Your not signing this agreement (on purpose or otherwise) does not mean you do not accept these terms. If you allow a Housekeeper to start work you are bound (as are we – it works both ways).
25 AMENDMENTS TO THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS
In English: We can change these Ts&Cs – but we must tell you in advance. We will do this by either email or post and give you at least 30 days notice.