With over 2.76 million novel cases recorded in Los Angeles County since the coronavirus outbreak, compliance with both local and federal guidance on living and workspace hygiene is of utmost importance. This not only reduces the spread of the virus but also forestalls the emergence of other environmental diseases, thereby ensuring that you and your loved ones remain in optimal health. Hiring a professional cleaning contractor is the best way to ensure that these hygiene guidances are properly followed. Asking the questions provided in this article can help you make the right decision when searching for cleaning contractors in the City of Los Angeles that will be best suited to your specific cleaning needs:
- Are You Licensed to Practice as a Cleaning Service in the City of Los Angeles?
- How Much Do You Charge Compared to Other Cleaning Services in the City of Los Angeles?
- What Types of Cleaning Services Do You Offer?
- Do You Comply with the City of Los Angeles's COVID-19 Regulations?
- Do You Provide Commercial Cleaning Services for Non-Residential Buildings in the City of Los Angeles?
- Do You Engage Unionized Cleaners for Non-Residential Buildings in the City of Los Angeles?
- Do You Offer Covid-19 Disinfecting Services in the City of Los Angeles?
- What Cleaning Supplies Do You Use?
- Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Cleaners in the City of Los Angeles?
Cleaning contractors that provide construction cleanup services are required to obtain a D-63 Construction Clean-up Contractor License from the California Contractors State License Board before doing so in the City of Los Angeles. These services include the cleanup or removal of resultant debris like dirt, plaster, drywall, scrap, paint, and adhesive products from construction projects on building grounds and structures in the city. Contractors that wish to obtain this license must meet certain eligibility requirements, such as being no less than 18 years old, submitting an application form along with acceptable proof of on-the-job work experience, and paying an application fee. Applicants must also pass a licensing examination and subsequently renew their licenses every two years. Additional information on CSLB-issued clean-up contractor licenses can be gotten by calling the board at (800) 321-2752.
Also, all cleaning contractors that wish to do business in Los Angeles must undergo mandatory registration with the city's Office of Finance and obtain a Business Tax Registration Certificate (BTRC), regardless of the type of cleaning service that they provide. Failure to obtain this BTRC or pay any required business taxes as at when due can lead to monetary penalties and other city-imposed legal remedies. Note that exemptions may be made for cleaning contractors with taxable and nontaxable gross receipts that do not exceed $100,000, both within and outside Los Angeles, as well as to new businesses in the city. Cleaning contractors that wish to obtain a Business Tax Registration Certificate may do so online or in person at any of the following Los Angeles Office of Finance locations:
- City Hall
- 200 N. Spring Street
- Room 101
- Los Angeles, CA 90012
- Van Nuys Civic Center
- 6262 Van Nuys Boulevard
- Suite 110
- Van Nuys, CA 91401
- 1828 Sawtelle Boulevard
- Room 102
- Los Angeles, CA 90025
The registration process can also be commenced by submitting a completed Business Tax Certificate Application Form via email to the office. Note that applicants are typically required to provide information like their Social Security Number or Federal Employment Identification Number, their legal business name, and a description of their business activities.
Queries concerning the Los Angeles business registration process can be directed to the city's Office of Finance at (844) 663-4411 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, and 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. on Wednesdays. Similarly, if you require the services of a cleaning contractor to perform post-construction cleanup, you can confirm that this contractor possesses the required state-issued license via the CSLB's online license check portal. Note that, depending on the nature of your specific cleaning needs, the cleaning contractor that you wish to hire may be required to meet certain other regulatory requirements. As such, it is a good idea to contact the California Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development either online or via phone number (877) 345-4633 to get additional business requirements information for cleaning companies in the City of Los Angeles.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual wage for building cleaning and maintenance service providers in the City of Los Angeles is $38,110. Nonetheless, you should always find out the exact cost of your specific cleaning service when contracting with any cleaning company in the city. These costs are typically dependent on variables like the size of the home or facility that requires cleaning, the home or facility's current state and the type of cleaning required, as well as the types of materials that will be used for the job. Some cleaning contractors also provide recurring cleaning services and may charge hourly or fixed fees for these services. To this end, you should always get and compare estimates from several cleaning companies in the city when conducting your search for suitable contractors to handle your cleaning needs. Note that costs should not be your sole reason for hiring a particular cleaning contractor in Los Angeles, and you should always consider all other factors mentioned in this article.
