Moving out of your rental property? Need a Bond Cleaner? Avoid Brisbane Property Solutions

So our move from suburb to suburb within Brisbane has been somewhat protracted. Partly because of the incredible incompetence of our bond cleaners. We used Brisbane Property Solutions. They rank well on google. They are endorsed by a bunch of real estate agents (all of whom will be receiving an email with a link to this page). They offered an expensive, but according to their website, comprehensive, bond cleaning service. Backed with a “bond guarantee” and an intangible “satisfaction guarantee”

Thorough clean?

We knew our property was dirty – that’s why we hired professionals. It had copped some water in a storm before we moved in, and had some reoccurring mould problems. The walls were a bit dirty. The floor copped a pounding during the move – because we moved when it was wet, so there was some mud on our dining room floor.

Here’s what Brisbane Property Solutions says about themselves (all spelling mistakes their own):

“Our move out cleans are carried out by dedicated mobile teams of cleaning profesionals who specialise in properties in need of a thorough deep clean either at the end of a tenancy or before the start of one. Our teams are equipped with all the necessary cleaning products, tools and equipment to undertake your move in/out clean in the fastest possible time frame with an eye for detail that is unrivaled by our competition.”

This sounds like these guys will deliver the product they offer, on time, and with a certain eye for quality and detail. And “necessary cleaning tools”… so one would assume that a standard sized house, with a bit of mess, would fall within the normal terms. Or so we thought.

As it turned out – our house had some unforeseen issues – including a dead, and badly decomposed rat, which they found sitting on top of one of our kitchen cabinets. The oven was messy, as a result of a fire which we attempted to put out with flour. But we’ll get to that. Lets keep breaking down the claims on the site:

“We understand how important it is for you to have your property professionally cleaned and checked prior to moving out. We have carried out thousands of move out cleans in Brisbane and know how to satisfy landlords and Real Estate agents. We have created an extensive checklist (Below) outlining all of the standards required by letting agents to assist our move out/in cleaning crews.

Book this service with us and you can be rest assured that every square inch of your property will be professionally cleaned and polished its not just a promise … It`s our guarentee !

Sounds good. Especially the bits I bolded.

“Don’t forget that our move out cleaning service is fully guaranteed and insured – if you are not entirely happy with the job we’ve done then we’ll come back and rectify any issues free of charge within 48 hours of completion ! Because getting your Bond Back and your Satisfaction is our number one priority !

Brisbane Property Solutions currently works with in excess of 30 real estate agents & property managers throughout and as such we are real estate preffered suppliers for services.”

A 48 hour period was a bit out of the question for us – but we were pretty confident on the basis of the above words, and the checklist, that we wouldn’t need it.

So we called to book. And despite the website listing the costs as:

Bond/Deep/Construction/Pre-Sale Cleaning Services 1 Cleaner 2 Cleaners (Recommended)
3 Bedroom Property $299 (6hrs Labour) $349 (8 hrs Labour)

We were told the second cleaner was required for the purposes of the guarantee – and that the price listed did not include GST. Despite their Customer Service Agreement stating that all prices are inclusive of GST:

“5. All prices that are displayed on our website are inclusive of GST, Chemicals and the labour of the required staff unless otherwise specified.”

Other relevant clauses in different sections of that document include:

“3. If at the commencement or during the course of providing a service or services, it is apparent that the actual cost of the Service will exceed the quote provided by BPS, BPS will provide the Customer with an option to pay an increased amount to complete the Service, or pay the quoted amount without the Service being fully completed.

4. The Customer must inform BPS whether any cleaning services required are for an ‘end of tenancy or move out clean’ at the time of quotation.”

And:

“6. The customer agrees that unless BPS has deemed a job complete our customer satisfaction guarantee is thereby nil and void. In the instance a customer books only the minimum time period i.e.: 3hours of an end of lease clean and more time/service is required we will not guarantee our work as we have not completed and signed off on its completion.”

