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Return of tenant deposit - deductions for cleaning

(32 Posts)
maggiethecat Fri 19-Apr-13 14:11:12

Am about to vacate and have had cleaning quotes for about £350 excluding carpet cleaning for another £100.

It's a big house but it's been given a clean by us so the quote is I suppose to get it to this 'professional standard' which I gather is to make things really nice and shiny - washing all woodwork, shining cupboards etc. (and also oven, and extractor clean).

I'm tempted to go back in and polish up - it would take a few hours but I cannot see where £350 is reasonable. On other hand, part of me feels that because cleaners are recommended by agents, it's more likely to get passed.

wwyd?

Tizwozliz Fri 19-Apr-13 14:19:47

Employ your own cleaners, retain proof that it has been professionally cleaned. If the house is clean and empty already it's highly unlikely to cost £350 pounds.

Alternatively ask them to justify the cost, can't possibly take 35 hours (working at 10 pounds per hour).

Take to dps if necessary

MintyyAeroEgg Fri 19-Apr-13 14:24:53

Professional oven clean is £50.

Professional windows clean inside and out is about £50 where I am.

Lets say 8 hours maximum for the rest of the house, £80.

About 50% of what your agents' cleaners have quoted hmm.

guineapiglet Fri 19-Apr-13 20:22:42

Oh maggie you have my deepest empathy. We have been renting for 8 months following a relocation. In our contract it clearly states the house has to be professionally cleaned and the agents recommended a local cleaning company. 3 bed town house, not enormous, but I could clean it easily in less than 4 or 5 hours ( excluding oven/carpets).

Our total quote was £450 including oven and carpets. Oh how we laughed - then I rang round this ludicrously expensive area. For end of tenancy cleans, apparently you need two cleaners for 8 hours at the cost of £16 per hour EACH- I phoned 6 other companies, they all charged that!
What a bloody racket!! I complained to the letting agent ( a very reputable nationwide company) saying it was extortionate, they referred me back to the tenancy agreement, and an additional cost was a £200 Check out fee
. In total therefore we had to pay £650 at the end of our tenancy. In our circumstances we had no other choice but to rent, but I would never do it again, it is a complete rip off and all the professional cleaners obviously have some kind of agreement to charge the same. I am in the wrong job!!

Ironically, when the 'check out' company did the final inventory ALL the issues raised were cleaning ones and they tried to charge us ANOTHER £150 for additional cleaning. By then I had had enough and complained formally to the agents, saying we were being taken for a ride.
Next day an email saying they would get cleaning company to rectify at no further expense to ourselves, profuse apologies for any distress etc.

The house I felt was always in reasonably good order. I had no qualms about paying for oven and windows, but could have done just as good a job myself.

guineapiglet Fri 19-Apr-13 20:24:53

Forgot to say at 0830 3 guys arrived and were pleased to show me out and get on with it. When I popped back unannounced at 2, only one of them was left working and he was clearing up. Returned at 3, property locked an empty. 8 hours my ass.

MajaBiene Fri 19-Apr-13 20:28:57

Why couldn't you just get a local cleaner to do it at £10 an hour? Did it have to be the ones the agents recommended?

guineapiglet Fri 19-Apr-13 20:35:30

Our agents said they would deduct professional cleaning costs from our deposit and they wanted receipts etc to show job had been done to their standard. I rang round all the local companies in the area - they all charge the same. Believe me, I would willingly have paid someone to clean it for cheaper, or at a more reasonable rate, but unless they were a professional company who could have produced said receipts, we would have had our deposit reduced as costs to the landlord.

I reckon in this area many of the rentals are company lets, and the tenants just pass on any bills etc to the company ( i know of several people locally who fit this category). If you are just paying it out of your own money and dont have a company to fork out, you are stuffed.

maggiethecat Sat 20-Apr-13 15:14:48

But why can't you clean it yourself and take pictures to verify the clean? Professional standard of clean does not mean that it has to be done by a professional. Of course, it would be better to have receipts in support but I am minded to, if necessary dispute any deductions and put in my evidence of the standard of clean.

I do not like being taken for a ride!

maggiethecat Sat 20-Apr-13 15:16:14

Oh, and it was £18/hr by one and £22/hr by the other

Toughasoldboots Sat 20-Apr-13 15:33:15

It's an unfair contract clause and would be difficult to enforce if it went to court and you had cleaned the house yourself to a high standard.

PlasticLentilWeaver Sat 20-Apr-13 15:35:29

Did your check in show that it was cleaned to a professional standard? If not, you can leave it cleaned to the same standard as check in.

Or, if you think they are being unreasonable, take it to dispute. The arbitrators generally find in favour of the tenant on this type of thing, as the LL would have to prove that you hadn't left it clean enough. I had tenants leave a flat filthy and mouldy (because they turned the bathroom extractor off angry) and I had photographic proof. They still found in favour of the tenant because the check in didn't specifically state 'professionally cleaned'.

maggiethecat Sat 20-Apr-13 16:02:15

I think that many agents esp the big ones have relied on tenants kow towing in order to protect their deposit. I'm in Scotland and glad that the deposit protection scheme has reached here.

