It’s enough of a chore to clean up after yourself, let along cleaning up after others. So when you move into a new flat, you don’t want any signs of the previous tenant. Particularly if the signs indicate a lax attitude to hygiene. End of tenancy cleaning ensures that future tenants will feel as though they are moving into a brand new property.
Existing occupants are usually responsible for end of tenancy cleaning. That doesn’t mean you have to get down on your knees and start scrubbing floors. Instead, we look at end of tenancy cleaning really requires.
How clean is clean?
Tenancy agreements stipulate that tenants leave the property in the same condition they found it. You are, of course, not expected to improve the condition of the property. Ensure you keep copies of the inventory reports so you aren’t penalised for damage incurred before your arrival.
What are the penalties for inadequate end of tenancy cleaning?
End of tenancy cleaning is required to reclaim your full security deposit. According to The Tenants Voice, 56% of deposit disputes in the UK are caused by insufficient end of tenancy cleaning. Cleaning is also usually part of a more complex dispute.
Who has to clean the property?
End of tenancy cleaning is the responsibility of the tenant, but you hire a cleaning company. Schedule the jobas close to the final inventory check as possible, so the inspection will find the flat in its cleanest state.
If the property is a small one, you could save yourself some money by cleaning it yourself. It also helps if:
- You’ve kept the home meticulously clean throughout the tenancy
- You have experience with cleaning
- The property is unfurnished
Bear in mind that you may need specialised cleaning equipment, like carpet and upholstery steamers. If you’re uncomfortable with that, or if you have any allergies to cleaning products, it may be best for you to employ a professional company. After all, your security deposit is on the line here.
Hiring a professional cleaning company
In some cases, landlords have managed to include a “professional cleaning” clause in the agreement, forcing tenants to pay up to £400 pounds for professional cleaners. For the most part, landlords aren’t in a position to make such demands. The Office of Fair Trading addresses this issue in its guide to unfair terms in tenancy agreements.
Note: If you don’t meet the minimum cleaning requirements, your landlord may have to hire a cleaning service to get the job done. In this case they can charge you for the cost.
Experienced landlords can recommend good cleaning companies; in fact, they may have agreements with a cleaning company for good rates. You should try to find an insured provider, so you can rest easy that the costs of any damage or theft will be covered by the cleaning company.
Tip: It would help a lot if you could obtain a copy of the final inventory inspection checklist from your landlord. Whether you are conducting the cleaning operation yourself or hiring professionals, the checklist is an invaluable resource, as you will know exactly which elements of the property will be the focus of the inspection.