Cleaning Costs are Adding Up

Cleaning Costs are Adding Up

12:33 PM, 12th December 2011, About 10 years ago 72

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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.”



16:58 PM, 13th December 2011, About 10 years ago

apologies for that earlier when I wrote for some reason I didn't get the space I thought the bar stopped me but I noted on last email it continued, probably just me messing up .

by Mark Alexander

17:04 PM, 13th December 2011, About 10 years ago

No worries Josh. If you want to write a long post I always find it best to do it in Microsoft Word so that you can get it nice and tidy, spell checked etc. then copy and paste it into the comments box. Still doesn't stoop me miss-spelling fings tho LOL

by Mary Latham

20:52 PM, 13th December 2011, About 10 years ago

Josh when I talk to landlords I ALWAYS learn something new. It took a while for the penny to drop but eventually I realised that those landlords who had least problems during and at the end of tenancies were those who provided an empty shell or white goods only.

With many of my tenants it would not work to just provide 4 walls - students & transient professionals in particular but I did unfurnish some of my properties and BINGO! Those landlords had taught me something worthwhile - I love landlords.

Now I have a mixture and the four walls are the least hassell, work and cost and a better return because the rent is just the same - this really surprised me. Another bonus is that they stay longer because of the cost of moving out and the fact that it feels more like their home because they have chosen everything in it.

On the downside the satisfaction of letting four walls is 0% I love dressing my properties - vanity v peace?


22:42 PM, 13th December 2011, About 10 years ago

Thanks Mark , hi Mary I love to keep my properties great , I always renew things the decor is always done , but I guess after 20 years of this I am being worn down by the poor response I get back. the rules and regs do not help they are one sided and there is no flexibility for the landlord. you are right on the button with the rents with regards leaving a shell or dressing it up ,I recently spoke to an agent and asked what do you think I should do to make the place look better they told me to redecorate but leave it empty you will get the same money I however am still not sure , I feel it needs central heating , decor, new double glazing as I feel this is the bare minimum this will cost me around £10,000 or just under so I am debating , partly because I do not see that property is a good investment any longer unfortunately we have to carry on otherwise we could end up in worse trouble. I think also that I am hands on which does me no favours , like tonight a call comes ,we have a leak from the boiler , the tenants will expect a repair straight away the nearest I can get someone there may be in 24 hours , I know what the problem is but I cant take the front cover of the boiler off its now illegal to do so, it will be one of 2 hoses that has a split this is possibly a £5 repair I guarantee this will cost £200 so I am probably the worst person to talk to regarding investing in property but I can see a lot of you guys seem to be enjoying you time in the game and good on you because if there were no one like your selves the housing would be in a sorry state . But in answer to your statement yes you do need to be flexible like a pole vault so you provide what is necessary to get the letting .


7:47 AM, 14th December 2011, About 10 years ago

Mary your received wisdom if you will re wear and tear.
I have just had tenants vacate and whilst no damage occurred the flat was obviously scruffy from the persepective of the walls.
They were marked from normal use over a 3 year period.
However there is no way that I could let the property in that scruffy condition
Therefore it has been completely redecorated at no small expense.
Should I have retained the deposit to contribute towards redecorating the flat to the standard it was when those tenants moved in 3 years ago or should I just have to put aside a sinking fund for a redec when long term tenants leave.
Is it reasonable to retain any of the deposit to pay to resatore the flat to original condition.
I didn't deduct as I considered it was just normal usage.
Obviously magnolia walls show up everything!!
By the way I rent bare but I have sourced a flat full of furniture; but I say if they break it I am not obliged to replace it as the flat is rent part-furnished; this you have to do as it is a flat with integrated units.

by Ian Ringrose

9:35 AM, 14th December 2011, About 10 years ago

Why should a landlord put up with more wear and tear just because a child have lived in a property, we don’t get to charge more rent if we rent to a family rather than a couple without children. You also can’t evict someone for having a child! And I don’t think you can evict someone for not telling you they have a child.

