15:40 PM, 22nd September 2012, About 9 years ago 7
As the number of renters rise year-on-year, the number of deposit squabbles increase. Though just two per cent of tenancies end in a dispute over rent deposit refunds..
However, “cleaning costs is the top reason why deposit money is withheld when a tenant moves out of a rented property” according to the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC), “and this is a growing problem.”
The Press Release received by Property118 today from the AIIC went on to say ……
In fact cleaning has consistently been the commonest dispute in cases brought to TDS and arises in around half of the cases they deal with. In the last year, the proportion of disputes involving cleaning claims has climbed again and is now at its highest level since the start of the scheme (52 per cent).
This problem is affecting the majority of landlords with new research* showing that nearly three-quarters (73 per cent) of landlords say their rental properties are returned to them in an average or poor condition when the tenants move out.
While only 5 per cent of landlords state that properties vacated by tenants are usually complete wrecks, four out of ten landlords (41 per cent) said they have had, on at least one occasion, a rental property returned to them in such a bad condition that the property has required a full refurbishment.
Only a quarter (27 per cent) of landlords say their properties are normally vacated in a good condition. More than a quarter (29 per cent) said they spent at least £1,000 bringing the property back up to the condition it was in at the start of the tenancy, with 10 per cent revealing the repair bill was £2,500 or more. (* Source: MeetMyAgent.co.uk, Research September 2012).
Pat Barber, Chair of the AIIC comments: “Many tenants fail to leave their property in the same condition at check-out and are often very surprised when they are told that professional cleaning is required. Tenants rarely treat their rented property in the same way as they would a property they owned themselves. Unfortunately accidents do happen during a tenancy and tenants need to realise that they must take financial responsibility for things that are beyond normal wear and tear.
“Recently a tenant was outraged when she was told that the oven, which was listed as in clean condition at time of check in, was now very dirty and needed a deep professional clean. When this was explained at the end of the check-out inspection she said angrily – ‘surely this is normal wear and tear, I had to cook food in it during the tenancy!’ Our members get a similar reaction when tenants are told about the need for carpet cleaning or heavy limescale on bathroom and kitchen fittings. Cleaning is never deemed to be wear and tear. If something was clean at the start of a tenancy it must be left in a clean condition at the end.
“It is vital that 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.”
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