Apartment Complex Cleaning

Compared to house washing prices, would your price for apartment cleaning be lower (cuz it’s more volume) or higher (cuz of some PITA factor that I’m not aware of yet)?

Working up a bid for the first one. Nothing major, only 7 buildings, 2 levels with some 3rd story dormers, so it’ll mostly be shot from the ground, with the exception of the second story porches (5 on each building) which I was thinking we’d just ladder up to and shoot from the ladder.


heres a pita factor. trying to get everyone of those individual apartments to close their windows, theres gonna be a stray here and there. i was going to mention the porches, but you beat me to it, i have something to add though. i would bet that less than 50% will clear off the porches.

im willing to bet that the complex is price shopping, so i wouldnt go higher. but because of the other factors, i wouldnt go lower. keep your prices the same

Thanks for the insight. Re: junk in porches, I was thinking it might be worth my time to have the guys swing by the day before to put out flyers to tell everyone to move everything they don’t want getting soaked in bleach. Is that a waste of time? Standard procedure?

We might shave 30% off because we travel less. Just working / cleaning

Management is responsible for notifying residents of washing and to remove items. Find out if they want you to skip it or hose it down.

Be sure to address this in your proposal as well as who is responsible when they don’t.
Because they won’t.


I think the price of house washing or apartment cleaning is not fixing. It’s varying from one to another cleaning service provider. Generally price of cleaning depends on cleaning area and how much cleaning material is required. Many companies provide various types of offers on cleaning packages. But in my opinion the price of apartment cleaning should be higher than house washing.

Most basic apt complex bids exclude porches/balconies but include breezeways. Most price by a per unit cost.

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[SIZE=1][COLOR=#000000][FONT=Arial]I do not want to discourage you for going after an apartment complex, but here are a few thoughts for you to consider. [/FONT][/COLOR][/SIZE][FONT=Arial]<O:p</O< span>[SIZE=1]
[COLOR=#000000][FONT=Symbol]· [/FONT][FONT=Arial]Apartment complexes usually go a lot cheaper than residential work. To be in the ball park when bidding you might expect the bids to be 40% less than they would be for residential work. Some bid the complexes by the unit and that could be around $45~$60 per unit, but in some areas, I have heard of them going for as low as $25.00 per unit.[/FONT][/COLOR][/SIZE][COLOR=#000000]<O:p</O< font>[SIZE=1]
[COLOR=#000000][FONT=Symbol]· [/FONT][FONT=Arial]The apartment complex may say they pay on net 30, but make sure you have enough money in your bank account to keep alive for60 to 90 days [/FONT][/COLOR][/SIZE][COLOR=#000000]<O:p</O< font>[SIZE=1]
[COLOR=#000000][FONT=Symbol]· [/FONT][FONT=Arial]Most property management companies require that you have workman’s comp. That can run you over $2,000 a year and you can’t buy it for just one job. You have to buy it for a year or nothing.
[/FONT][/COLOR][/SIZE][COLOR=#000000]<O:p</O< font>[SIZE=1][COLOR=#000000][FONT=Symbol]· [/FONT][FONT=Arial]Also, the property manager may not tell you about the workman’s comp requirement until you turn in your invoice and then they will tell you that you will not get paid until you have it. So make sure you ask if they require workman’s comp before you start. [/FONT][/COLOR][/SIZE][COLOR=#000000]<O:p</O< font>[SIZE=1]
[COLOR=#000000][FONT=Symbol]· [/FONT][FONT=Arial]Other things to think about are….the locksets in the breezeways are notorious for corroding up if they get bleach inside them. tIf they do, the apartment complex may make you replace them so make sure you tape up the key holes to keep your cleaning solutions from entering the locksets.[/FONT][/COLOR][/SIZE][COLOR=#000000]<O:p</O< font>[SIZE=1]
[COLOR=#000000][FONT=Symbol]· [/FONT][FONT=Arial]Someone said something about open windows….how true this is. I have never figured out why the tenants will leave their windows open with AC running full blast when it is 103 degrees outside. Once I asked a tenant to close his windows because I was cleaning his building. He complied and I went about putting soap on the side of his building. When I come back to rinse, I didn’t notice that he had already opened the windows again and I soaked his living room.[/FONT][/COLOR][/SIZE][COLOR=#000000]<O:p</O< font>[SIZE=1]
[COLOR=#000000][FONT=Symbol]· [/FONT][FONT=Arial]The apartment complex or you can put out notices(and you always should) but don’t expect that to always to cover you if you damage someone’s property. I just paid someone $350.00 for a desk a tenant claimed I damaged. They went to the PM and told them I horribly ruined a desk they had outside on the balcony. She kept calling and emailing the PM and telling them what a terrible and incompetent contractor they had working for them and that she demanded immediate action to have me removed from the project if her desk was not replaced. [/FONT][FONT=Arial]The PM would call me and forward me her emails and told me to take care of the problem. I went out and looked at the desk and it was perfectly fine, but just to keep in good standing with the PM, I went ahead and paid the lady for her desk. I have a good spot for it and it will look good in my house so what the heck. [/FONT][/COLOR][/SIZE][COLOR=#000000]<O:p</O< font>[SIZE=1]
[COLOR=#000000][FONT=Symbol]· [/FONT][FONT=Arial]The point to the above is to make sure you have a little money put back in reserve to handle these unexpected situations. [/FONT][/COLOR][/SIZE][COLOR=#000000]<O:p</O< font>[SIZE=1]
[COLOR=#000000][FONT=Symbol]· [/FONT][FONT=Arial]These are just a few things to think about when you are going big game hunting. Remember, do not forget your rabbits while you are going after Elephants. [/FONT][/COLOR][/SIZE]<O:p</O< span>[/COLOR][/COLOR][/COLOR][/COLOR][/COLOR][/COLOR][/COLOR][/COLOR][/FONT]


Great post and good points!

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Good post, lots of stuff to think about

That is a very good point.

I have had to lay money out for supposed damage as well.

You will have to tape off Fire alarms
Figure a way to not flood breezeways
What to do if the ceilings are drywall
Charge extra if the stairs and landings are wood
Deal with buildings that don’t have a water supply
Deal with parking
Deal with open windows
Deal with stuff on porches
Deal with stuff in breezeways
Writing up a good proposal with help with all

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You forgot Locks Lou Zehnder.

My guys flooded 4 wall mounted led lights that were new. $200 per light I’m having to pay.


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I do a lot of apartments and it’s all in managing expectations. When I bid an apartment and tell them that need to contact all the tenants and tell them that their patios or porch will not be cleaned it there is something left on it. The biggest PITA is you are always blocking some parking places with your equipment and just when you get started you will e asked to move. Also, walk the apartment with the person in charge and discuss the different problem areas you see ie, rotten wood, paint over spray, vines growing on cleaning area, etc. The more time you spend with management the less you will have to worry about your competition.


Do you have specific wording in your bid about liability, water damage,etc? We want to add it to cover ourselves legally. I know our insurance will cover , however, I don’t want just anybody to be able to sue me for any old damage.

No I don’t. I go over everything with them when I’m quoting the job but each job is different. If you tried to over everything in a contract you would have two pages of stuff and they probably wouldn’t sign it.