End of Tenancy Cleaning is the source of most disagreements between landlords and renters. As a result, it is critical that everyone understands their rights. These include their landlord’s obligations and responsibilities, the degree of cleaning necessary, what constitutes reasonable wear and tear, and who is responsible for what.
While landlords must prepare their home for incoming renters, those leaving must leave it as clean as they found it in order to avoid losing a portion of their deposit.
In this guide to the End of Tenancy Cleaning, we’ll walk you through the process from beginning to end, including everything landlords and renters need to know.
Throughout The Tenancy
In a perfect world, tenants would always leave the property neat and tidy. However, tenants have no legal need to maintain the property while they remain there, and there is no statute requiring weekly vacuuming, daily dusting, or monthly window cleaning.
Nothing prevents a landlord from respectfully pointing out faults discovered during routine inspections, such as piled-up trash or unclean ovens. Still, there is no legal action until the rental ends.
Tenants do have a responsibility to keep the environment safe, and action can be taken if there is a major health and safety concern – albeit this is usually outside the scope of cleaning.
The End Of The Lease
Cleaning Responsibility Of Tenants
At the End of Tenancy Cleaning, the renter is responsible for leaving the property as clean as when they moved in. It is essential for both renters and landlords to take several pictures of the property at the start of the tenancy, which gives evidence of its cleanliness or lack thereof at the time.
The landlord should have also supplied a detailed inventory of everything provided for the renter, including a description of the condition of each item. So, if the carpets are characterized as “clean throughout,” they should be left that way. Failure to do so will almost certainly result in the landlord keeping a portion of the deposit to cover cleaning costs.
It is defined in most lease agreements as “fair use of the premises by the tenant and the normal functioning of natural forces.”
Carpets, for example, naturally deteriorate with time, so don’t expect a brand new one to stay in flawless shape after even a year of use. And the longer your renter has occupied the home, the more obvious the wear will be – yet it might still be tidy.
If there are stains, rips, or burns that are not natural, it is a different story, and the landlord can make fair and reasonable deductions from the tenant’s deposit.
The same is true for malicious damage, which is defined as any deliberate harm produced by a bothersome tenant(s) or their visitors. This might involve shattered windows, doors, or furniture, arson, or graffiti on walls, and, once again, your inventory and start-of-tenancy images or video will be critical in resolving any disputes and perhaps filing insurance claims.
Is There A Need For Professional End Of Tenancy Cleaning?
Historically, many rental agreements included a “professional end of tenancy cleaning service,” stating that the tenant must pay to have the property professionally cleaned by an end-of-tenancy cleaning service provider after the tenancy. However, as of June 1, 2019, the Renter Fees Act 2019 rendered such clauses unlawful in England. Therefore a landlord cannot demand a tenant to pay for end-of-tenancy cleaning service.
Furthermore, tenants, who guarantee that the property is returned in the same state they found it cannot be compelled to pay for an additional thorough clean. Charging a renter for end-of-tenancy cleaning can result in fines beginning at £5,000. However, landlords might request that tenants clean the property to professional quality.
Should Tenants Pay For A Professional End Of Tenancy Cleaning?
There are two primary reasons for renters to ensure the home is as clean as possible before leaving.
- Avoiding disagreements and ensuring that no cleaning-related charges are made from your deposit
- Obtaining a favorable recommendation from your landlord if you intend to rent another home
So, should you bite the bullet and hire an end-of-tenancy cleaning service, or should you do it yourself?
A DIY technique will be less expensive, but you may need to put in many hours of cleaning to ensure the house is as clean as it was when you moved in.
Are You Certain That Your Own End Of Tenancy Cleaning Will Meet Professional Standards?
If you don’t have the time or motivation to do it yourself, a professional end-of-tenancy cleaning service is a stress-free way to get a high-quality cleaning service done.
If your DIY cleaning is inadequate, you may be able to find a cleaning firm that is less expensive than the one picked by the landlord and deducted from your deposit.
It could be worth it if you’ve lived in a shared house and everyone is willing to pitch in.
Can I Use My Tenant’s Security Deposit To Pay For End Of Tenancy Cleaning Services?
If certain circumstances are satisfied, landlords are entirely within their legal rights to utilize the tenant’s deposit to pay for professional end-of-tenancy cleaning.
While they can no longer include professional cleaning conditions that require renters to pay for cleaning regularly, they can recuperate fees if the tenant has left the property in an undesirable condition – allowing for reasonable wear and tear.
Again, the inventory – or check-in report – and any pictures are critical in establishing the cleanliness of a home both before and after the renter moves in.
So, How Much Do You Think You May Charge For Move Out Cleaning?
The amount a landlord can deduct is frequently determined by the report’s accuracy and completeness.
For example, if the inventory states that the carpets were hoovered but not properly steam cleaned, a landlord is unlikely to be successful in charging for such a thorough cleaning. They might, however, make a claim for the expense of vacuuming.
In essence, the landlord cannot remove money from the renter’s deposit to make the property cleaner than it was before the tenant moved in.
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