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Cleaning disputes are on the rise

Posted on 2015-05-19

A recent survey conducted by Imfuna Let, an inventory software firm, has revealed that letting agents and landlords are reporting a rise in the number of dirty properties they’re facing when tenants are moving out. This study echoes the annual review carried out by the Tenancy Deposit Scheme, which found that complaints made about cleaning has increased by 7% since 2009.

Cleanliness responsible for over 50% of disputes

According to the survey results, cleanliness is now responsible for 53% of all deposit disputes - a 13 per cent rise from three years ago. Common issues include dirty ovens, unclean bathrooms and stains on carpets. In contrast, reports of non-superficial damage have decreased to 46% from 60%, a 14% decrease over the same period.

The survey reveals that fewer tenants are leaving properties in the same condition that it was when they first moved in, with many surprised about the cost of professional cleaning services used to restore it.

The need for accurate and detailed inventories

Due to this, the Tenancy Deposit Scheme believes that tenants need to be made more aware of exactly what's expected of them, in terms of cleaning, when they move in. This can be done through a proper inventory prepared in advance of the tenancy, as well as a full check-in and check-out process that makes rules and responsibilities clear.

Any professional cleaning costs are taken from the tenant’s deposit, and an increasing number of tenants are disputing this cost. As a result, thorough documentation of these services appears more important than ever.

If you’re a landlord looking to withhold a deposit, in order to pay for professional cleaning services, then you’ll require well-documented evidence in order to prove the state of the property and its overall cleanliness - both at the start of the tenancy and at the end of it.

In addition, it’s also a good idea to get a breakdown of costs incurred by cleaning companies, as these can be used to prove to disputing tenants that they're an honest reflection of both the property’s condition and the amount deducted from the deposit.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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