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 Paul Fenton

12:35 PM, 17th December 2011, About 10 years ago

Personally use Johnsons paints . I am not a great fan of painting a whole house white , so go with matt magnolia and have started painting skirting boards magnolia to save on cutting in time and personally I think it looks better than the traditional white skirting and there are no issues with the white paint going off colour ( mind you I think that only happens for oil based gloss paints ) . I am toying with the idea of magnolia doors maybe that will be one step too far !

by Mark Alexander

12:54 PM, 17th December 2011, About 10 years ago

I can't imagine magnolia skirting boards Paul, my gut feel is that it would look aweful, have you got any pics you can email to me please? I've been thinking about using plastics or even alloy skirting with built in heating systems. What do you think of that idea?

by Paul Fenton

13:08 PM, 17th December 2011, About 10 years ago

I guess decoration and appearance is subjective . Plastic skirting boards sound cheap looking and likely to chip and need replacing , wood is more robust to take the knocks of furniture and feet , alloy sounds expensive and not sure about colour matching but certainly creative . Can't attach photo but will email

by Mark Alexander

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

My email address is

Would you like me to upload the pics to a new page and create a link to them?

by J Clarkson

13:51 PM, 17th December 2011, About 10 years ago

If only part of a carpet is damaged, eg by a triangular iron burn, or a big stain, and the damage is very noticeable are we justified in asking the tenant to pay for the whole carpet in that room? Sometimes I've put a rug over the damaged bit, but (depending on the position of damage) can't always do that. Should they pay?

by Mark Alexander

14:12 PM, 17th December 2011, About 10 years ago

I had a scenario very similar to that a few years ago. The tenant offered to pay the insurance excess so I called my insurance company. The chap that came out agreed that the carpet needed to be replaced but I couldn't match it to the rest of the house. I called the insurance assessor to tell him and he said "well that's no good, it has to match, we need to change your claim for new carpets throughout". My jaw hit the floor but who was I to complain? They paid up too and my insurance didn't go up the following year either. If only that company was still in the landlords insurance business 😉

by Ian Ringrose

20:36 PM, 18th December 2011, About 10 years ago

I partly depends on how old a carpet is, if the carpet is only a few years old (and still looks new), I would expect the tenant to replace the whole carpet in the room. Hopefully there is a way to make the property look right without having to replace all the carpets!

If it is a large room when two rooms have been knocked together it may be possible to come up with a design that only need the carpet to be replaced in one half.

If the carpets are looking warn out, and you would have to replace them within the next year or two anyway, the tenant should not be expected to pay the complete cost. A landlord should not benefit from a tenant being force to pay for something that is a lot better then what was there already.

What can we do to reduce the risk of irons, they are one of the easiest ways for a reasonable person to damage a carpet.

by Mark Alexander

21:18 PM, 18th December 2011, About 10 years ago

You could always advise tenants to take out contents insurance of their own. Most of my tenants have nice TV's, laptops, jewelery etc so I advise them to get contents insurance. If they do, and there is an accident, they can claim of their own insurance - SIMPLES!

by Ian Ringrose

21:35 PM, 18th December 2011, About 10 years ago

There is still the insurance excess – I don’t think it is reasonable to make a tenant pay this if the carpets would have been replaced anyway within a short time.

But I agree that tenants should take out insurance. (When we were renting it was hard to arrange insurance before we moved in, as the agent did not wish to find out the type of locks on all the doors and windows – the insurance company needed to know if the locks were to the British Standards.)

by Mark Alexander

21:41 PM, 18th December 2011, About 10 years ago

If I burned somebody's carpet or damaged anything for that matter, no matter how old, I would feel obliged to pay for it. I appreciate that not everybody feels that way so I always try to do everything by agreement, to try to understand the other persons point of view and come to an arrangement that both parties feel is fair and reasonable. The laws regarding deposit rotection exist to arbitrate where no agreement can be reached. Thankfully I've not had to go down that route yet so I must be doing something right, otherwise I've been lucky. I'll happily take more of either.

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