Terms & Conditions

The Secret Housewife
1 Sea View Road

Poole, Dorset
BH12 3LP

1. Definitions

The following expressions shall have the following meanings:

1.1 “Supplier” means The Secret Housewife or any Franchisee of The Secret

Housewife, whose registered office and any applicable company registration number

are detailed in the Work Schedule and/or Quote.

1.2 “Customer” means any person or company / body corporate who purchases

Services from the Supplier.

1.3 “Housekeeper” means an insured and vetted Housekeeper supplied by the

Supplier to the Customer to provide the services detailed in the Work Schedule

and/or Quote until termination of this Agreement in accordance with these Terms

and Conditions.

1.4 “Work Schedule and/or Quote” means a statement of work, quotation or other

similar document describing the Services.

1.5 “Services” means the services as described in the Work Schedule and/or Quote

and includes any materials required to complete the work.

1.6 “Terms and Conditions” means the terms and conditions of supply of Services as

set out in this document and any subsequent terms and conditions agreed in writing

by the Supplier.

1.7 “Consumer” shall have the meaning ascribed in section 12 of the Unfair Contract

Terms Act 1977.

1.8 “Work Order” means the formal acceptance by the Customer of the Work

Schedule and/or Quote.

1.9 “Agreement” means the contract between the Supplier and the Customer for

the provision of the Services incorporating these Terms and Conditions.

2. General

2.1 These Terms and Conditions shall apply to the Agreement for the supply of

Services by the Supplier to the Customer and shall supersede any other

documentation or communication between the Supplier and the Customer.

2.2 Any variation to these Terms and Conditions must be notified to the Customer in

writing by the Supplier.

2.3 Nothing in these Terms and Conditions shall prejudice any condition or warranty,

express or implied, or any legal remedy to which the Supplier may be entitled in

relation to the Services, by virtue of any statute, law or regulation.

2.4 In accordance with the Work Schedule and/or Quote and these terms and

conditions, the Supplier shall provide the Customer with an insured and vetted

Housekeeper to provide the services detailed in the Work Schedule and/or Quote

until termination of this Agreement in accordance with these Terms and Conditions.

2.5 The Supplier may substitute the Housekeeper for another in order to continue

the provision of the Services.

2.6 Nothing in these Terms and Conditions shall affect the Customer’s statutory

rights as a Consumer.

3. Proposal

3.1 The Work Schedule and/or Quote for Services will be sent in a separate

document to these Terms and Conditions.

3.2 The Work Schedule and/or Quote for Services shall remain valid for a period of

30 days.

3.3 The Work Schedule and/or Quote must be accepted by the Customer in its


3.4 The Customer shall be deemed to have accepted the Work Schedule and/or

Quote by placing an Order with the Supplier.

3.5 The Agreement between the Supplier and the Customer, incorporating these

Terms and Conditions (and any associated insurance), shall only come into force

when the Supplier confirms an Order to the Customer. Prior to any confirmation the

Supplier has the right to refuse any Order.

3.6 In normal course, the Customer is entitled to a 7 days statutory “cooling off

period” following the signing of these Terms and Conditions and associated Work

Schedule and/or Quote. During this period, the Customer has a right to cancel this

agreement without further recourse from the Supplier. Accordingly, no work as

detailed in the attached Work Schedule and/or Quote shall commence until after

the passing of the 7 day cooling off period. Should the Customer require work to

commence prior to passing of the 7 day cooling off period, they are required to

waive their rights to enforce the same and may do so by ticking the waiver box at

the bottom of this document. By doing so the Customer waives all rights to enforce

any Statutory Cooling Off Period.

4. Services and Delivery

4.1 The Services are as described in the Work Schedule and/or Quote.

4.2 Any variation to the Services must be agreed by the Supplier in writing.

4.3 The Services will be delivered in accordance with the times and dates detailed in

the Work Schedule and/or Quote. The Supplier may vary these times by providing

details of the change to the Customer.

4.4 Dates given for the delivery of Services are estimates only and not guaranteed.

Time for delivery shall not be of the essence of the Agreement and the Supplier shall

not be held liable for any loss, costs, damages, charges or expenses caused directly

or indirectly by any delay in the delivery.

5. Price and Payment

5.1 The price for Services is as specified in the Work Schedule and/or Quote and is

exclusive of VAT (if applicable) and any other charges as outlined in the Proposal.

5.2 The price for any materials required to complete the Services is as specified in

the Work Schedule and/or Quote.

5.3 Payment to the Supplier for the Services to the Customer is to be made by

monthly standing order in advance on the 1st of the month. If a contract is to start

after the 1st of the month, the remainder of the month’s costs will be calculated and

this payment will be required before any work commences.

