I’ve signed a contract in 2020 that has this clause:
“The tenant is responsible for the professional cleaning of any carpets, curtains, furnishings and all items listed in the inventory and those itmes in the property at the time of the commenceent of the contract.”
According to the Tenants Fees act 2019, they say
Q. Can I charge a tenant for a professional clean at the end of a tenancy?
No. You cannot require a tenant to pay for a professional clean when they check-out. However, if the tenancy was entered into before 1 June 2019and a tenant agreed in their contract to pay fees for cleaning to be provided, you could continue to charge these fees up until 31 May 2020.From 1 June 2020, the term requiring that payment is no longer binding on the tenant. You may request that a property is cleaned to a professional standard. Tenants are responsible for ensuring that the property is returned in the condition that they found it, aside from any fair wear and tear. Fair wear and tear is considered to be a defectwhich occur naturally or as part of the tenant’s reasonable use of the premises. Further, tenants with COVID-19/COVID-19 symptoms who ensure the property is returned in the condition they found it cannot be charged for an additional deep clean of a property."
What happened in my case: I cleaned the flat myself, and left it in a MUCH BETTER condition than what i received. But as they found some dust under some surfaces and the checkout form mentioned I did a ‘Domestic’ instead of ‘Professional’ cleaning, they called a professional cleaner and want to deduce £150 from my deposit.
My question is:
- Was it even legal to demand professional cleaning in the contract?
- Should I dispute the insane charges, or would it be too much trouble for nothing?
Many older contracts still have this clause, but the landlord can’t enforce it. However, if the cleaning is not done or is unsatisfactory, the landlord could make a claim from the tenants deposit, which the tenant can dispute if they think its unfair.
If the landlord can prove with receipts he can ask for the property to be returned in the same condition provided.
I would ask him for receipts.
We ask that the carpets are washed to the standard provided and provide the tenant with receipts. DPS do accept this.
If you have followed the contractual specifications for cleaning required for deposit return then raise that with your Landlord.
They are obliged to specify what is required on departure and remind you before you leave. You can also ask them to do a joint inspection and raise issues in your presence.
the checkout was done by a 3rd party. Their report flagged some minor issues like dust under the bed etc. Definitely nothing major. It was probably a wrong call they decided to get pros to clean it again, but I dont see why this should be charged on me.
£150 is steep fir dust under bed
The issue is professional cleaners don’t just charge got a bit of dust
You have to pay a given price per room / item.
Tell the landlord you are disputing his claim and want to go to dispute resolution
Take your case to adjudication
The adjudicator will probably find in your favour or lessen the charge
They will have to prove everything
But if the inventories were independent dos May favour the landlord
In your defence, paying for professional cleaning is inapplicable under the Tenant Fees Act.
See what the checkin report said about cleanliness when you first got there for comparison to the exit report, and submit both to the deposit holder.
Ask for the receipt of the professional clean that was done before you moved in, noting the gap in dates between clean and your arrival.
I would be surprised if the deposit holder does not give you a full deposit refund.
My properties are given professionally cleaned and I
do comprehensive inventory with so many photographs
Check in presence of tenants before moving in and I expect to the same level.
Last year I went to do inventory checkout and then tenants said it’s very clean and professionally cleaned. But from the distance I could see something was under the sofa then when I asked tenant can you check and there was his partner’s
slipper and a sock. It was not cleaned properly at all. So the cleaning company they organised they had to come back and do it again.
One of the worst thing is that the oven as most tenants from my experience hardly clean so it need professional cleaning.
Prafula, you are allowed to charge your tenants fees for cleaning, if they mess it up. What you are not allowed to do , is demand they call professionals to fo the cleaning, or demand they hire a specific service. Read the link I’ve shared
Thank you all for the advise. I told them i will dispute the deposit return and i had the evidence to support it.
The agent said they convinced the landlord to let it go. I think it was all bs, I’ve read reviews for that agency and it seems it’s a common practice for them to overcharge exit fees
I just tell them that I expect to be cleaned as I have given them
to my standard and according to the proof of inventory.
When I for inventory checking I do my final check before tenants moves in after cleaned by cleaner and if not cleaned I expect them to come back and cleaned.
I go with my pair of rubber gloves and kitchen towel at both time.
So if they leave them in mesh and yes I they got
charged but only with a few tenants who also have
not stayed for inventory checkout.
But most of my tenants have been very good and they just arrange the end of tenancy cleaning.
If it’s little things I don’t worry but oven, hob and
extractor has be cleaned professionally.
Also in inventory check in I will remind and also write
down that they need to change extractor filter and bulbs.
Please note I am aware of the link you sent as below
but I as just go with comprehensive inventory checkin with all photographs. Also I do ask tenants that if they want to take any more photos and they can take too. So both parties have clear understanding.
Even I had tenants who had regular weekly cleaners.
Q. Can I charge a tenant for a professional clean at the end of a tenancy?
No. You cannot require a tenant to pay for a professional clean when they check-out. However, if the tenancy was entered into before 1 June 2019 and a tenant agreed in their contract to pay fees for cleaning to be provided, you could continue to charge these fees up until 31 May 2020. From 1 June 2020, the term requiring that payment is no longer binding on the tenant.
You may request that a property is cleaned to a professional standard. Tenants are responsible for ensuring that the property is returned in the condition that they found it, aside from any fair wear and tear. Fair wear and tear is considered to be a defect which occur naturally or as part of the tenant’s reasonable use of the premises. Further, tenants with COVID-19/COVID-19 symptoms who ensure the property is returned in the condition they found it cannot be charged for an additional deep clean of a property.
Without siding at all, if there was dust under the bed and you said you had cleaned better than taken up, did you forget to do that area or could there have been more areas needing cleaning or dusty?
As stated the property should be in the same clean condition taken up on the initial inventory. If there is inventory photographic evidence to the contrary, as you had not cleaned; then charges would apply.
Professional cleaners wouldn’t come in just to clean under the bed, they would make sure the room was totally clean and sanitised. Having one area not clean could indicate the rest had been cleaned or not. So if other room areas had evidence of parts not being clean , the whole room would also be cleaned and sanitised.
The lesson for anyone, if you say you have cleaned and sanitised make sure you have done everything, miss something and it raises a red flag.
If the inventory said i.e that 2 of 4 rooms had evidence of areas not being clean then you may, just may have scope for a reduction in the landlord’s claim. Of course comparison of the in and out inventories will be the main consideration as legally landlords cannot demand professional cleans. Only in circumstances of the property not being clean would charges apply and remember with Covid the professional clean would now include sanitisation of the property which wouldn’t be down to the tenant’s costs. One would take it that the toilets etc would have been sanitised by the tenant when cleaning.
I would recommend a friendly conversation with the Landlord to resolve the above rather than immediate conflict.
You can go to arbitration which is free but he decision is final without redress.
Well mostly I have been lucky and the tenants have cleaned before they left. However carpets are walked on every day and I still get a professional cleaner in. It isnt expensive amd at the end of the day why would I charge for something that I percieve to my problem and they have given me a living for 2 years. Sometimes reading these posts it looks like a tenant v landlord when it should be a tenant and landlord cooperative. I would only make a charge for actual damage.