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My tenant had the curtains dry cleaned and then sent me a £100 bill - thoughts?

(24 Posts)
gavagai Wed 06-May-15 22:43:15

Well ok, they didn't quite sent a bill - they just emailed to say they had it done and could they be reimbursed.

They say the curtains had 'cat hairs and other marks' on them, and seemed to think this was a perfectly normal course of action.

They did not contact us with any concerns about the curtains or ask if we would pay for them to be cleaned in advance - they just went ahead and did it.

The flat was rented as part furnished - we agreed to provide only the white goods, a dining table, and a sofa. We never discussed curtains nor made promises to provide immaculate curtains.

Any thoughts on their request? Reasonable? Would you pay?

Thanks!

Danielle

YonicScrewdriver Wed 06-May-15 22:49:14

They are being unreasonable!

What were the curtains like when they moved in? Are they on the inventory? When did the tenancy start? Is it their cat or yours?

I can see why they'd do it if they have an allergy but they should have emailed you first to say " the curtains are causing an allergy , could you replace them, would you contribute to get them cleaned, do you think we could Hoover them?"

griselda101 Wed 06-May-15 22:50:11

i would say first of all say any work has to go by you in advance but you can pay a percentage. It's a lot of money and you could probably buy new curtains for that!! So maybe go 50 / 50?

And specify any similar work done in future must be checked in advance with you or you won't cover the costs.

griselda101 Wed 06-May-15 22:50:52

Ps you might want to somehow remove your name from the bottom of your post?

FeelingSmurfy Wed 06-May-15 22:50:52

They should have mentioned kit before they got them done and discussed what would be done, giving you an option to find a cheaper way to get them cleaned (or do it yourself) as they didn't I would say its not down to you to pay. As a gesture of goodwill maybe offer to go halves with them but ask them to speak to you first in future if other issues crop up

BetterWoman Wed 06-May-15 23:02:07

No, absolutely no way should you pay. I worked in lettings for five years, including furnished and managed properties, and a tenant simply cannot instruct works and then demand recompense. It has to be raised, discussed, and the landlord has to approve the works and the supplier. I understand that you might want to meet them halfway or something but actually that's setting a really bad precedent; what if the boiler breaks, they get someone to fix it, send you the bill, the house explodes, and it turns out that the workman wasn't gas safe registered? You'd be in a whole world of trouble. Do not agree to it, and lay down the law now; referring them to your tenancy agreement (which should have this covered)

Toughasoldboots Wed 06-May-15 23:07:36

I think that if curtains were provided, they should have been cleaned. Most unfurnished rentals have curtains and I would think it a bit shoddy if curtains were left that were dirty.
I am a long term renter but also a landlord.
I would pay but make it clear that it should have been discussed first.

gavagai Wed 06-May-15 23:15:58

Just to add, these were just cheap Argos bought curtains. We would have been happy to throw them out or wash them in a washing machine. We only just moved out of the flat and lived with them happily for two years, they certainly weren't in a dreadfully filthy state or anything. They are also extraneous - there are blinds under the curtains. It is three sets but just seeks barmy to me to spend that kind of money cleaning them. We did replace the blind in the bedroom when moving out as that was pretty manky.

MargoReadbetter Wed 06-May-15 23:19:29

It's a bit much but when we rented before the curtains were recently dry cleaned. Two years without cleaning them will have shown, probably full of dust. But £100?!

BetterWoman Wed 06-May-15 23:23:51

Do you have a schedule of condition and inventory?

BackforGood Wed 06-May-15 23:30:51

I'm no lawyer, but they are taking the mick.
You can't make decisions to do something then demand payment for it afterwards - all work would have to be agreed by the landlord first. As you say, it's not reasonable to spend £100 dry cleaning curtains - you could replace them for less, or wash them yourself for free! shock

SoonToBeSix Wed 06-May-15 23:34:03

They should have asked first, however you should have washed them.

Toughasoldboots Wed 06-May-15 23:38:37

I recently had two sets of curtains dry cleaned and it was almost exactly £100 a pair, so I don't think that is an abnormal amount.
They should have asked, but I think that you should have had them cleaned or replaced before they moved in.
You can put the cost through the books for tax.

