Appoint a communal cleaning company?

Posted on February 1, 2021 in Cleaning

Appoint a communal cleaning company

If you own an apartment and have to pay maintenance charges, first, you’re not going to be too happy about it, and second, you’re going to be pretty sure you’re getting value for your money! Here we discuss how you appoint a communal cleaning company.

However what do maintenance charges cover? It can be a whole range of things from building insurances, communal utility charges and general maintenance, to saving for redecorating both inside and outside the communal areas, and legal advice and fees.

Over the course of a year that can amount to substantial costs. Of course included in these charges are the need to keep the communal areas clean and tidy, windows cleaned, and the garden areas maintained and litter free. These last areas are probably the most visible to you on a week by week basis, and actually entail a lot of work. More of this later. But in this area of services can be many reasons for dissatisfaction from residents: Poor quality cleaning, lack of regularity or a proper schedule, long delays in getting small maintenance issues seen to, care for bin stores, and lack of communication. If you are looking to appoint a cleaning and maintenance company, or you have problems in any of the aforementioned area’s, then Protech Property Solutions, can really help you and your fellow residents.

Firstly though, how do you appoint a communal cleaning company or garden maintenance contractor? The basic process is quite straight forward. If you have a property management company linked to your residence, then they will likely do this on your behalf. This is done by means of a competitive tendering process, usually of at least three quotations, coupled with a recommendation of contractors whom they already use and trust.

If you are representing a private group of residents and are responsible for recommending a contractor for your site, the choice available can be bewildering. A good source of information is of course the internet, perhaps utilising some of the well known on-line directories. These have the advantage of being able to locate a local service relatively easily. Having got a list of some, you can contact these with a view to arranging for them to carry out a site survey, followed by a quotation to supply the services you require.

You will need to specifically advise them of the following points:

i) The specification of the work required, i.e. what you expect for the money you will have to pay. Bear in mind, that for gardening, as an example, the specification will be much more intense for the summer months, than for winter months. So, from April to October you may require weekly visits to mow lawns, trim hedges and shrubs, carry out weed control and litter pick. In winter, perhaps a fortnightly or monthly lower maintenance visits will be all that is needed. This again may include litter picking, edging lawns and some shrub maintenance.

ii) The frequency of the work required. With communal area cleaning for instance, this is usually weekly or fortnightly. Window cleaning can vary from monthly to quarterly.

iii) Whether you have a specific budget or not.

Having decided on your shortlist, you should ask them for a list of their clients who could provide a reference on the standard of their work, or even have a look at their websites to see if such testimonials are readily available. Once you’ve decide on your preferred communal cleaning company, you will need to put in place and annual contract between yourselves and them, but always with a probationary period built in that gives you a safety net should you not be happy with what you’re getting.

One such company in this sector that has won a reputation for high standards and good value, is Protech Property Solutions.

Protech Property Solutions are a leading provider of facility support services in the property management sector with an unrivalled reputation for quality and customer care.

For over 35 years Protech have worked with property owners and managers to design and deliver tailored facility support service solutions across London and the South East of England.

So what exactly do Protech Property Solutions do, and how can they help you? By far most of their work is now in the area of cleaning and maintenance of apartment blocks and their surrounding grounds, and as such they already work with many of the UK’s leading property management companies.

Let’s start with cleaning. What can residents expect of typical cleaners? At the very least, the communal areas should be dusted and the internal glass should have marks removed. Added to that is a good vacuum through of the flooring. At Protech Property Solutions, they believe in doing a job well, and will go above and beyond the call of duty on occasions, as they realise this will both reflect well on them, but also represents good service and that ‘something extra’ that is so appealing to customers. So the service that Protech offer includes dusting of all skirtings, architraves, window frames and sills, radiators, light fittings, wall fittings, balustrades and gloss painted surfaces.

In addition if sticky or dirty marks have been left on such surfaces, these will be properly wiped and removed. Things that are often missed by cleaning companies, and to which attention is paid to are metal finger plates on doors, glass panels in internal doors, and the outside of external communal doors, security lights and wall mounted entry systems. Carpets are thoroughly vacuumed, and this means getting into corners, lifting door mats and cleaning under these, and getting into that difficult crease between stair treads and the riser to the next step. If the area has a hard floor, this will also be mopped. Other items that are scheduled in on a rotational basis include cleaning down stair nosings, high reach cobweb removal and the removal of scuff marks on the walls. They also have a reach & wash window cleaning system so that they can be easily and safely done at intervals agreed with customers. One little known fact about the reach & wash system is that the water used (either, or a combination of, a ‘Reverse Osmosis’ and ‘De-ionising process) is that it keeps the windows cleaner for longer, thus helping to reduce costs to the customer.

Earlier, mention was made about adding in additional skills and services, and so Protech have added to their portfolio, the regular checking and replacement of light bulbs, something that in the dark winter months is essential to maintaining safety and security. In addition they can carry out routine maintenance jobs such as adjusting locks, door closers, trade button times and small repair jobs. For a full list of the services we provide please visit our website:

What other credentials and insurances exist that would give you, the customer, peace of mind?

Other than what you can find out from other customers as mentioned earlier, much can be ascertained from the appearance of staff and their vehicles. If staff and vehicles are professionally branded this often can tell a lot about how a company views their reputation, and how they want to be perceived by their customers. So if they turn up in a tatty, rusty old van and their clothes look like they’re well past their sell by date, and they smell like they could curdle milk at 20 yards, then you may wish to think twice! Poor appearance often translates into poor performance.

On the other hand, what does a professionally sign written van tell you? That they are proud of their reputation and they are happy to be identified with their company. Equally if they are well turned out in branded clothing that’s in good repair, then they are happy to be ambassadors for their firm and the standards that it claims to aspire to. Of course, if they are hardworking, they may not always look pristine! The very nature of their job means they will get dirty. However you will instinctively know whether they are simply just plain slovenly, or they do their best to be the best that they can.

All contractors, by law, must carry Public Indemnity insurance and likely Employee Insurance. In some industries, such as commercial cleaning and gardening, this does not come cheap. Why is it important to you? Imagine while working on your premises, the contractor accidentally damages something. Such insurances will cover them for damage repairs or replacements. This gives you peace of mind, and could potentially avoid costly and time consuming court cases. So, ask to see their insurance.

Finally it is so much easier to develop a good relationship with just one contractor, than to do so for half a dozen. That is why Protech Property Solutions have developed the complete property care package.

If you want a no obligation quotation, you can call one of our friendly team on 0845 604 1288 to arrange a site visit or visit Protech Property Solutions for more information on our communal cleaning company.