5.4 The terms for payment are as specified in the Work Schedule and/or Quote.

5.5 The Customer must settle all payments for Services in accordance with the Work

Schedule and/or Quote.

5.6 The Supplier reserves the right to charge the Customer interest on all late

payments at a rate of 8% per annum above the base lending rate of National

Westminster Bank PLC.

5.7 The Supplier is also entitled to recover all reasonable expenses incurred in

obtaining payment from the Customer where any payment due to the Supplier is


5.8 The Customer is not entitled to withhold any monies due to the Supplier.

5.9 The Supplier is entitled to vary the price to take account of:

5.9.1 any additional Services requested by the Customer which were not included in

the original Proposal;

5.9.2 any increase in the cost of materials (where applicable);

5.9.3 any additional work required to complete the Services which was not

anticipated at the time of the Work Schedule and/or Quote; and any variation must

be intimated to the Customer by the Supplier.

5.10 In the event that advance payment for Services has been made by the

Customer to the Supplier and the cleaning operative fails to attend, the Supplier

shall arrange a replacement Housekeeper to attend at a mutually convenient time to

the Customer and the Supplier / alternative Housekeeper.

5.11 Under no circumstances must any monies be handed to the housekeepers

and/or subcontractors. All financial dealings must be directly with The Secret

Housewife Head Office.

6. Customer Obligations

6.1 The Customer will provide access to the Supplier / Housekeeper at the times

agreed and/or specified in the Work Schedule and/or Quote and will co-operate

with all reasonable requests by the Supplier / Housekeeper.

6.2 The Customer will provide electricity, hot water, cold water, toilet facilities and

spare keys (if required) to the Housekeeper at no cost for the purpose of completing

the Services.

6.3 The Customer will apply for, obtain and meet the cost of all necessary approvals

and permissions required to complete the Services prior to the commencement of

the work.

6.4 A detailed list of cleaning specifications must be provided by the Client to the

Supplier / Housekeeper prior to the commencement of the Services (normally during

the preliminary meeting). Any specific instructions will need to be outlined by the

Customer in writing and agreed with the Housekeeper.

6.5 The Customer shall be liable for any expenses incurred by the Supplier /

Housekeeper as a result of the Customer’s failure to comply with the obligations as

defined by these Terms and Conditions.

6.6 The Customer shall remove (or restrict access to) all delicate items of furniture,

ornaments and other belongings from the area to be cleaned.

6.7 In order to properly protect the genuine business interests of the Supplier and

the time, effort and financial investment made in approving Housekeepers and

ensuring quality control over the services they provide, the Customer hereby agrees

not to directly approach or engage the Housekeeper as a directly retained

housekeeper / cleaner (nor refer any Housekeeper directly to another third party,

save through the Supplier) during the duration of this Agreement and for a period of

12 months thereafter. In the event that this clause is breached, the Customer agrees

to compensate the Supplier with an equivalent sum to that which would otherwise

have been paid to the Supplier to retain the Housekeeper’s services in accordance

with this Agreement for a period of 12 months (payable in one lump sum). By

entering into this contract, the Customer agrees to and accepts this condition and

recognises that the same is entirely necessary and fair in order to protect the

genuine business interests of the Supplier.

7. Supplier Obligations

7.1 The Supplier shall supply the Services as specified in the Work Schedule and/or


7.2 The Supplier shall perform the Services with reasonable skill and care and to a

reasonable standard.

7.3 The Supplier shall comply with all relevant health and safety regulations.

7.4 The Supplier shall ensure that all necessary licenses and permissions required to

provide the Services are current.

7.5 The Supplier shall be responsible for all waste management and disposal

required in the course of providing the Services.

7.6 The Supplier shall hold all necessary insurance policies as required by law.

7.7 The Supplier will provide all necessary equipment, materials and products for the

Housekeeper’s to perform their job to their best ability. All employees are shown

how to use all equipment, materials and products to their most effective and safest

means. Once the employee has been shown, the Supplier waivers all responsibility if

these equipment, materials and products are used inadequately and cause damage.

7.8 Whilst reasonable endeavours shall be taken by the Supplier to supply

alternative Housekeepers in the case of absence of a Housekeeper, the Supplier is

under no obligation to do so. Further, the Supplier shall be under no obligation to

provide alternative Housekeepers during the Easter and Christmas holidays should a

Housekeeper elect not to work during these periods.

8. Cancellation

8.1 If the Customer cancels a visit by the Housekeeper, except in exceptional

circumstances (at the sole discretion of the Supplier) the Customer shall remain

liable to pay the Supplier’s fees.

8.2 If the housekeeper is unable to access the property of the Customer for reasons

beyond the control of the Supplier / Housekeeper the Customer remains liable to

pay the Housekeeper’s travelling time, which will be subject to a minimum of one

hour of the Housekeeper’s agreed hourly rate.

