Tipping our house cleaner?
August 4, 2005 5:42 PM   Subscribe

Tipping our house cleaner?

As a condition of renewing our lease, we have to hire someone to come in and clean our apartment once a month (I swear, we're not that messy, our landlord is just really crazy...but it's a great apartment and cheap by Boston standards, so it's worth the hassle). This month will be our first cleaning. Are we expected to tip for every cleaning, or is tipping just for the holiday season? If it makes a difference, our person is not affiliated with a cleaning service, she's just working via word of mouth. If you tip every time someone comes in to clean, is it generally 15-20%?
posted by banjo_and_the_pork to Home & Garden (10 answers total)
If she is independent (not with a cleaning service) then you don't have to tip her outside of the holiday season.
posted by necessitas at 5:51 PM on August 4, 2005

If your place is clean, and all she does is show up, have a drink; and leave once a month... Well?
posted by buzzman at 7:03 PM on August 4, 2005

No tip outside of Christmas.
posted by cribcage at 7:04 PM on August 4, 2005

I would tip, especially if you're satisfied with their work. These people make 10 bucks an hour or less (unless they're independent) and really, from a financial standpoint, you're only going to pay an extra 5 bucks a month extra (at most); this makes the cleaner happy and gives you the smug satisfaction of "helping other people". It's win-win, really.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 7:20 PM on August 4, 2005

As an aside, I find it absolutely outrageous that your lease mandates monthly professional cleaning. Is that even legal?
posted by elisabeth r at 7:48 PM on August 4, 2005

I just cut my housecleaner a 33% tip today because the place was quite a bit messier than it would normally be. And also because she kicks ass.
posted by majick at 8:13 PM on August 4, 2005

(Otherwise I don't tip)
posted by majick at 8:13 PM on August 4, 2005

My mom used to be an indepedent house cleaner, and she would get a tip only if the house was particularly messy or for the holiday season and stuff like that.
posted by purtek at 3:48 AM on August 5, 2005

Thanks, everyone!

Buzzman, I wouldn't go so far as to say our place is clean, but it's not as much of a sty as one would imagine a place would have to be to have a landlord mandate cleaners. She'll definitely be working.

Elisabeth r- It's not written in the lease, but it was a verbal agreement we came to so that we could renew our lease and keep our rabbits. Our landlord is seriously crazy, but the place is otherwise perfect, and moving with pets in this area is such an enormous pain that we're willilng to negotiate whatever it takes to stay here with our critters.
posted by banjo_and_the_pork at 4:22 AM on August 5, 2005

One general rule I've heard of (that should apply to anyone tipping in the service industry) is you don't tip if the worker is also the owner of the business.
posted by Taken Outtacontext at 4:58 AM on August 6, 2005

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