End of tenancy cleaning guide
Tenants are often required to do an end of tenancy cleaning when they move out of their rented accommodation.
Most deposit disputes are related to the cleanliness of the property after it is handed back to the landlord or agency. The Deposit Protection Scheme has confirmed that more than half of deposit disputes (56%) are related to insufficient cleaning. Landlords will deduct the cost of cleaning from the deposit for hiring a cleaning company if they find the property to be below their standard of cleanliness . Whilst most people opt to hire a professional cleaning service to handle their post tenancy clean to avoid losing out on their deposit, some tenants will try and do this themselves.
End of tenancy cleaning normally consists of a thorough clean of kitchen, bedrooms and bathrooms. All surfaces, floors, tiles, carpets, walls, and windows will need to be cleaned to a high standard. Dust and dirt will need to be removed and cobwebs cleared out of hard to each places. Appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines will also need to be cleaned out. By now you’ll realize that the list goes on and most people will certainly miss out minor details that will cost them their deposit.
So what can you do to ensure you get your full deposit back? We’ve written some tips in here to hopefully guide you through your end of tenancy cleaning.
Your inventory report
Your first step should be checking your inventory report. This is a third party report done at the beginning of your tenancy before you move into the property. The report should have everything documented in it from pre-existing damages to the property to cleanliness.
Report everything immediately in your inventory report. If the bathroom isn’t cleaned when you move in, make sure it is written down in the report. Your inventory report is your evidence that will back you up if there is any dispute.
Most tenancy contracts state that the property should be returned in the way that it was when rented to you. If the inventory report is mainly text, make sure you take photos as evidence. To get your full deposit back, your check in and check our inventory report needs to be identical.
Your tenancy agreement
Some tenancy agreements may require tenants to hire a professional cleaning company to carry out end of tenancy cleaning. This has caused some tenants have used expensive cleaning companies to clean their property when they move out.
The Office of Fair Trading has issued a guide that deals with cleaning charges and excessive cleaning charges. It is unfair to ask a tenant to pay for the property to be cleaned to a higher standard than when they moved. As long as the property is clean when you return it, you are free to choose your cleaning methods. It is unfair if the landlord or agency demands a professional clean when the property is already clean.
If the property isn’t returned in a comparable condition, your landlord can hire a cleaning company and deduct your deposit. If you push for the property to be cleaned professionally before you move in, it is only fair that you return the favour. Always ask for a receipt if your landlord hires a cleaning company.
The actual cleaning
If you’re brave enough to spend a day cleaning your property from head to toe then you should start with writing a checklist. Ensure that the cleaning is done thoroughly and properly. Make sure you pull out all the furniture to clean underneath them and to clean hard to reach areas like the corners of the room. Leave no stone left unturned and don’t skip the minor details because chances are your landlord won’t either. It’s also worth contacting your estate agents or landlord to see what kind of standard checklists they have in terms of end of tenancy cleaning. To find out more about end of tenancy cleaning guidelines, read our full blog post here.