Tenants vacating responsibilities

by Readers Question

16:39 PM, 6th May 2014
About 6 years ago

Tenants vacating responsibilities

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Tenants vacating responsibilities

Can a letting agent insist a vacating tenant has to provide invoices from professional cleaners when vacating a property even if the property is cleaned to a high standard and then deduct the cost of cleaning and carpet cleaning from the deposit? Tenants vacating responsibilities

The landlord is selling the property so it’s not like he needs to prepare it for a new tenant.

Thanks

David Jones


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Mark Alexander

16:43 PM, 6th May 2014
About 6 years ago

Hi Dave

It depends!

If the agent has a good tenancy agreement and an inventory they may well be able to request this under certain circumstances, e.g. if carpets etc. are dirty beyond "reasonable wear and tear".
.

Rob

16:51 PM, 6th May 2014
About 6 years ago

I have requested a copy of the invoice for cleaning from tenants before, however i only do it if i beleive the tenant has not had it done, it says in most tenancy agreements that it has to be done proffesionally but ive had tenants do it themselves to try and save money which i notice straight away. To which i would request proof and if they cant give me proof then i get it done proffesionally myself and deduct it from the deposit after they have vacated.

Steve From Leicester

16:57 PM, 6th May 2014
About 6 years ago

The property needs to be clean. If it isn't the landlord can withhold money from the deposit to cover the cost of cleaning. Who actually does the cleaning is irrelevant.

The landlord can only withhold money if he has suffered a loss so even if the tenancy agreement stipulated a professional clean the landlord couldn't enforce it if the property was squeaky clean when you vacated.

If Rob (posting above) was ever challenged by a tenant he would need to convince the adjudicator that the property had been left dirty. If he couldn't then he wouldn't get the deposit.

Rob

17:14 PM, 6th May 2014
About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Steve From Leicester" at "06/05/2014 - 16:57":

If i notice it then it hasnt been done properly,plus i always take about 20 photos of the dirty affected areas. I never withhold money without plenty of photo evidence. I have had plenty of tenants challenge my claim that its dirty then i produce 20 photos to prove it and they back off.

Ian Ringrose

17:21 PM, 6th May 2014
About 6 years ago

I cleaned the carpets in a flat we let out with a hired “rag doctor”, the tenant had paid for them to be professionally cleaned, but I got them a lot cleaner myself. Party because the tenants had not removed all their furniture before the cleaning. (They were not in a great state before the tenants moved in, but had been “professionally cleaned”.)

Provided they look and smell clean there is nothing the agent can do if you are willing to take it to the deposit protection adjudicator. However they may look dirty just because they are old, this is impossible to prove hence asking for an invoice is standard.

Yvette Newbury

17:55 PM, 6th May 2014
About 6 years ago

As long as it stipulates this in the tenancy agreement of course! I agree with all the above; if it has been professional cleaned when they move in, then we expect it to be professionally clean when they vacate. If it is not then we will have to get it done and charge the tenant accordingly. If it was not prof. clean when they moved, the inventory agreed between us will highlight this and those areas would therefore not be prof. cleaned when they vacate. We would then pay for them to be prof. cleaned before a new tenant moves in to avoid the discrepancy in the future. It's fair and we have not had any issues with this approach.

Romain Garcin

20:00 PM, 6th May 2014
About 6 years ago

If the tenant can show that the property has been cleaned to the same standard it was when he moved in, whether he hired someone to do it or he did it himself, I doubt you could get far...

Mark Alexander

21:42 PM, 6th May 2014
About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Romain " at "06/05/2014 - 20:00":

I think the burden of proof is actually the other way around, i.e. the landlord must be able to prove that the tenant has left the property than which it was handed to him.
.

Joe Bloggs

21:54 PM, 6th May 2014
About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "06/05/2014 - 16:43":

mark,
i remember the oft state that terms insisting on professional cleaning are unfair and thus unenforceable. this seems sensible as has already been said what matters is the end result, not who achieved it.

Gary Nock

3:53 AM, 7th May 2014
About 6 years ago

Define "professionally cleaned" What standard is that? I have seen properties allegedly "professionally cleaned" that clearly are not. Just because a company pays someone to clean a property does not mean the person doing it and the company doing it is a "professional cleaner" . Its all about the cleaning specification, the training, and the qualifications / trade membership of appropriate bodies of both the individual cleaner and the company they work for. So if "Moppit Maid" are employing someone on minimum wage without any training or accreditation then how can the landlord prove that the property has been "professionally cleaned"?. Ask the landlord for such evidence as the "professional cleaners" cleaning spec, training, and trade body affiliation. If none of these are available then the deposit scheme adjudicator will not deem it a "professional clean" and will not in most cases allow the deduction.

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