We need a way to define fair wear and tear that is independent of everything that is outside of the landlord’s direct control. E.g. if the landlord has used cheap paint that cannot be scrubbed down, then I would expect marks on the paint from where a talent has tried to clean – however cheap paint and a quick repaint job between each letting may still be the best option.

by Ian Ringrose

9:49 AM, 14th December 2011, About 10 years ago

The last place we rented had white walls with cheap mat paint that marked very easily, also not all the filler had been will sanded before being painted over. However id had “silver” switches and sockets, so looked very nice when empty on first sight. (As soon as you touched a light switch they stopped looking good, even lightly brushing against a wall would remove some of the paint)

My wife chose it and I did not see it until we moved in – when I saw it I expect lots of issues on moving out due to the poor uncleanable paint, and we noted the fact on the inventory. (We were just renting while finding a home to buy.)

However when we moved out, it only took me an hour or two with a roller and B&Q value paint to cover up all the marks – so match easier then trying to get the agent (R???? R????) to even return a single phone call about another item of claimed damage.

To I am starting to think, I may do the same to the two properties we rent out if we need to repaint them. Before renting I painted them both with 2 coats of nice good quality washable paint – one of them had mat scrabble paint, but I did not have a source of that spec paint for the 2nd property.

by Ian Ringrose

9:57 AM, 14th December 2011, About 10 years ago

“ central heating , decor, new double glazing” – may not get you more rent, but should allow to find a good talent quicker, avoiding voids can be more important that getting the max rent. A lot of possible talents will not event phone up the agent if the photo shows wooden windows, hence very few people tell an agent they want rent somewhere because of the windows.

You are allow to fix “water” problems on CH yourself, just don’t touch anything to do with the gas, so taking the front cover of to get to the filling loop is OK but not taking off the inner cover to get the burner – however it may be the pressure release value that is letting the water out or a leak in the heat exchange neither of witch you can do yourself.

by Ian Ringrose

10:00 AM, 14th December 2011, About 10 years ago

I don’t think you can’t expect walls to look perfect after 3 years unless you have used scrabble commercial paint – when renting bare there is nothing to take the eye away from even a small mark on a plain painted wall.


11:25 AM, 14th December 2011, About 10 years ago

what I will say is this ,the way I look at it is if it wipes of its fair wear and tear if it does not then it is not , regarding paint I use Johnstones or Dulux more so Dulux now vinyl matt washable and contains anti mould and I use the same colour scheme so you would think there should be minimal problems , the questions I ask is , is it reasonable for the tenant not to do any cleaning in the flat over a year or even 3 no its not but we do find this happens so it would be reasonable to charge for cleaning and washing walls ect , at the end of the day its about care for others property if you want your money back then look after it . one other point ask yourself how often would you need to paint and decorate your home ? generally you may do a room every 5 years so why should it be necessary to decorate rented property every year ,the reason is because you won't rent it if it looks scruffy you have to win the client over it is not easy now days some will enjoy the banter others not . I have a client moving out after 2 years in January , I know he has been a good tenant and know from how he has kept the flat he is expecting all of his deposit , during his stay he asked could he put a border around the wall I told him providing you put the property back to norm after fine he agreed and assured me he would do a good job ,when I saw it I was disappointed , why you may ask firstly it turned out he used polystyrene coving as a dado rail and then painted it green , the green was not cut in properly , now he is leaving he has told me he will remove it all and repaint the room to its original colour he still ensures me it will be great He happens to be an architect ,it will be interesting to see the finished article if its not right I will ask him to pay , he is very fussy so I expect there will be little to charge for , for example standard charges for me will be carpet clean , unless he has brought some one in if so i expect to see a copy of invoice we will see on check out my last problem will be what state will my window sills be in as he has put window boxes with plants and over 2 years this may have caused damage to the sill as its mahogany I suspect we will argue this point already so you can see even with the tidiest tenant we already expect problems to arise its now left to agreement .

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