Toughasoldboots Wed 06-May-15 23:41:14

I know that you lived with them happily but they are paying money for a service and it's a business transaction.
The whole place should have been absolutely spotless for them to move in to- when they move out you will expect it to be thoroughly clean too.
I think it's harder when it's been your home but you have to be professional about it.
Did you have an inventory done?

wowfudge Wed 06-May-15 23:42:43

I would, purely as a goodwill gesture you understand, make a contribution. This is because the curtains should have been cleaned before their tenancy started imo (former LL who had previously lived in the house we let to tenants having cleaned carpets, washed all curtains, etc, etc) and you can then tell them that they need to raise these kinds of things with you and not just go off and spend money expecting to be reimbursed. You can't expect them to hand back the house with freshly cleaned curtains though if you didn't hand it over in that condition.

MonoNoAware Wed 06-May-15 23:42:45

To give them the benefit of the doubt, they might have done this with the best of intentions to save 'bothering' you. However, I do think they need to understand that this will not be acceptable for any future jobs/purchases.

To keep up the goodwill, I would be inclined to offer to reimburse what you feel is a reasonable amount, and tell them why. E.g. It would have cost £35 to get them laundered and ironed at a laundrette, so that's what you'll pay. Or even, it would have cost £35, but as a gesture of goodwill, we'll pay £50. You could offer to deduct it from their deposit or let them pay it off over a few months if it will put them into financial difficulty.

susiebee46 Wed 06-May-15 23:56:45

I agree with mono re amount to pay

Tough you refer to it as a business transaction in return for a service but IMO the tenants are not acting In these terms. Maybe the curtains should have been spotless but the tenants really should have brought it up with you first, it is completely unreasonable to go ahead with v expensive cleaning and demand the money. Perhaps if dry cleaning was the only option it would be slightly more understandable but you must make it clear that they are to contact you first

Fwiw I have lived in a lot of very miserable rented houses that have definitely not been spotless with landlords that would have told me to take a running jump if I asked for £100 for curtain cleaning

baies1 Thu 07-May-15 00:08:40

They should have asked. I would make it clear that this is NOT how you do business/respond to requests but offer to pay all or half as a gesture of good will

As someone looking to rent a new place I sympathise with the tenants though - constantly flabbergasted at the state landlords leave properties and furnishings in!

I'd take it as a good sign they obviously want to live in a nice clean home.

Toughasoldboots Thu 07-May-15 00:14:36

But they didn't 'demand' the money.
I did say that they should have discussed it first, but as I said previously, the flat should have been spotless.

Just because your previous landlords would have told you to take a running jump, it doesn't therefore mean that it's an acceptable situation.

HotFudge87 Thu 07-May-15 00:23:23

I'm a military spouse, and as much as they love to charge us for anything every time we move, it still wouldn't cost £1000 to get all our curtains cleaned! Ridiculous! We are also landlords ourselves and have our property rented through a management agency, all work has to go through them for approval. If Tennant came to me saying they'd dry cleaned all curtains and can she have the money I'd have a few questions followed by "go swivel love!" X

gavagai Thu 07-May-15 07:43:36

There have been a few questions about an inventory. Yes, we had an inventory done professionally, and the flat was professionally cleaned before we moved in. We have moved to a new property, which we rent, with old blinds that are in a much worse condition and would never have even occurred to ask to ask the landlord to pay to replace them. We saw the flat before we moved in and accept it comes as it is.

specialsubject Thu 07-May-15 10:13:48

They should have received the place in a clean condition, but if they did have a problem with the curtains they should have got in touch and asked for them to be washed/cleaned/replaced. They can't just rack up a huge bill and then expect it to be paid.

so refuse. Tell them what they should have done, that you are happy to deal with problems but they need to get in touch first.

you've either got the clueless or the professional piss-taker. I hope it is the former.

princesscupcakemummyb Thu 07-May-15 13:52:52

hmm i think £100 is alot but i agree with the others in future id simply suggest they call you first before taking any steps to clean items i would offer a reasonable amount as a gesture

gavagai Thu 07-May-15 19:41:04

Thanks a lot for all your replies!

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