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To not clean my last rented property 'to a professional standard'?

67 replies

crumbsnamechange · 13/05/2021 10:51

Just in the process of moving out to a new place, and remembered that my inventory for the old flat states "not professionally cleaned".

I kicked up a fuss with the estate agents after the inventory man had been and before I moved in, as they'd promised me a cleaned flat as part of the condition of renting, and they quickly sorted it out.

Now a new tenant is due to move in next week, and of course I'll make the place presentable for her (will sweep and clean surfaces etc.), but AIBU in not organising professionals to do the job? And do you think it's the estate agents' responsibility now to organise a proper clean, since it wasn't in the inventory?

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?


You have one vote. All votes are anonymous.

LiveRightNow · 13/05/2021 10:54

I'd say depends on the terms of your lease. If you signed to say you would have it professionally cleaned on vacating then you'll need to professionally clean it.


dontgobaconmyheart · 13/05/2021 11:35

I'd make every effort out of courtesy to deep clean myself rather than a 'sweep' and 'surface wipe'. Full dust, vacuum or carpet cleaning, tidy up and fill any hanging holes, deep clean of all appliances and oven and the bathroom is basic courtesy, especially if you had the landlord pay to clean it professionally so reaped the benefits of that yourself.

It is the next tenant you're causing inconvenience and extra work, not the letting agent. The cost will either fall to them or to the landlord, who in turn may try to recover costs for certain things from your initial deposit of they can make a case.

The rules changed in 2019 OP so I suggest you look those up in relation to what you signed and when. The expectation ultimately is that you leave it in the condition you found it (and can prove this with inventory images) but I'd still clean out of basic decency. Landlords can no longer demand or enforce a professional clean but can request it and of course can still attempt to withhold funds to do professional oven cleaning etc if things are not up to par which can be a faff.


Naunet · 13/05/2021 11:36

Nope, not unreasonable, they’re not allowed to ask for it back in a better condition than they give it to you in.


Shoxfordian · 13/05/2021 11:47

Depends if you want them to take it out of your deposit or not


Naunet · 13/05/2021 11:48

Depends if you want them to take it out of your deposit or not

As long as it is cleaned to the standard it was let to her in, they can’t take it from her deposit.


crumbsnamechange · 13/05/2021 11:50

Thanks all, I'm really confused now as the inventory is contradictory. The "check in" column says uncleaned, and gives all images of the dirty state (photos of residue in sink etc.) but the "check out" column says "professional clean done" - which it was between the inventory being taken and me moving in.

So I'll make an effort to clean but I don't have to undertake a professional clean, is this correct? I signed for this property in June 2020.

OP posts:

murbblurb · 13/05/2021 11:51

Unless it is really filthy (MN oversensitivity disclaimer - not suggesting that) there will be no valid deposit claim. MN doesn't know that there has been deposit legislation in place since 2007 and Peter rachmann has been dead about 60 years.

I am happy if a tenant takes everything they own, bins all the rubbish and hasn't kicked in the doors.


GertrudePerkinsPaperyThing · 13/05/2021 12:01

I would definitely clean it yourself as close as you can get to a professional standard.

Am I right in thinking that the flat was actually professionally cleaned before you moved in? In which case there might be an argument to say you should return it in the state you found it.


snackmonster · 13/05/2021 12:04

Honestly having lived in multiple rental properties I would clean it (myself, not professionally) but to a really high standard - use oven pride, wipe all window seals, etc etc. They will claim anything to keep your deposit.


crumbsnamechange · 13/05/2021 12:06

Yes, it was cleaned to a professional standard when I moved in, but that was only done by the estate agents when I complained, because I went round with the inventory man and the place hadn't been cleaned at all. So the inventory photos show dirt left by the previous tenants.

OP posts:

Shamoo · 13/05/2021 12:13

If it was professionally cleaned for you as part of you moving in (once you complained), I don’t really understand why you think morally you shouldn’t have to do it on the way out? What does your lease say?


bookworm20 · 13/05/2021 12:15


Depends if you want them to take it out of your deposit or not

As long as it is cleaned to the standard it was let to her in, they can’t take it from her deposit.

