I'm taking back our recommendation for the clean-up crew for the condo. The work was fine, the place was clean, but after trying to get an invoice from them for several weeks now, they went ahead and charged the credit card what we feel is an arbitrary amount.
We agreed to $20/hour, per worker (standard for the City). After describing the mess left by the tenants as "urine-soaked from wall to wall" and "overall filthy," as well as letting them know there were three bedrooms and two bathrooms plus living room/kitchen, were told it would be an additional flat charge of $23 for cleaning supplies. Four men for 4.5 hours, plus cleaning supplies, comes to $383. We were charged $450.
When the cleaning team left, they didn't give us anything to sign off on, telling us that we'd get a call back from their boss the next day. That call never came. After a few days, we finally decided we better call them, because we really need an invoice from them to document the deduction from the tenants' deposit.
Almost three weeks later, we're still waiting on an invoice, although they did finally charge us for the service last week. Because of the price disparity, Ted asked for an itemization. "Five hours for the cleaners, and the rest was for cleaning supplies," he was told. The owner couldn't itemize further what kind of cleaning supplies or how much was used, and I know that when the crew arrived it was with half-used containers of cleaning products. Nothing fancy, either. Buckets, bleach, Windex, a pile of old rags, etc.
Ted pressed her further, because it was obvious they are padding the bill, both the hours and the amount for cleaning supplies. The owner then got very belligerent, saying that they did us a favor by coming in that same night, that the place was dirtier than they expected and we were lucky they accepted the assignment at all. (What part of "urine-soaked" didn't she understand?)
But here's the kicker. The owner tells Ted: "What do you care, anyway, what it costs? It comes out of their deposit."
I know the difference really isn't much, when you get down to it. But it's the principle. We have a lot of legitimate expenses to cover on the condo cleanup and urine remediation. As angry as we are with the former tenants, being punitive or excessive with charges does not help our case, should it go to court. There is already more damage than the deposit covers, and if we do end up in court, we're going to have to prove the cost of everything with receipts. So we're trying to do as much as we can ourselves to keep the costs down. For this cleaning service to blatantly pad the bill after we agreed to terms and then turn it around on us as if we're being unreasonable is outrageous.
Too bad, too. I thought they did a fine job cleaning. But we won't be using them again for our properties, nor can we recommend them.