Cleaning is a growing problem for landlords and agents
Wednesday, 20 February, 2013
This is followed by damage to the property (45 per cent), redecoration (28 per cent) rent arrears (18 per cent), and gardening (12 per cent).
According to the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC), landlords and agents are increasingly faced with dirty properties at the check-out stage. Many tenants fail to leave their property in the same condition when they leave a property and are often very surprised when they are told that professional cleaning is required.
Pat Barber, Chair of the AIIC, said:
It is not surprising that cleaning has risen by over 6 per cent in tenant disputes. Many tenants fail to keep their property clean and time and time again we see filthy kitchens and bathrooms at check-out. Tenants rarely treat their rented property in the same way as they would a property they owned themselves. We all know that accidents do happen during a tenancy, but tenants need to realise that they must take financial responsibility for things that are beyond normal wear and tear.
For example, a recent tenant check out highlighted a very dirty oven, amongst other things. The tenant was amazed when it was pointed out that it would need professional cleaning which would cost around £60. Her response was I had to use it, surely this is normal wear and tear?. We get the same response often concerning dirty carpets -“ tenants will state that because a carpet is a light colour it is bound to get dirty? It never crosses their mind that they should clean it themselves and they are strangely indignant when they see how much carpet cleaning companies charge.
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. Some tenants claim that cleaning issues are just normal wear & tear. The simple answer is that if an area or item was clean at check in it should be left clean at check out. It something can be cleaned then it should be. If any dust or crumbs are present then this is clearly not 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.
AIIC has put together the most common cleaning problems at check-out:
Ovens – cause the most problems. If it was listed as completely clean at check in, it must be left in the same condition. Burn marks to any part of the appliance means it is not clean. Tenants are amazed that professional oven cleaning costs between £50 – £80.
Stained and marked carpets -“ this is a very common problem with some tenants trying to hide stains with rugs and furniture. Tenants are also known to cut out the stain and fill the hole with carpet they have cut from a hidden part of the property eg under the bed
Heavy lime scale to kitchen and bathroom fittings -“ the response of tenants is often ‘it’s not my fault, this is a hard water area’
Grease deposits throughout the kitchen, surfaces and cupboards may look clean but will feel sticky to touch.
Thick dust & cobwebs, particularly around furniture and on the ceilings
The AIIC is a not for profit membership organisation and is committed to excellence and professionalism in the property inventory process. The AIIC works hard to ensure that all landlords, tenants and letting agents understand the importance and benefits of professionally completed property inventories.