by Mary Latham
15:10 PM, 28th November 2011, About 10 years ago 23
There have been some really interesting comments on the EU Trying To Kill Buy To Let – sign the petition to STOP it now. blog and it is great to see some new people contributing to this important discussion but I am feeling a bit frivolous at the moment and I thought that I would post on a lighter subject.
According to MyDeposits one of the main reasons that landlords stop money from a tenants deposit is to cover the cost of cleaning. This is interesting because I would have thought that damages might have come above cleaning.
I always try to give my tenants 100% of their deposit back and I do everything that I can to help my tenants return my property to me in a decent condition. I am realistic and I realise that, as Ina Sharples said in early Corry, “What’s clean ta sum is mucky ta others”. I am very careful to ensure that my tenants understand what I expect from them because time and money can be lost if the property needs too much cleaning and redecoration.
I send a letter 3 months before the end of the tenancy term and in this letter I list the possible costs of any work that may need to be done. I include cleaning costs and photographs- copies of which they signed at the start of the tenancy- and a copy of the Inventory and Schedule of Condition which includes room layouts showing the position of the furniture – I do not want to be dragging heavy furniture from room to room. As an aside I include a Section21 Notice to ensure that I have vacant possession when they leave in case they fail to give me notice or “forget” to return the keys. This saves time and avoids issues of abandonment etc.
When this letter is received I often get a call or email asking me how they can clean an item and this is music to my ears. These are the things that I recommend to my tenants
I do all my own cleaning and many people laugh at me but I am an expert cleaner and a control freak; even the cleanest tenant rarely leaves my properties as clean as I want them to be for the next tenant. I like to be “green” where possible but I rarely have time to scrub for hours. Cleaning is very therapeutic and keeps me grounded but I always look for the quick and easy way.
Have you got any tips on cleaning or anything else to “avoid the void” and falling out with tenants when they move out? I would really like to hear from anyone who knows how to clean Blu-Tack off walls without leaving the greasy marks that are so difficult to emulsion over. I would also like to find an easy way to clean tile grout. I find smokers toothpaste very good but hard work. That’s another tip never throw away old tooth brushes they are great for getting into little nooks and crannies.
I can see Mark Alexander cringing as he reads this because he likes to be “hands off” just as I like to be “hands on”. Come on Mark you must have some tips after all your years as a landlord?
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