End of tenancy cleaning
Posted: 16th December 2020 Categories: Maintenance
Mint Homes find that end of tenancy cleaning causes more disputes between landlords and tenants than any other issue. So it is useful to know what level of cleaning is required and what constitutes fair wear and tear and of course who should pay for what.
Here are some handy tips to end of tenancy cleaning for landlords and tenants.
During the tenancy
Tenants should keep their property in a clean and tidy order throughout their tenancy so there is no overwhelming cleaning when it is time to move. Mint Homes carry out regular property inspections and politely point out any potential issues if spotted during the tenancy.
The end of the tenancy
There is a responsibility for tenants to leave the property as clean as it was when they moved in. Photographs from the check in inventory can be used to make comparisons. To assist our tenants in the process and help reduce deposit deductions, Mint Homes send a letter to the tenants, once notice has been received, containing helpful and comprehensive guidance as to what is expected from them at the end of a tenancy.
Fair wear and tear
Tenancy agreements state that "tenants shall leave the property and all the landlords’ items in the same rooms, state of cleanliness and condition as it was at the start of the tenancy except for fair wear and tear regardless of how the tenancy ended".
For example, carpets naturally wear over time, so if a property is let with brand new carpets, they will not remain in pristine condition, and the longer a tenant has been in the property, the more wear there will be. However; stains, unnatural rips or burns are different and a landlord can make fair and reasonable deductions from the tenant’s deposit.
Is professional cleaning required at the end of tenancy?
Following the Tenant Fees Act 2019 a landlord cannot ask a tenant to pay for cleaning from a professional company at the end of a tenancy. Landlords can, however, ask that the tenant cleans the property to a professional standard.
There are two main reasons to make sure the property is as clean as possible before you leave:
1. To avoid disputes and ensure there are no cleaning-related deductions from your deposit
2. To ensure you receive a good reference from your landlord (if you are planning on renting another property)
Therefore, if a tenant has the time to clean the property at the end of their tenancy then this would be the most cost effective option. If you don't have time or you are not confident your own cleaning will come up to professional standards then it would be worth instructing a professional cleaner.
Landlords are well within their legal rights to use the tenant’s deposit to pay for professional cleaning services, if certain conditions are met.
To make this a fair process all round, Mint Homes undertake comprehensive, full colour photographic inventories. These are key in determining the cleanliness of a property both before the tenant moves in and after they have left.
End of tenancy inspection
At the end of a tenancy Mint Homes will undertake a check-out inventory which is available to share with the landlord. If the property has been left in an unacceptable state, and not as clean as when the tenant moved in, this will be highlighted in the report sent to the tenant.
To protect a deposit taken for an assured shorthold tenancy and help with any disputes between tenants and landlords at the end of a tenancy:
- Cash deposits are held by the Deposit Protection Service (DPS). Mint Homes follows the guidelines set out by the DPS so it is fair to both our tenants and landlords alike. In the case of a dispute, both Mint Homes and the tenant are able to submit evidence for and against the proposed deduction for the DPS Adjudicator to make the final decision.
- Zero Deposit (the tenants obligations at the end of the tenancy are exactly the same as a traditional cash deposit). In the case of a dispute, both Mint Homes and the tenant are able to submit evidence for and against the proposed deduction for the TDS Adjudicator to make the final decision.
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