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.”


by Ian Ringrose

11:49 AM, 14th December 2011, About 10 years ago

“Dulux vinyl matt washable” seems like a good option, does it keep its colour well enough that you can touch up after a few years without the new paint looking different? What do you do about small wholes from where pictures have been hang?

I think you should only asked for a carpet cleaning invoice if they don’t look clean – I see nothing wrong with a talent hiring a carpet cleaner and doing it themselves, or just not getting the carpets dirty. (We have done both when renting ourselves in the past, if there is a large lobby it is easy to keep the carpets clean – in the other property the lobby was not large enough for my wife to put her footwear on in and it was next to a nice park)

I don’t need to paint and decorate my home often as the pictures and furnishings and the pattern on the wallpaper leads the eye away from marks. This is not the case in an empty plainly painted rental property that is being shown to new possible talents – so I need a higher standard of decoration in a rental then my own home.

by Mark Alexander

13:14 PM, 14th December 2011, About 10 years ago

Hi Ian, I have to ask, why do you call tenants talents? At first I put it down to being a typo but now I'm beginning to think there may be a story to go with this?

by Ian Ringrose

13:27 PM, 14th December 2011, About 10 years ago

Most likely the spell checker in ms-word!!

by Mark Alexander

13:29 PM, 14th December 2011, About 10 years ago

🙁 I was hoping for a far more colourful story - thinking that maybe you only take on tenants with certain talents, decorating perhaps 😉


16:54 PM, 14th December 2011, About 10 years ago

thats hit and miss you have to understand millions of gallons of paint is produced after a certain amount a new batch gets done it wont match no matter the eye will tell.decor is decor no matter where paper or paint no matter the quality should be the same care is the key and there just is not any .

by Mary Latham

21:46 PM, 14th December 2011, About 10 years ago

Paul, I redecorate my rented properties every 3 years. I use Wickes Trade white matt emulsion because it covers even new plaster in one coat and this cuts down on labour and gives a good finish. I use white Wickes water based paint for the woodwork and that is quick and easy to apply and brushes wash out with water, because it has a satin finish is does not show up any marks in the wood.


21:57 PM, 14th December 2011, About 10 years ago

Blimey you are hands on; do you do this decorating yourself?
I think I might have to go on a decorating course as I have paid contractors to do the work and they did a fantastic job aswell as addressing a few other minor issues.
But cost me over £1300.00 for the 2 flats.
Do you think I have been a little lazy in not doing the work myself as I don't think I could have achieved their standard.

by Mary Latham

21:58 PM, 14th December 2011, About 10 years ago

I paint my rentals every 3 years. I use Wickes Trade white matt emulsion which covers even new plaster in one coat saving labour and time. I use Wickes water based white paint which has a satin finish that hides any marks in the wood.

The tenancy deposit schemes specifiy that a landlord may not expect a property to be returned to its original condition because wear and tear is normal and therefore cannot be charged. 3 years wear and tear are in my opinion ok if the tenancy continues but once the furniture is removed and it is offered to a new tenant it is time to redecorate at your own expense.

If you put anything in a rented property or even if you "adopt" items left by a previous tenant you are responsible for maintaining these items in good working order throughout the tenancy regardless of what your AST says. If you dont want this ongoing reponsiblity it is best to offer the property empty

Many landlords get caught out when they adobt TV's - it the tenant does not get a licence the landlord will pay the fine because the TV was there because he either put it there or left it there.

by Mary Latham

22:04 PM, 14th December 2011, About 10 years ago

Once the furniture is taken out of a property it looks shabby and I do not expect a rental to last 5 years - I dont expect my own home to last 5 years either!

A carpet is either clean or it is not - who cleaned it is irrelevant.

If a tenant stays with me for two years and pays his rent on time and in full and does not make constant demands I will give him 100% deposit back unless he has really trashed the property.

by Mary Latham

22:05 PM, 14th December 2011, About 10 years ago

Tut i thought that I had lost this post and started again !!

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