End Of Tenancy Cleaning Gloucester Cheltenham Stroud
It is required by most tenancy agreements that tenants leave rented properties in the same state of cleanliness as they were in prior to tenancy. If tenants fail to meet this agreement, Landlords are entitled to deduct funds from the tenancy deposit in order to cover the costs of having the property cleaned.
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Cleaning is the most common reason behind deposit dispute between landlords and tenants at the end of the tenancy. This is largely due to the subjectivity of cleanliness and differing opinions between tenant and landlord over what is considered to be clean. Such disputes are settled by the decision of an impartial adjudicator, whose decision will depend on the available evidence and fairness of the amount being claimed.
Many tenancy agreements stipulate that the tenant is obligated to pay for the property to be professionally cleaned post tenancy and provide a receipt as proof of evidence. However the presence of a clause requiring professional post tenancy will not automatically be considered fair by virtue of its presence. According to The Office of Fair Trading Guidance on Unfair Terms, in the event of a dispute the adjudicator will look at the evidence and determine whether or not the tenant left the property in a satisfactory state, as it is appreciated that some tenants may have taken the effort to clean the property themselves to what could be considered a “professional standard”.
Advice for Landlords
If you are a landlord and wish for your property to be cleaned to a professional standard post tenancy, it is important to provide evidence in the form of receipts, and have the tenant sign documentation that states the said property was cleaned to a professional standard prior to tenancy. It is also important too request that the tenant professionally cleans the property to the same standard at the end of their tenancy. As outlined previously it is not legal to force the tenant to pay for end of tenancy cleaning, if they have personally cleaned the property themselves to what could be considered a “professional” standard. For this reason it’s important to document the state of the property before and after the tenancy, in order to ascertain whether the tenant has left the property in the state it was in before tenancy.
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It is recommended that landlords conduct a check in report which consists of an inventory and schedule, prior to the tenant moving into the property. It is advisable to use an independent and impartial inventory company for both check-in and check-out reports and it is best if the tenant is present during check in and check out inspections to ensure there are no disputes as to what is documented. The check in report should date and include details on the condition and cleanliness of all items prior to the tenancy. Once the tenancy has finished the check in report can be directly contrasted with a check out report, as to determine any changes to the condition and cleanliness of the property and items inside.
When conducting the check in/out report it is important to include dated photographs of the exterior/interior of the property and all items listed in the inventory. By doing this you will have photographic evidence of the condition and cleanliness of the property and items within the property before and after tenancy. Should there be any deterioration or change in the condition and cleanliness of the property and items within post tenancy, photographic evidence will help assist you claim compensation from the tenant to pay for professional end of tenancy cleaning, and/or pay for repairs and replacements should any damages to the property and/or items occur throughout the tenancy due to neglect.
At the start of the tenancy you should ask the tenant to sign the inventory and schedule of condition confirming that the level of cleanliness was professional before they moved in. If you are asking the tenant to have the property professionally cleaned at the end of their tenancy, it is important to retain cleaning invoices proving that you paid for the property to be professionally cleaned before they moved in. You should also keep the invoice of any cleaning services enlisted after their tenancy if you felt the property was left in an unsatisfactory condition.
Should any disputes occur between you and the tenant as to the cleanliness and condition of the property post tenancy, the cleaning invoices will serve as evidence that you had the property professionally cleaned prior to tenancy, and how much you were quoted to have the place cleaned at the end of their tenancy. Along with the check in/out reports this will help the adjudicator decide what is reasonable to charge the tenant to cover the costs of the end of tenancy cleaning.