On the booking page there is the following disclaimer:

“Please Note:Prices are exclusive of GST. If additional services are required ie: carpet cleaning or pest control additional charges will apply. The above Hours of Labour are calculated as an average of labour required to complete an average sized bond clean – Prices may vary depending on the size & condition of your property. Brisbane Property Solutions offers a 100% customer satisfaction guarentee – Please refer to our customer service agreement for further information.”

This time they say prices are exclusive of GST. But intriguingly, offer this “100% satisfaction guarentee (sic).”

So we booked the second cleaner, at the already increased price of $389. And arranged to leave the front door of our now vacant property unlocked. They were unavailable on our preferred date – so our carpets were steam cleaned before they arrived. By a different company – who performed their job adequately (though not brilliantly).

Our cleaner called at approximately 7am to inform us that our house was a big job, and to attempt to claim that our study, quite a narrow room with a built in desk and bookshelves, was actually a bedroom. Which was odd, because there is no room in that room for a bed. She also informed us that she would not be cleaning the cement rendered walls in the kitchen, and the glossy rendered wall in the dining room because she didn’t want to damage them. These were the two messiest walls because they were home to our turtle tank, and coffee machine, respectively – and they were a large part of the reason we booked the cleaners.

So much for having the “necessary tools”. She told us they’d found the rat, and that the oven was dirty, and they’d spent a long time just on the kitchen and bathroom. I said we really wanted to make sure the walls and floors were done, and mentioned that our carpets had already been steam cleaned.

A few hours later she rang back to say that the only work she could guarantee was the kitchen and bathroom, and she asked what we wanted as the allocated time was drawing to a close, and she had to go off to do a private cleaning job in the afternoon. I said I wanted to make sure the walls and floors were done. She said that she was worried that it didn’t look like much had actually been done. I said I would get back to her about booking additional time at an obscene hourly rate. After that phone call ended I weighed up the costs involved, and sent the cleaner a text message asking if two hours would be enough for her to have the place looking like something had been done. She rang back, and in the phone conversation I stressed, again, that we wanted the floors done, and we wanted it to look like we had spent some money on a cleaner. I authorised the additional work on that basis. Phoning Lisa, at the company’s head office. I would later have an incredible conversation with Lisa, which I recorded, where she spends an amount of time insulting me for missing their 48 hour guarantee period…

Time passed. I did not hear back from the company at the end of that period. There was no inkling given that the walls and floors had not been completed.

On Saturday we had our first real opportunity to drive across town to check out the state of the place, and clean the rendered walls. We bought some cleaning gear for those, and opened the front door. I think there might be a mark on the landing from where my jaw hit when it dropped. This is a story best told in pictures.

Here is the list of jobs the company claims to undertake in a standard bond clean:

