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Can You Get Out Of Your Janitorial Contract?

September 15, 2023

Can you get out of your existing janitorial contract? At some point along the way, nearly every customer has asked this question of their cleaning vendor. Canceling a service agreement should be the last resort, but perhaps the cleaning or service quality has declined to a point where you must make a change. But can you get out of your current contract?? The answer is “yes, no, and maybe.” Let’s look at each possibility.

“No” – The airtight janitorial contract you can’t get out of

While rare in the janitorial industry, some contracts are so airtight it is nearly impossible to get out of them without some sort of potential penalty. The language of the contract can not only lock a customer into a certain service term, but it can eliminate any exceptions to cancel and threaten legal action if breached. Such contracts are rare in the cleaning industry, and if you come across one, RUN. But if this is the situation you find yourself in, attempt to reason with your vendor in hopes of negotiating a peaceful cancellation. If this effort fails, you may be forced to endure the rest of the contract term.

“Maybe” – The cancellation clause with exceptions

This form of contract is more common among cleaning contractors. The customer can’t cancel the contract for any and every reason, but there are some reasons permitted. For instance, some agreements may require that the vendor must have significant service deficiencies that are unaddressed. The customer can request the issues be fixed, and if not, they are permitted to cancel.

If this is the type of contract you find yourself with, first understand the language of the contract, and specifically how you might get out if necessary. If you are able to resolve the service issues, well and good. However, if problems persist, have a plan in place to make the cancellation according to the contract. While this may be frustrating at times, it will pave the smoothest path forward.

“Yes” – You can cancel for anything and everything (the typical 30-day cancellation)

Most janitorial contracts have what industry insiders call “the 30-day-out clause.” This is a clause in the contract or service agreement that lets either party cancel the contract with thirty days written notice. No explanation is needed or required. If you are currently under a contract or service agreement with your janitorial vendor, you likely have a 30-day-out clause. You may exercise your right to cancel the contract without any fear of legal or financial repercussions.

No matter what scenario you find yourself in, the key is knowing your options and developing a plan to move forward. If your service agreement is unclear, you should get the advice of an attorney to better understand your options. We hope you never need to cancel a cleaning contract, but if you do, you hopefully have a better understanding of how to make that happen.