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Landlords are seeing a rising amount of deposit disputes over the cleaning of properties according to The Association of Independent Inventory Clerks.
They say 40% of all tenancy deposit disputes involve some sort of cleaning cost. They also claim tenants don’t see cleaning costs as anything more than “fair wear and tear”, hence the disputes.
Pat barber, Chair of AIIC, said “’Not my problem’ is a common statement from some tenants, however sometimes it is. Accidents happen during a tenancy and tenants need to realise that they must take financial responsibility for things that are beyond normal wear and tear.
“For example, a tenant looked after someone else’s cat for a few weeks during the tenancy. On check-out, there were pet hairs on the curtains and soft furnishings, cat claw marks on the corners of the sofa and scratches to the back door. The tenant said it wasn’t her cat so why should she pay for the cleaning and repairing the damage?”
Ovens and stained carpets cause the most problems, and are also the more expensive things to clean.
“It’s so important for landlords and agents to do a thorough check-in and check-out, so they have the right proof of condition at the start and end of a new tenancy agreement. At the check-out stage, the tenant should be made aware of the areas requiring cleaning and the potential cost involved. Tenants are often shocked to realise that professional cleaning can cost anything from £10 – £20 per hour depending on the area and type of work required.”
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