Building and grounds cleaning workers in Los Angeles earn an average wage of $38,110 annually. A comparison of the average hourly wages of workers in Los Angeles's building and grounds cleaning and maintenance industry against those of workers in the rest of California and five other major cities in the country is provided below:Los Angeles Cleaning Contractors Average Hourly Wage$18.32California Cleaning Contractors Average Hourly Wage$18.74San Francisco Cleaning Contractors Average Hourly Wage$21.53Phoenix Cleaning Contractors Average Hourly Wage$15.26Washington D.C. Cleaning Contractors Average Hourly Wage$17.29Houston Cleaning Contractors Average Hourly Wage$13.53Chicago Cleaning Contractors Average Hourly Wage$16.44New York City Cleaning Contractors Average Hourly Wage$19.09
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
In addition to making sure that your preferred cleaning contractors have met all necessary regulatory requirements for operating in Los Angeles and finding out the cost of their services, you should also confirm that they offer the type of service you need. Professional and experienced cleaning contractors in the city offer a wide range of services to interested parties, including but not limited to office cleaning, post-construction cleaning, regular and deep residential cleaning, enhanced disinfection services, and AirBnB cleaning. By confirming the type of service that a cleaning contractor provides as well as the type of cleaning products that they use, you can determine whether or not they are the best fit for your specific cleaning needs. This in turn ensures that you get a satisfactory service at the end of the day. Cost estimates for some cleaning services offered by professional cleaning contractors in the City of Los Angeles are listed below:Graffiti removal and protection$2.02 - $3.41 per square footIndustrial cleaning services$0.11 - $0.20 per square footJanitorial services$0.14 - $0.25 per square footMedical office & healthcare facility cleaning services$0.18 - $0.36 per square footUpholstery and furniture cleaning$90 - $95 (for average-sized couch)Cleaning a typical four-bedroom home$124 - $145Maid services/home cleaning$23 - $37 per hour
According to the city's Safer L.A. Public Order, the rate of coronavirus community transmission in Los Angeles has increased since June 2021, with the region reporting a seven-day daily average case rate of 262.5 per 100,000 people as of January 2022. Making sure that the cleaning contractor you hire complies with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health's Covid-19 Best Practices Guidance for Businesses and Employers protects your health as well as those of your loved ones and acquaintances. This guidance provides requirements for the cleaning and disinfection of community congregate settings like workplaces and residential buildings in the City of Los Angeles. Some of these requirements include identifying and paying special attention to frequently touched objects and surfaces like doorknobs, handrails, and elevator buttons when carrying out the cleaning. Always confirm that the cleaning business you wish to contract is familiar with this guidance and its requirements for your home or facility before finalizing any hiring arrangements with them. You can get additional information on Los Angeles Covid-19 guidance, best practices, and recommendations by contacting the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health's Communication and Public Affairs Division at:
- 313 N. Figueroa Street
- Room 806
- Los Angeles, CA 90012
- Phone: (213) 240-8144
Do You Provide Commercial Cleaning Services for Non-Residential Buildings in the City of Los Angeles?
Cleaning contractors that wish to provide or specialize in post-construction cleanup services in the City of Los Angeles must possess a state-issued contractor license. Failure to obtain this license from the California Contractors State License Board (CSLB) can result in fines of up to $5,000, jail time of up to six months, a combination of fines and jail time, and other administrative penalties. Except for the CSLB-issued cleanup contractor license, there are no other separate licensing requirements for cleaning contractors that specialize in the cleaning of non-residential facilities like offices, schools, healthcare facilities, commercial kitchens, and research and development facilities in Los Angeles. This category of cleaning contractors typically utilizes more specialized tools and equipment than residential cleaning contractors, who mostly focus on home and residential buildings cleaning and disinfection.
