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A Guide to Cleanliness For Tenants

‘Clean’

Means different things to different people.

So how can you ensure that you will get your deposit back at the end of your tenancy?

The Dispute Service tenancy deposit scheme (or TDS – the scheme under which your deposit is held) says:

‘We look for evidence that the property was less clean at the end of the tenancy than the start’.

You should bear this in mind when cleaning up prior to leaving the property. This is the reason why we take pictures at the start and the end of each tenancy to act as evidence of the condition at the Check In and the Check Out stages. If you or the landlord raises a dispute about cleaning in relation to your deposit, the TDS will look at the photo evidence, along with the written inventory of items and their condition.

It’s important to remember that you won’t be charged for what is considered ‘fair wear and tear’. So you won’t be asked to pay to clean something that is clearly discoloured due to age, like an old baking tin, for example – unless it is actually dirty, of course.

So, what do we as agents look for?

At Julie Twist Properties, we have set Check In and Check Out forms that we use to ensure that every property is treated in the same way when it comes to cleanliness. When you move out, you will be provided with a checklist that tells you about the items we expect to be clean on exit. Some of the items you may not think about are as follows:

  • Emptying all bins – it’s not enough to put the rubbish in them; you need to take the rubbish out, too, otherwise you will be charged for disposal.
  • Wiping out all cupboards and drawers – it goes without saying that you should empty out your things, but you must also make sure that cupboards are clean and dust-free.
  • Hoover under all moveable furniture – you need to make sure that spaces under beds, sofas etc. are all free of dust and dirt. Remember that the places that you can’t immediately see, as well as those that you can, need to be clean.
  • Check outside areas – if you have a balcony, garden or garage, remember that it needs to be tidy and free from rubbish, just like the rest of the property.

The reality of it is that you may still be asked to pay for some cleaning from your deposit, even if you think you have done a good job yourself. This is because a ‘good job’ by your standards just might not be up to the professional standard we are looking for – after all, if the property is not clean enough for the next tenant to move straight in, then someone is going to have to put that right. As a tenant, cleanliness is your responsibility and it is not unusual for a property that has been lived in for six months, twelve months or even longer to need a professional touch when it comes to carpets, ovens, grouting and other problem areas.

Remember

that if we do have to clean the property professionally, there is no one, flat fee for cleaning; the cost will depend on the amount of hours the job takes. This means that even if you have resigned yourself to paying for cleaning from your deposit, you should do your best to leave the property in as good a condition as you can – otherwise, you could end up paying for far more than a 2 hour basic clean – and a whole day’s worth of cleaning is costly! The bottom line is: leave the property as you would expect to find it, and don’t be surprised if there are still some areas that need industrial cleaning treatment.


 



Related information

Ending a tenancy
I am moving out of my property
Common Tenancy Problems
Tenants Renting Handbook
A Guide to Cleanliness For Tenants
Tenants Information And Fees
Maintenance problems
My rent FAQ’s
Your Guide to Renting in Manchester City Centre