Are there any charges that apply if a matter goes to arbitration?

maggiethecat Sat 20-Apr-13 16:06:46

No, check-in did not say cleaned to a professional standard although it was clean. Carpets certainly were not steam cleaned, I remember that, yet agents (not tenancy agreement condition) require that carpets cleaned professionally - vax not acceptable.

I should have noted that on the check-in but I only became aware of the agents' standards as end of tenancy approached.

PlasticLentilWeaver Sat 20-Apr-13 18:45:31

No, there is no charge for raising a dispute.

MintyyAeroEgg Sat 20-Apr-13 19:32:57

Was just coming on to say that if your deposit is in the deposit protection scheme (which I'm sure it must be?) then raise a dispute as this does indeed sound like a bloody racket. Hell, you might even find that the firm of cleaners recommended by the Letting Agent belongs to their brother or sister or cousin or something like that hmm.

GreenEggsAndNichts Sat 20-Apr-13 22:12:38

my god maggie your situation sounds just like ours. When we moved in, I know the previous tenants hadn't professionally cleaned the carpets or oven. I didn't know it was something which would have been expected, though. We've now moved out and are being threatened with having some of our deposit kept because we didn't have the carpets professionally done. I did rent a cleaner and do it myself, so it was done, and it was certainly in the same or better condition as when we moved in. However the difference is now the house is being turned back over to the landlord, as she wants to sell, so I think the agent is being unfairly critical.

It's very stressful. After 4 years of being very good tenants, it's leaving a bad taste in our mouths. sad

GreenEggsAndNichts Sat 20-Apr-13 22:13:56

and yes there is no incentive at all for the agent to find a decent deal on a cleaner when they're just taking it out of your deposit. It is a racket.

maggiethecat Sat 20-Apr-13 23:26:54

I am very wary of the agents. They sent us a pre departure form with instructions. On the form they state that no inventory was returned at the start of the tenancy.
I have informed them that I did return a copy with my amendments and received a copy stamped with their approval.
Strange that they have no record!

Crutchlow35 Sun 21-Apr-13 08:47:24

What we do is allow you to clean yourself and we do a joint inspection. We do however, always recommend professional oven and carpet cleaning though. By doing a joint inspection we go through the property together. If anything is missed it can be attended to there and then.

If someone wants to use the agency cleaners we do the charge is £12 an our and we get a quote upfront.

I am agast at the agency stories on this forum and also the estate agency stories - we are both. We just don't behave like that however, if £20 odd is the going rate in your area for a clean there isn't much you can so. We are central Scotland.

maggiethecat Sun 21-Apr-13 08:57:02

crutch, don't know if there are cleaning companies who specialise in end of tenancy cleans and perhaps their rates are higher. may be that companies outside of this niche have lower rates.

recommending professional oven and carpet cleans is one thing but insisting upon it and deducting from deposit where this standard is not attained is another. If a check-in inventory states that these had been professionally cleaned and tenant did not disagree at the time, then fair enough.

my check-in actually indicates that there was a carpet stain and traffic marks. am still required to professionally clean then?

PlasticLentilWeaver Sun 21-Apr-13 09:13:28

For carpets, if tenants have provided a receipt for hire of a rug doctor or similar, I will accept that (and the inventory clerk's word that it looks to have been used).

You are expected to leave the property in similar condition to when you moved in. Fair wear and tear will depend on the duration of the tenancy.

WaitingForMe Sun 21-Apr-13 09:15:10

One of my clients does end of tenancy cleans and I used her team to clean my house after renovations. It's a large five bed. Cleaning cost £90, window cleaner cost £60 (cleaned all UPVC and the bathroom tiles) and oven clean was £60. The house looked amazing and the company covers Cotswolds/Cheltenham so it's not like it's a cheap area.

I'd fight this like mad as everyone I used was making a minimum of £12 p/h!

Crutchlow35 Sun 21-Apr-13 10:04:34

the cleaning co we use just have a flat rate. clearly others try to make money out of it calling it an end if tenancy clean.

re oven and carpets they are the 2 things that new tenants moving in here insist upon being spotless. we generally find that tenants on leaving dont quite get the standard right. tenants seem to like an oven looking like new which isnt a bad thing.

in aus where we rented for a while it is legal to have professional cleans and you have to provide invoices.

maggiethecat Thu 09-May-13 00:08:44

to update - i did it myself and to be fair it did take a lot of time. it's all of the minor details that you dont normally do - cleaning above the door frames, cleaning out the washing machine soap dispenser, cleaning your light fittings, sockets and so forth. the oven certainly required a disproportionate amount of time but it was sparkling in the end.

I suspect that I may have gone overboard so as to give them no come back. the check out agent asked me if i had used professional cleaners, commenting 'it's very clean'.

i've today been told that i'll get full deposit back!

maggiethecat Thu 09-May-13 00:10:47

oh, considered getting carpets steam cleaned but decided not to based on state of carpets at start date.

the only thing i'd do differently would be get oven professionally cleaned - i am not in love with oven pride/mate!

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