Residents tell of shock of returning home from family emergency to find apartment had been cleared of their possessions
A Dubai couple is considering legal action against a cleaning company after their housemaid removed all of the furniture and belongings from their apartment and left the property empty, thinking the tenants had moved out.
The resident, who wishes to remain anonymous, told Arabian Business that she and her husband had returned home from a week away to find their home utterly devoid of their possessions.
“All the bedding, every single item of clothing, coat hangers, socks, candles, books – everything was gone,” she said.
On contacting Perfect Shine Cleaning, the company that employs their housemaid, the resident was told the maid had thrown everything away thinking the couple had moved out.
The resident said her and her husband had been away for just one week because of a family emergency, and have been in “total shock” since they returned.
The cleaning company has refused to pay compensation for the error, she said, and has instead asked the couple to wait to speak to a manager who is reportedly on leave until the end of the year.
The couple said they contacted their landlord to ask for assistance but he allegedly told them: “Unfortunately we are discussing items taken from an unlocked room.”
His communication fell silent shortly afterwards, the resident said, adding: “The only feedback we have received [from the cleaning company] is that if action were to be taken, the money would need to be paid back directly from the modest earnings of the maid himself – the maid who is supporting his family back in Nepal.”
The angry resident said she was “disgusted” that the cleaning company has not taken action itself following the incident.
She said: “The cleaning company refuses to take responsibly for their employee who later stated that he threw everything out thinking we had moved out. Tell me, how is one supposed to feel or act under such circumstances? We are still in total shock.
“We are disgusted that the cleaning company will not take responsibility to the wrongdoing of one of their employees while on the job – surely they have professional indemnity insurance in place to mitigate such unfortunate circumstances should they occur?”
She added: “We also feel very much let down by our landlord who has not shown an inkling of concern towards the situation, and is happy to continue the contracting of a cleaning company who lacks any sense of integrity or responsibility for the professional business they run.”
When contacted by Arabian Business, the owner of the cleaning company confirmed the incident had taken place but denied liability.
He claimed his company contracts with a third party “supervisor” who is ultimately responsible for anything that goes wrong while the maids are working.
Meanwhile, the resident claims she is “left in a situation where not one person will offer us any constructive assistance and the moral onus has been placed back on us.
“Do we really have the heart to accept the fact that in order to have our stolen items rightfully returned to us, we need to financially cripple someone less fortunate than us?”
She also revealed she has complained to the cleaning firm in the past that the maid always fails to clean the bedroom, but was told to “quieten down” because the maid is only contractually obliged to clean the living area, kitchen and bathroom.
“Given that [the maid] had evidentially never entered the bedroom on a single occasional before, our last concern was that he could potentially dispose of every personal item we owned, down to the power board, which was also gone,” she said.
The incident comes to light as it was revealed this summer that some Dubai cleaning services have begun asking tenants and owners to sign disclaimer forms that the firms will not be responsible if valuable goods left unattended are stolen or removed by employees.