Note that local permits may be required for cleaning services that involve the handling or disposal of hazardous waste generated by businesses or industries in Los Angeles. The issuance of these permits is overseen by the Health Hazardous Materials Division of the Los Angeles County Fire Department. Queries related to hazardous waste permit requirements can be directed to this division at (323) 890-4045 or via email. Similarly, inquiries concerning state-issued post-construction cleanup licenses can be directed to the CSLB at (800) 321-2752. You can also confirm that your intended cleaning contractor has a valid state-issued license where applicable by calling the aforementioned number or online.
When looking for a cleaning company to handle the cleaning of commercial buildings and facilities, you should consider finding out whether the company you intend to contract with is a union cleaning service. Unions like the SEIU: United Service Workers West and the SEIU Local 721 represent the interests of thousands of janitors and cleaning workers in Los Angeles and across the State of California. These unions take actions aimed at providing safe and fair workspaces for their members, while also ensuring that these workers earn good wages that are commensurate to the work they do. As a property owner or facility manager, you also stand to get several benefits if you contract with a union cleaning service, such as a low turnover of cleaners and access to cleaners with proper on-the-job training. Union cleaning services are also more likely to be properly insured than non-union cleaning services. As such, while it may seem cheaper to retain the services of a non-unionized cleaning service, it is usually a better decision to hire a union cleaning service to handle any commercial cleaning needs that you have.
Ensuring that your home is properly cleaned and disinfected after a Covid-19 infection is suspected or has been confirmed in a resident or visitor is important in mitigating the spread of the virus amongst otherwise healthy occupants. To this end, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health provides a Cleaning and Disinfection Matrix that provides recommendations aimed at limiting the survival of the coronavirus in residential areas occupied by people with or suspected to have Covid-19. These recommendations include:
- Cleaning and disinfecting the premises within 24 hours
- Wearing personal protective equipment like masks and gloves during the cleaning and disinfecting, especially if a Covid-19 case was confirmed on the premises
- Using EPA-registered disinfectants that have also been approved for use against the coronavirus and other emerging pathogens
- Opening all outside doors and windows where possible to increase air circulation
- Focusing on the immediate areas that were occupied by the individual that was confirmed Covid-19 positive
- Paying extra attention to non-porous surfaces and shared equipment in the diagnosed individual's occupied space. These include doorknobs, tablets, computers, keyboards, light switches, handles, tables, and other high-touch surfaces. Visible contamination on porous surfaces like carpets and chairs should also be removed, cleaned with appropriate cleaners, and disinfected
Professional cleaning contractors in Los Angeles are generally conversant with the recommendations provided by the aforementioned cleaning and disinfection matrix. Nevertheless, you should always get verbal confirmation on this from the cleaning company that you contract with and also make sure that they apply these recommendations during your Covid-19 cleaning and disinfecting job. Request a list of the chemicals and disinfectants that will be used for the job and make sure that they have been approved by the EPA as effective against the coronavirus. Insist that other recommendations of the matrix are strictly followed, such as the use of personal protective equipment, and never hire any cleaning contractor that tries to downplay the importance of the Department of Public Health's guidance.
When hiring a cleaning contractor in Los Angeles, it is important to find out the type of cleaning supplies that will be used for the job and make sure that they are compatible with the surfaces in your home or facility. Professional cleaning contractors in the city typically utilize a wide variety of cleaning supplies when carrying out their duties and the specific nature of the required cleaning service generally determines the ideal supplies for the job. For example, relatively mild cleaning agents like soaps and detergents can be used for normal day-to-day residential cleaning, while stronger agents may be required for commercial and industrial cleaning. Nonetheless, four categories of cleaning agents are typically used by cleaning contractors in the city, namely:
- Abrasives: These are used to remove dirt from hard surfaces
- Acids: These are typically used to remove rust and mineral deposits from metal surfaces and to descale these surfaces. Note that acids are potent and highly hazardous cleaning agents and should only be handled by professionals
- Degreasers: These are used to remove grease from a wide variety of surfaces
- Detergents: These are the mildest and most common type of cleaning agent and they can be used in both residential and commercial buildings and facilities. They can come in powder, liquid, crystal, or gel form
Always confirm that your preferred cleaning contractor has the right cleaning tools and products to satisfactorily provide the specific type of cleaning service that you need before finalizing any hiring arrangements with this individual. It is important to note that you may need to use additional cleaning supplies such as disinfectants and sanitizers to properly rid your home or workspace of bacteria, fungi, and viruses after it has been cleaned. This is usually necessary to avoid pest infestations, cross-contamination, or allergic reactions to some cleaning agents and other environmental allergens in the building.