8.3 If the Customer gives the Supplier / Housekeeper more than 48 hours notice

requesting a visit is rescheduled the Supplier / Housekeeper will attempt to meet

this requirement but all appointments are subject to availability.

9. Defective Services

9.1 If the Services are found to be defective in accordance with these Terms and

Conditions then the Supplier shall, at their sole discretion, either require the

Housekeeper to re-perform the Services.

9.2 Where the Services are defective or do not comply with the Agreement the

Customer must notify the Supplier in writing within 24 hours from the time the

defect is ascertained.

9.3 If the Customer has not paid for all the Services in full by the date the defect in

Services is notified to the Supplier then the Supplier has no obligation to remedy the

defect in terms of this Condition 9.

10. Intellectual Property Rights

10.1 All intellectual property rights, registered or unregistered, including but not

limited to patents, trademarks, design rights and know-how (including the Supplier’s

business model) remain the property of the Supplier and cannot be used, copied or

replicated by the Customer without the written permission of the Supplier.

11. Property, Risk and Insurance

11.1 Insurance covers any Housekeeper employed by the Customer and introduced

by the Supplier. We hold public liability insurance to a maximum payout of

£1,000,000. Neither the Supplier or its insurers shall be liable for the first £250 of

any claim nor for any claim of £250 or less. The Customer should have adequate

insurance cover in place against liabilities to the Housekeeper and shall produce to

the Supplier a copy of the appropriate insurance policy if so requested (this may be

in the form of a general household insurance policy).

11.2 The Supplier will not accept liability for any chemical damage caused by

products. All employees are instructed how to use supplied materials and products

when they begin their contract of employment. Any specialist products must be

shown to the Housekeeper by the Client and given detailed instructions on how to

be used.

11.3 Housekeepers are not provided with bleach. If the Client provides bleach to be

used, this is at the Clients discretion.

12. Termination

12.1 The Agreement shall continue until the Services have been provided in terms of

the Proposal or any subsequent date as mutually agreed in writing by both parties or

until terminated by either party in accordance with 12.1 and 12.2 below:

12.2 The Supplier can terminate this Agreement at any time giving reasonable notice

– usually not less than four weeks – during this notice period the ongoing provision

of a Housekeeper to the Customer remains at the Supplier’s sole discretion;

12.3 The Customer can terminate this Agreement giving not less than four weeks

notice in writing to the Supplier. Notice will be deemed to have commenced upon

receipt of such written communication by the Supplier at their office.

12.4 The Customer may terminate the Agreement if the Supplier fails to comply with

any aspect of these Terms and Conditions and this failure continues for a period of 4

weeks after notification of non-compliance is given.

12.5 The Supplier may terminate the Agreement if the Customer has failed to make

over any payment due within 2 weeks of the sum being requested.

12.6 Either party may terminate the Agreement by notice in writing to the other if:

12.6.1 the other party commits a material breach of these Terms and Conditions

and, in the case of a breach capable of being remedied, fails to remedy it within a

reasonable time of being given written notice from the other party to do so; or

12.6.2 the other party commits a material breach of these Terms and Conditions

which cannot be remedied under any circumstances; or

12.6.3 the other party passes a resolution for winding up (other than for the purpose

of solvent amalgamation or reconstruction), or a court of competent jurisdiction

makes an order to that effect; or

12.6.4 the other party ceases to carry on its business or substantially the whole of its

business; or

12.6.5 the other party is declared insolvent, or convenes a meeting of or makes or

proposes to make any arrangement or composition with its creditors; or a liquidator,

receiver, administrative receiver, manager, trustee or similar officer is appointed

over any of its assets.

12.7 In the event of termination the Customer must make over to the Supplier any

payment for work done and expenses incurred up to the date of termination.

12.8 The Supplier is responsible for arranging return of any keys from the

Housekeeper upon termination.

12.9 In the event of termination (other than in accordance with the Guarantee)

within the first 3 months after the commencement of the provision of Services, the

Supplier shall be entitled to levy a charge, such sum representing a genuine preestimate

of losses and time incurred on the part of the Supplier. The Customer

agrees that such sum is justifiable and enforceable.

12.10 The Supplier does not control any standing orders set up by the Customer.

Accordingly, it is the Customer’s responsibility to cancel the same upon termination

in accordance with this Agreement. In the event that the Customer fails to cancel a

standing order and payment is made for Services after the cancellation of this

Agreement, in the event that the Supplier is required to refund the same, it shall be

entitled to levy an administration charge not exceeding £30.00 per payment /


12.11 Any rights to terminate the Agreement shall be without prejudice to any other

accrued rights and liabilities of the parties arising in any way out of the Agreement

as at the date of termination.