ENTRY
Doors/Walls/Skirtings/Screens Dust & Wash down
Light Fittings Dust & Wash light shades removing all bugs
Floor Mop/Vacuum paying particular attention to all edges & corners
LOUNGE/DINING ROOM
Doors/Walls/Skirtings Dust & Wash down
Windows / Screens Vacuum all sills, tracks & screens, clean windows thoroughly ensuring no streaks/smudges
Blinds/Curtains Vacuum & wipe down – For stains consult your proffesional
Fans/Light fittings Vacuum & wash all light shades removing all bugs, Vacuum all fans
Power/Light Switches Wipe over with damp cloth
Floor Vacuum/Mop paying particular attention to all edges & corners
KITCHEN
Doors/Walls/Skirtings/Screens Dust & Wash, ensure all oil & grease is removed
Windows / Screens Vacuum all sills, tracks & screens, clean windows thoroughly ensuring no streaks/smudges
Blinds/Curtains Vacuum & wipe – Stains consult your proffesional
Fans/Light fittings Vacuum & wash all light shades removing all bugs, Vacuum all fans
Floor Vacuum/Mop paying particular attention to all edges & corners
Cupboards/Drawers Vacuum inside & clean inside & Out -Wipe down doors
Benches/Tilings/Splashbacks Wipe down with spray and scrub stubborn stains if needed
Sink/Disposal unit/Taps Clean & Remove any build up stains ( Jif works well) rinse thoroughly
Stove top/Grill Remove all oil & grease, ensure all rims are cleaned (oven cleaner works well)
Oven Use oven cleaner scrub well, ensure any residue is removed
Exhaust Fan/Range hood Clean all filters with oven cleaner and hot water
Dishwasher Wipe inside & out remove filter and clean complete final clean with empty load
Power/Light switches Wipe over with damp cloth
BEDROOM / S
Doors/Walls/Skirtings/Screens Dust & Wash down
Door Frames/Wardrobe tracks Vacuum & wipe over with damp cloth if have mirrors clean leaving no streaks / smudges
Wardrobe/Drawers/Shelves Vacuum & Wipe over with damp cloth scrub walls inside if needed
Windows / Screens Vacuum all sills, tracks & screens, clean windows thoroughly ensuring no streaks/smudges
Blinds/Curtains Vacuum & wipe with clean damp cloth and water if necessary
Exhaust Fans/Light fittings Vacuum & wash all light shades removing all bugs, Vacuum all exhaust fans
Floor Vacuum/Mop paying particular attention to all edges & corners
Power/Light switches Wipe over with damp cloth
BATHROOM / S
Doors/Walls/Skirtings/Tiling Dust & Wash down
Windows / Screens Vacuum all sills, tracks & screens, clean windows thoroughly ensuring no streaks/smudges
Blinds/Curtains Vacuum & wipe clean – Consult your proffesional for stains
Exhaust Fans/Light fittings Vacuum & wipe all light shades removing all bugs
Floor Vacuum/Mop paying particular attention to all edges & corners
Bath Clean thoroughly using bath cleaner
Shower/Shower Screen Clean thoroughly removing any build up
Basin/Vanity Clean thoroughly & vacuum all draws
Mirrors/Cabinets Vacuum as necessary & wipe out. Polish mirror with window cleaner & paper towels
Towel rails Wipe over with damp cloth
Toilet (doors/walls/floor) Clean with stripping agentĀ & rinse thoroughly Remove Seat & Clean
Power/Light switches Wipe over with damp cloth
LAUNDRY
Doors/Walls/Skirtings Dust & Wash down
Windows / Screens Vacuum all sills, tracks & screens, clean windows thoroughly ensuring no streaks/smudges
Blinds/Curtains Vacuum & wipe with clean damp cloth and water if necessary
Exhaust Fans/Light fittings Vacuum & wash all light shades removing all bugs, Vacuum all exhaust fans
Power/Light switches Wipe over with damp cloth
Wash tubs & cupboards under Vacuum & Wash remove pieces of soap, scale & lint
Washing Machine/Dryer Wipe & Vacuum inside & out
GENERAL
Balcony/Deck Sweep away dust & cobwebs, mop if needed clean windows ensuring no streaks / smudges
Garage/Storeroom Sweep out , Wash walls
Staircases/Railings Remove all cobwebs & wipe down with damp cloth

And as you’ll see from this gallery, we’ve every reason to be disappointed with the results. We understand it was a big job, but we purchased the additional time with particular instructions regarding what we wanted done. And it wasn’t…

Tomorrow, I’ll share a follow up post with my interactions with the company since. There’s plenty to learn from in terms of what not to do so far as customer service is concerned.

The author

Nathan runs St Eutychus. He loves Jesus. His wife. His daughter. His son. His other daughter. His dog. Coffee. And the Internet. He is the campus pastor at Creek Road South Bank, a graduate of Queensland Theological College (M. Div) and the Queensland University of Technology (B. Journ). He spent a significant portion of his pre-ministry-as-a-full-time-job life working in Public Relations, and now loves promoting Jesus in Brisbane and online. He can't believe how great it is that people pay him to talk and think about Jesus.

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