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Keep it Clean when it comes to Rentals

Tuesday, 28th May 2013

Categories: Lettings

Author: Peter Barry

Tenants generally expect to have their deposits returned when they move out of a property but there are an increasing number of disgruntled renters who are seeing chunks of their deposit withheld for cleaning costs. New statistics from the Tenant Deposit Scheme (TDS) reveal that over half of the disputes in 2011/2012 related to cleaning. It seems that obvious breakages and unpaid bills can hardly be argued over but one person’s squeaky-clean maisonette is another person’s pigsty. Cleanliness might be next to godliness but the statistics suggest that landlords have very different ideas to their tenants about what constitutes a clean property.

Whilst departing tenants might assume that emptying the bins and wiping over greasy surfaces is enough to stick to their terms of the rental agreement, this can hardly be deemed an acceptable state to leave a property for new tenants. Landlords are increasingly using deposits to pay for professional cleaning companies to come and make good – and with some companies charging well over £100 for an ‘end of tenancy’ cleaning service, tenants are left out of pocket and feeling disgruntled.

Wear and tear
Landlords know to expect a certain amount of wear and tear to a property and will often make repairs before new tenants move in. However, when a property has only recently been renovated, a thorough clean should be enough to see it through another rental term. When landlords are faced with badly stained carpets, food-encrusted ovens and stained baths and toilets, it’s only fair to assume that the costs for cleaning should come from the previous occupants. Carpet cleaning and oven cleaning are pricey and time-consuming and although both will naturally deteriorate over time, it’s unfair to expect other people to pay for your lack of on-going property upkeep.

Tenants are within their rights to choose to live in dubious standards of cleanliness but someone has to pay to bring the property back up to the expectations of most people on moving-in day.