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Cleaning Tips for New Buildings

Monday, 04th August 2014

There are numerous things to think about for every new strata development. Which is probably why the cleaning service gets left to the last minute. BCS spoke to Frank Boross from Havencab Sustainable Cleaning Solutions for advice on the key cleaning issues for new strata buildings.




1. What types of cleaning services are required for a new strata building?

All new strata buildings require cleaning to all the common areas, which is usually best performed by a single cleaning company. The main cleaning areas are hallways, elevators, car parks, fire-stairs, pathways and swimming pools, as well as looking after the recycling and waste management for the building. 

2. How are these different services set-up and who is responsible for them?

Usually the strata manager would work with the developer and source several cleaning quotes. On larger developments, where there is a building management committee or a building manager has been appointed, the manager would prepare a scope of works and go to tender for the cleaning.

The cleaning company would then be engaged for the strata plan up to the First Annual General Meeting. Where there is a building management committee, the developer can appoint a company directly for the development as per the Strata Management Statement. 

Responsibility for cleaning services remain with the developer up to the First Annual General Meeting and then directly with the building management committee or owners corporation after that. After the First Annual General Meeting,the cleaning contracts are usually tabled at an Extraordinary General Meeting and then either ratified or a new contract is accepted.

3. What are the common cleaning problems faced in a new building? 

There are a few minor issues that are commonly found with the cleaning of new developments. During the initial stages the builders are usually still handling defects and rectifying these works, and in most instances they leave a huge mess behind. To overcome this, it is important to try and roster the cleaning after the builders leave the site, so that any mess can be cleaned up before the owners return home.

Another issue to think about is that the purchase of new furniture and whitegoods, when people move in to their new home,often creates a huge amount of cardboard that needs to be removed to a designated area, flattened/cut and prepared for collection by council.

We also suggest that the cleaning contractor is involved and consulted by the developer early so as to set a realistic budget for cleaning services. There are many occasions where the cleaning budget has beenset way too low and it is not possible to maintain the building to a high standard.

4. How often should a new strata building be cleaned and why?

This really depends on the lot size and complexity of the development but for anything over about 50 lots, we would suggest a Monday to Friday service.

Most people don’t realise but the first two months of every new development is the most difficult and the hardest to maintain, as the cleaning staff spend 50% of their time managing the cardboard and cleaning up after the builders, which doesn’t leave much for normal duties.

It is also very important to provide photos and report on any issues on site so that the strata manager can advise the developer and builder. In a perfect world we would have double the resources on a new development in the first two months then revert back to the normal cleaning regime. Unfortunately as the developer is paying forthe cleaning fees upto the First Annual General Meeting, this rarely happens.

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