13. Warranties

13.1 The Supplier warrants that the Services will be performed using all reasonable

skill and care.

13.2 Without prejudice to clause 13.1 and except as expressly stated in these Terms

and Conditions, all warranties whether express or implied, by operation of law or

otherwise, are hereby excluded in relation to the Services to be provided by the


14. Limitation of Liability

14.1 Nothing in these Terms and Conditions shall exclude or limit the liability of the

Supplier for death or personal injury, however the Supplier shall not be liable for any

direct loss or damage suffered by the Customer howsoever caused, as a result of any

negligence, breach of contract or otherwise in excess of the price of the Services.

14.2 The Supplier’s maximum liability under any circumstances (save in the case of

death or personal injury) shall be limited to the total fees received by the Supplier in

the preceding 12 months (or part thereof as applicable).

14.3 The Supplier shall not be liable under any circumstances to the Customer or any

third party for any indirect or consequential loss of profit, consequential or other

economic loss suffered by the Customer howsoever caused, as a result of any

negligence, breach of contract, misrepresentation or otherwise.

14.4 For the avoidance of doubt, time shall not be of the essence and the Supplier

shall incur no liability to the Customer in respect of any failure to complete the

Services by any agreed completion date.

15. Indemnity

15.1 The Customer shall indemnify the Supplier against all claims, costs and

expenses which the Supplier may incur and which arise directly or indirectly from

the Customer’s breach of any of its obligations under these Terms and Conditions.

16. Guarantee

16.1The Supplier guarantees that in the event a Customer is not happy with the first

Housekeeper provided to them by the Supplier after two cleaning sessions, he or she

shall be replaced with an alternative Housekeeper. If after two further cleaning

sessions the Customer is still unhappy, the Supplier will offer the Customer the

option to cancel the Agreement and will refund all charges paid to the Supplier for

the first month. This guarantee is only effective if the Customer affords the Supplier

the opportunity to remedy any perceived service shortfall and has themselves

complied with the terms of this Agreement.

17. Force Majeure

17.1Neither party shall be liable for any delay or failure to perform any of its

obligations if the delay or failure results from events or circumstances outside its

reasonable control, including but not limited to acts of God, strikes, lock outs,

accidents, war, fire, breakdown of plant or machinery or shortage or unavailability of

raw materials from a natural source of supply, and the party shall be entitled to a

reasonable extension of its obligations.

18. Assignment

18.1The Customer shall not be entitled to assign its rights or obligations or delegate

its duties under this Agreement without the prior written consent of the Supplier.

19. Severance

19.1If any term or provision of these Terms and Conditions is held invalid, illegal or

unenforceable for any reason by any court of competent jurisdiction such provision

shall be severed and the remainder of the provisions hereof shall continue in full

force and effect as if these Terms and Conditions had been agreed with the invalid,

illegal or unenforceable provision eliminated.

20. Waiver

20.1The failure by either party to enforce at any time or for any period any one or

more of the Terms and Conditions herein shall not be a waiver of them or of the

right at any time subsequently to enforce all Terms and Conditions.

21. Notices

21.1Any notice to be given by either party to the other may be served by email,

personal service or by post to the address of the other party given in the Work

Schedule and/or Quote or such other address as such party may from time to time

have communicated to the other in writing (or email), and if sent by email shall

unless the contrary is proved be deemed to be received on the day it was sent, if

given by letter shall be deemed to have been served at the time at which the letter

was delivered personally or if sent by post shall be deemed to have been delivered

in the ordinary course of post.

22. Entire Agreement

22.1These Terms and Conditions supersede any previous agreements,

arrangements, documents or other undertakings either written or oral.

23. Governing Law

23.1These Terms and Conditions shall be governed by and construed in accordance

with the law of England and Wales and the parties hereby submit to the exclusive

jurisdiction of the English and Welsh courts.

24. Acceptance of these Terms and Conditions

24.1These Terms and Conditions become effective and are deemed to have been

accepted by the Customer upon signature of the Work Schedule and/or Quote by

the Supplier and the Customer or alternatively, in the absence of the Customer’s

signature on the Work Schedule and/or Quote, upon the acquiescence of the

Customer to allow the Supplier’s Housekeeper to provide Services. A failure

(deliberate or otherwise) on the part of the Customer to sign the Work Schedule

and/or Quote is not indicative of the Customer failing to accept these Terms and

conditions, should the Customer allow the Supplier (acting through a Housekeeper)

to commence the provision of Services.

25. Amendments to these Terms and Conditions

25.The Supplier reserves the right to amend these Terms and Conditions and shall

inform the Customer of any changes by posting the same on the Supplier’s

Website/s and/or by sending copies to the Customer either by post or email, not less

than 30 days prior to the implementation of such changes.