According to the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS), cleaning accounts for 56% of deposit disputes and there has recently been a sharp rise in the number of properties that require professional cleaning services at check-out.
Pat Barber, Chair of the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks commented that “there is a general lack of respect for property by tenants, with many failing to leave the property in the same condition they found it. We have seen many properties left in a filthy state. The main problems are dirty ovens and fridges, greasy kitchens, limescale on taps, carpet stains and bathrooms that have not been cleaned for months”.
There are hundreds of tenant horror stories to be found online, but fortunately at Oakfield Estate Agents, we have a great relationship with our tenants, so our landlords generally need not worry about such things. Hopefully we are able to select and verify the most considerate tenants at the outset, and they tend to stay.
There can be no compromise on cleanliness; a property should be vacated with no sign of previous occupation – as if it been made ready especially for the incoming tenant. In essence, if a property, or even a teapot, was clean at the start of the tenancy, then it should be left the same way at the end of the tenancy, although reasonable wear and tear should be accepted.
One way of achieving this is to make it very clear to tenants what is expected of them, both in the tenancy agreement, verbally and then repeated as soon as notice is given, with follow-up. A detailed photo-catalogued inventory provides both the benchmark for the expected standard, as well as proof of any deviation from it. An estimate of the cost of professional cleaning should also be supplied to the tenant as an incentive to get it right!
If you’d like any advice on how best to maximise your yield while reducing the stresses associated with managing an investment property – you know who to call!
Neil Newstead, FARLA MNAEA MIRPM
Chief Executive Officer