Are you considering getting a maid service for your home? Though the days of a maid’s little aprons and hats may be behind us, the professionals who make up a maid service or cleaning company perform a very useful task and are increasingly popular with today’s busy people.

Here are some questions to ask of a prospective maid service before you hire them:

What services do they perform? Is it just standard cleaning of your home or apartment or do they also do chores considered more domestic like cleaning the dishes or doing the laundry?

What are their cleaning fees? Get a list of what is included in their standard cleaning and have them list, in writing, the fee for any special cleaning you may need done (like ovens or the inside of your refrigerator.)

How may you pay? By check at the time of service or can you arrange to be billed once a month?

What insurances do they hold? At a minimum, the maid cleaning company must hold sufficient liability insurance. In case of accident in your home, you don’t want to be liable for medical or disability expenses for their injured employee.

Will the cleaning always be done by the same person (or persons) and have they been screened? You’ll want to know who will be in your home and that the maid or cleaning company has performed a thorough background check on all their employees. Inquire too, if all the employees are bonded in case of theft.

Is there one point of contact for complaints? Do they have one supervisor whom you can contact in the event a cleaning job isn’t done well or you have some other complaint?

Can they provide references? Be sure to contact everyone whose name the company gives you asking if they are satisfied with the cleaning company or maid service.

Do they use hypoallergenic and green cleaning products? If anyone in your household is sensitive to allergens or irritated by certain chemicals, ask for the company to use environmentally safe products or ask if you may provide them yourself (and does that affect the price of the job?)