Hello - I'm posting on behalf of a friend who moved out of the house she had been renting a couple of weeks ago. There was a check out report that noted areas that needed extra cleaning and she was happy to do this (mostly surfaces in the kitchen needing a final wipe and the downstairs loo having been forgotten about). Her LL has charged almost £700 for this; £300 to clean three pairs of curtains that had some cat hairs left on them and another £500 for gardening services although the check out said the garden was in good seasonal order.
Our quedtions are: can a LL charge for a full professional clean even when only a small amount of cleaning was required? Does the LL have to show he has sought value for money in his costs? Re: the garden, the LL says that the garden needed to have its lawn weeded and two plants replaced but can he charge for replacing plants when circumstances such as the very long winter will have killed off some plants in most gardens and can he charge at all for gardening works when he dif not providr sny tools to msintain it (he told my friend to ho yo B&Q when she asked for some which she did in order to enjoy it while she lived there)?
Yes, the check out was independent and yes pets were agreed. The deposit is in a scheme. She accepts that the cleaning needed to be s bit more thorough (ran out of time) and that the curtsins needed to be cleaned but it is the amounts deducted that are so shocking. The LL lives overseas and says this is what his agency has charged and he has receipts but surely there is a duty for someone to assess the job first, not just give go-ahead for what I assume are "dtandard charges"?
Definitely dispute the cleaning and the gardening. Check what the tenancy agreement says ref the curtains. I work in this industry (and in the most expensive end of the sector) and these recharges are unreasonably high.
Yes, she is planning to take it to the TDS to arbitrate but the LL is pointing to small print of contract which states house has to be professionslly cleaned and gardened regardless of state it was in when she moved in and other clauses (eg. she should have chimney swept although there is no open fire...). Sorry to drip feed but how enforceable is this sort of thing against a check-out report that called for only minor work?
I would raise a dispute then, I think the garden is your strongest argument if it stated good seasonal order then I cannot see how they can charge anything. The drycleaning is debateable 3 sets of big curtains could cost £300 to clean, they should have been cleaned on the way in mind, what does the check IN say about curtain condition? The dispute wont cost her anything, and the threat may be enough to get a bit of reasonable discussion going.