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To charge them? Like, legally?

(80 Posts)
breakthepattern Mon 01-Apr-19 23:11:20

I have some tenants who've just moved out.
The house was surface cleaned but not deep cleaned.
At a glance it looked ok, but it took 3 or 4 hours of hard work to get the bathroom in particular up to scratch, (it was hideous in places) and the cupboards, floors, dusting, windows, etc.

If I'd used cleaners I'd have charged them for sure. I did it myself instead.

I warned them before they left that if it wasn't deep cleaned and I had to get it cleaned I'd charge them by withholding some deposit.

AIBU to "charge" them even though I did it myself? Charge the same as my prof cleaners would have charged?

I'm not sure where I stand as it didn't "cost" me as such. It's not my profession.

PolPotNoodle Mon 01-Apr-19 23:15:09

Surely you'll need to provide proof of cost if they challenge you via DPS?

Was the house deep cleaned to a professional standard before they moved in?

Roomchanging Mon 01-Apr-19 23:17:00

You won’t get it back if you don’t have a receipt.

breakthepattern Mon 01-Apr-19 23:19:26

Yes it was deep cleaned before.
Will the DPS automatically be involved in needing a receipt or would the tenants themselves have to request the receipt?

Ariela Mon 01-Apr-19 23:27:15

Did you take photos before and after the clean?
Then I'd submit the photos before & after to them

breakthepattern Mon 01-Apr-19 23:33:28

I took before but not after.

But I can do that in the next couple of days.

I've emailed them to tell them already, before thinking to check if it's officially acceptable without a professional cleaner involved, so I guess I'll wait to see how they respond first. I've only asked for £45 on a £725 deposit.
It feels hugely unfair to not charge something for it.
I spent the day in rubber gloves retching at the grim toilet and bathroom.

Wish I hadn't bothered and just hired a cleaner instead now!

Awwlookatmybabyspider Mon 01-Apr-19 23:35:27

Sadly I think the police have far bigger things to worry about.

breakthepattern Mon 01-Apr-19 23:36:50

The police?
I'm talking about the government-backed deposit protection scheme. Which is written into law as far as I'm aware?

UbercornsGoggles Mon 01-Apr-19 23:46:41

I've charged tenants for the time it took me to take the crap they left behind to the dump. I took photos of the rubbish before loading it into my car, photos of the stuff in the car and photos of my empty car at the dump. They didn't challenge.

The critical thing is to have the evidence and to charge a reasonably amount.

breakthepattern Mon 01-Apr-19 23:51:06

@UbercornsGoggles interesting. Yes I took a shit load of crap to take to the dump too! I'll take a pic of that as well tomorrow before it goes.

BloodsportForAll Mon 01-Apr-19 23:53:46

Document everything with photos etc. If this happens again with other tenants, get photos of everything before you touch it.

PolPotNoodle Mon 01-Apr-19 23:57:49

I really feel like you should already know this if you're a landlord. I googled it for you.

I mean, I suppose you could invoice for the cost of materials to clean if you have the receipts, but otherwise you'd have to invoice yourself for your own time (which would mean paying NI/tax!)

I would chalk this time up to an error in judgement and make sure you enforce the professional cleaning standards clause in the contract next time. And you will need to take pics anyway btw for the next persons check in.

PolPotNoodle Mon 01-Apr-19 23:58:59

(Also yes they'd have to lodge a dispute themselves)

BackforGood Tue 02-Apr-19 00:01:58

Not a landlord, nor a tenant, not any legal qualifications, so just my ponderings,


I'd have thought 'surface cleaned' ought to be "good enough".

Am I being naive in thinking a landlord would have a flat / house "deep cleaned" between tenant anyway ? (A lick of paint or new carpet too in some cases).
By all means charge them for leaving rubbish for you to take to the tip, but surely part of the cost of owning a home you let out, is the cost of bringing it up to 'spick and span' between tenants / before putting it back on the market again >?

CatGoals Tue 02-Apr-19 00:37:35


madroid Tue 02-Apr-19 00:42:52

The trouble is backforgood, a landlord is running a business not a Ruddy charity or tidying up after other people service out of the goodness of your heart.


Rtmhwales Tue 02-Apr-19 00:53:30

Not a landlord but my previous landlord in Wales sent a release of the deposit minus £45 for repainting a wall. I was given options by the deposit scheme to accept or decline. I accepted as it was fair, but if I'd declined they would have had to produce receipts etc and probably have it mediated. So if they agree, I'd imagine you should be fine.

Judystilldreamsofhorses Tue 02-Apr-19 00:59:28

We rent our house and would have it deep cleaned professionally because we have a cat (with the landlord’s permission). I would be happy to pay if it wasn’t up to scratch, and mortified.

I do worry about “wear and tear” though. Our living room carpet is threadbare by the door where you can’t avoid stepping on it, as well as by the sofas - we’ve lived here for five years and while I think it was a new carpet when we moved in, I think it is a pretty cheap one. We bought a big rug for the other worn parts, but there is just no way not to step on the door part. We are good tenants, rent always paid early, property and garden taken excellent care of. Landlord lives abroad and has only visited once in the time we have lived here, but has provided a fantastic response to issues like the boiler clapping out, and the washing machine giving up the ghost.

PalatineUvula Tue 02-Apr-19 01:26:32

There are rules for this.

Firstly you need to be able to prove the property was clean BEFORE the tenancy started.

And then you need to show that is not clean afterwards.

The normal way to do this would be to employ a professional inventory clerk before and after the tenancy.

You can then only charge for an expense you have actually incurred, not the cost of a professional clean, since you haven't done one.

PBobs Tue 02-Apr-19 01:59:44

What PP said. I am a landlord. You need to show that it was deep cleaned professionally before they moved in. I also have a clause in my tenancy agreement that they need to provide proof that they paid for a professional deep clean after moving out and before hand over. Receipt is needed for this. I got burned once by tenants leaving holes in walls, filth everywhere, not emptying bins and leaving used condoms about the place. Was disgusting and I was enraged and didn't get anywhere near enough back from the deposit to cover costs. I don't mind wear and tear and always paint etc in between tenancies if needed. So now you move out, you get it cleaned to the same standard it was at when you took it over.

HennyPennyHorror Tue 02-Apr-19 02:05:21

I took before but not after

But I can do that in the next couple of days

No you can't. hmm

How can you take the after pictures since you've already cleaned it? The after pics are meant to be your proof of how they left it...not of how it looked once you've cleaned it.

Either way you cannot charge them for a non-professional clean.

Smelborp Tue 02-Apr-19 02:11:11

But she says she took before photos already, @HennyPennyHorror. Although it sounds like it might be moot based on others’ posts.

Nowthenforever2019 Tue 02-Apr-19 02:23:10

Yes, before she cleaned and after she cleaned, surely?

SnowyAlpsandPeaks Tue 02-Apr-19 03:02:03

She says she’s taken stuff to the tip. Now say’s she’s going to photograph it? How can she is she’s already taken it?

HennyPennyHorror Tue 02-Apr-19 05:29:55

Now what's the point in that? She doesn't need to prove it's been cleaned visually...a receipt is what's needed. But she doesn't have one. Because she didn't pay someone to do it.

You're meant to take pics before to show what good condition it's in and then after to show what a shit tip the tenants have left it in.

Not after it's been cleaned! That's eff all to do with the tenants. THeir part was meant to be cleaning it...they didn't do it to standard so OP should have paid a pro to do it. THEN taken the money from their deposit. She thinks she can do it herself AND have the money.


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