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

21:50 PM, 18th December 2011, About 10 years ago

It could be that all the carpets you provide are nice and in a good condition so tenants don’t mind replacing them if they damage them.

I recall this problem from when I was a student – once a carpet has a few marks on it tenants feal it is unreasonable to get charge for adding another mark.

by Mark Alexander

23:04 PM, 18th December 2011, About 10 years ago

I'll share a tip with you that I've shared many times Ian. Get decent underlay and then felt backed, bleach cleanable polypropylene carpets in a cappuccino colour. Link here to see what they look like. This is my brothers website - he project manages all of my family's refurb projects.

These carpets are not expensive and they are virtually indestructible, except for burns. Everything cleans out, tar, red wine, chewing gum, you name it and chemicals don't stain them.

by Mary Latham

0:28 AM, 19th December 2011, About 10 years ago

Under tenancy deposit guidelines you cannot claim new for old. A landlord is only entitled to be compensated for his loss just as a car owner would be if a car was a rightoff. You can reasonably claim the % of the cost of replacement that is in line with the % of the loss of the items expected "life" and 100% of the fitting charge.

Mark I thought that a person could only insure items in which they had a beneficial interest?

by Mark Alexander

7:36 AM, 19th December 2011, About 10 years ago

Nope, tenants can definitely insure a landlords contents. Several agencies (e.g Rent on Time) strongly recommend their tenants take out tenants insurance. It costs around £10 - £15 a month. All the big portals, Go Compare, the Meerkats etc. offer it. Check it out.

by Ian Ringrose

9:39 AM, 19th December 2011, About 10 years ago

You can insurance a risk that you are liable for as well as a beneficial interest, hence 3rd party car insurance.

by Mary Latham

10:39 AM, 19th December 2011, About 10 years ago

Thank you Mark and Ian I didn't realise that. What a good way for tenants to avoid deposit disputes - I learn something new all the time.

by Peter Harris

11:47 AM, 19th December 2011, About 10 years ago

I rent out approx 70 properties and have very little disputes with tenants over cleaning or late rents as I have a very strong tenancy agreement. which they must take time to read and sign etc.Nothings perfect but I do try to be fair and hard as it requires.. All properties are clean and 90% furnished when they go in.. etc I find that the more properties I have I take less intrest in any one property.. There is only two things i am intrested in.. Pay on time 1st of Month in all cases and keep property in similar condition to when rented....Late payments are covered in the agreement and are charge as be Visa or Mastercard.. and a court order issued asap. etc fair but firm. this applys to cleaning as well.
I have been doing this for 25 years + most tenants are ok as are students

by Ian Ringrose

13:30 PM, 19th December 2011, About 10 years ago

Thanks for the carpet advice, interesting that you use brown (or does the photos make the carpet look darker then it is?), I was told by several agents we must use “cream” as it will not clash with the colour of anything a tenant has. (I rebelled and used a light golden colour that did now show marks as much – the agent liked the colour)

When we re-carpet my wife’s flat, I will look at using polypropylene carpets, I don’t know if cappuccino will work, as it has a large hallway with no windows – so cappuccino may give a first impression of the flag being a bit dark. Given it is an upmarket development, I don’t know if some potential tenants would expect wool.

by Mark Alexander

14:37 PM, 19th December 2011, About 10 years ago

Hi Ian, I've been through all those thought processes. I started with cream on the basis it makes rooms look bigger and tenants notice the dirt and so respect it more. nevertheless, it still gets dirty easily and tenants rarely like to carpet clean mid tanancy. I then switched to gold as that's also a nuetral colour and it is better than cream for not showing dirt. The cappucino looks brown on pics but has a cream fleck to it. Amazingly, it still makes rooms look light as it contrasts so well with white and magnolia. I've even got it in my own home now. With decent underlay the carpets still feel really good quality under foot. As you can see from the pics, my properties are relavively high end too and tenants love the carpets. The cappucino also matches any colour. I swear by it now.

by Paul Fenton

18:41 PM, 19th December 2011, About 10 years ago

From comment the 17th from how I understand you add a photo to this site . Photo of magnolia skirting board and walls , making painting quicker although slightly more cost as colour mixed gloss paint used . But I believe it will last longer as will not show marks as much and blends nicely between wall and carpet . I always think carpets look better in person on a lot of pictures don't look as good

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