There is always the risk of potential damage to your belongings or work-related accidents when you hire a cleaning company, irrespective of the level of expertise and professionalism of the cleaning contractors involved. However, you are generally spared from the financial and legal liabilities that are typically associated with these types of events if your cleaning company has adequate insurance coverage. Per state law, cleaning companies in Los Angeles are required to purchase workers' compensation insurance for all their employees. Likewise, cleaning contractors that are involved in post-construction cleanup must maintain surety bonds of $15,000 and meet other state-mandated bond requirements. Finally, the California Department of Insurance recommends that all cleaning companies in the state purchase relevant commercial insurance for their businesses. This includes general liability insurance and employee dishonesty insurance.
Make sure that the cleaning company you intend to hire is duly insured, and bonded where applicable, by requesting documentary proof from them and authenticating this proof with the necessary insurance providers. You should also confirm that the coverage provided by the cleaning company's insurance plan is enough to cover the scope of your cleaning job.
You should always take precautions to ensure that you do not fall victim to a scam when searching for cleaning contractors in Los Angeles. According to the LA County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs, contractor-related scams are the second most common type of complaints made by homeowners in Los Angeles. In 2016, the LA City Attorney's Office announced that it had filed multiple criminal counts against an online maid service for deliberately overcharging consumers that complained about its poor services. More recently, in February 2020, local news station NBC Los Angeles reported that police authorities were on the trail of a contractor that had allegedly scammed unsuspecting homeowners in the Southern California region out of tens of thousands of dollars. According to the news report, these scams had been going on for close to 14 years and had affected several homeowners in Los Angeles County and other counties in the region. In view of this, you should strongly consider the following tips when searching for cleaning contractors in the city to ensure that you end up with a legit cleaning company:
- Avoid cleaning contractors that show up at your doorstep unsolicited
- Ensure that the cleaning contractor has met all necessary regulatory requirements. These include possessing a valid contractor's license for post-construction cleanup jobs as well as a business license, regardless of the type of cleaning service that is being provided. You can confirm the contractor and business licensing status of cleaning contractors by contacting the CSLB and the LA City Office of Finance at (800) 321-2752 and (844) 663-4411 respectively
- Get at least three estimates from different cleaning contractors near you
- Never hire any cleaning contractor that cannot provide you with local verifiable references. You can also lookup online reviews on the cleaning contractor via platforms like the Better Business Bureau and Yelp
- Make sure that the cleaning contractor is duly insured and that all their employees have been properly vetted
- Get a written contract for the job that describes the type of service being provided, its cost, and the types of cleaning supplies that will be used
- Do not sign any contract that you haven't read and properly understood. Also, always remember you have the right to cancel signed contracts within three business days
- Limit down payments for the job to 10% of its total cost or $1,000, whichever is less. Do not pay the balance until the cleaning job has been satisfactorily completed
- Avoid cash payments
If you happen to come in contact with or fall victim to a fraudulent cleaning contractor, you can file a complaint against the cleaning company via any of the following channels:
- Calling the LA City Attorney's Office at (213) 978-8070 and (877) 522-2737. Complaints can also be filed with this office online
- Contacting the LAPD at (213) 928-8223 or reaching out to the local LAPD station closest to you
- Submitting an online complaint to the LA County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs. Complaints can also be filed with this department by calling (213) 974-1452 and (800) 593-8222