Thats what I thought too. but no. They took me for a song, despite the place being left in a much much cleaner state than when I moved in. But I'd done it so no receipt from a professional cleaner, which incidently it didn't state in my contract was necessary.

They were a total arsehole agent though, so I do think it depends on whether you have an agent who is reasonable -or who has their other half working for the cleaning company they send the work to and using peoples deposits-

EverdeRose · 13/05/2021 12:16

Of course you should give it a deep clean. You obviously weren't prepared to live in someone else's dirt and requested it was cleaned before you moved in (probably taken from the previous tenants deposit), why should someone live in your muck.


MargateSands · 13/05/2021 12:16

I never got professionals in when I left rental properties, although I did give them a thorough scrubbing before doing so. Even then, it was almost a given that they’ve find something to deduct from the deposit for cleaning. It’s all part of the letting agent - tenant dance.


bookworm20 · 13/05/2021 12:17

If your inventory and photos show it dirty, then no, you shouldn't need a professional clean because if they try and keep your deposit you can clearly show the inventory of a dirty property when you dispute it. Just make sure you clean it to a normal standard.


saraclara · 13/05/2021 12:19

It was professionally cleaned (eventually) when you moved in. So it needs to be cleaned to that standard when you move out.

I'm astonished that you think sweeping and wiping surfaces is enough. Wouldn't you do they every day anyway? That's not a moving out clean.


Liervik · 13/05/2021 12:21

This reply has been withdrawn

This has been withdrawn by MNHQ for privacy reasons.

CuriousaboutSamphire · 13/05/2021 12:23

I am an inventory clerk. Just thought I'd start there 😊

The term 'professional standard' has no real meaning and the deposit schemes have said they don't like it. They want good, acceptable, fair, poor - the opinion of the clerk at the time.

So you would never have the obligation to have have a professional clean unless your contract specifically says so and even then it's frowned upon.

So clean it well and gather up any correspondence you had at the start.

Please remember the cook extractor hood, the soap tray and door seal on the washing machine, door seal on fridge/freezer 😊

Carpets are the other bugbear. Final vacuum after any DIY clean will pick up the last bits. But they, and the oven, are areas a pro clean make a big difference.


CuriousaboutSamphire · 13/05/2021 12:28

Sorry, I answered the phone and missed your last post.

So it was pro cleaned when you moved in? You seem to be confused by the clerks report still having the pictures with the dirty bits.

That won't have been changed as the clerk did not come back. So what the agent/landlord and clerk will go by is that you had a pro clean and accepted it. You or the agent may have pictures that could form an addendum to the inventory if required plus the invoice for the clean. So a good standard of cleaning would be reasonable to assume.

Having said that, my last post still stands.


Whywonttheyhelpme · 13/05/2021 12:28

Bearing in mind you kicked up a fuss so they paid for it to be professionally cleaned for you, I think you are being incredibly cheeky expecting to wander off just giving it a cursory wipe over.

It will be noted on record that this happened so I suggest you either get someone in or get your marigolds on and start scrubbing.


Foxyloxy1plus1 · 13/05/2021 12:35

We had a short term let before we moved to our house. The house was new, so apart from snagging, in good order. When we left, we booked a professional cleaning firm, who said it would take eight hours., including oven etc. In the event, it took them less than half that, because we had left it in such a good state. I think it’s courteous, at least, to properly clean before you go.


WTF0ver · 13/05/2021 12:38

DH and I rented for a couple of months (Scotland) before I bought our new house. "Professional standard" end of tenancy cleaning was mentioned in the email sent by the leasing agency. I panicked a bit and wondered how much that would cost, given that we'd not been there long.

In the end I cleaned it myself, with help from a relative, handed back the keys. Several weeks later the leasing agency phoned me and asked which company I'd used for the cleaning as they wanted to recommend them to future tenants! Grin She was very surprised when I said I'd done it myself and laughed when I said I was done with cleaning houses now! I got my full deposit back.


TheRainbowDHL · 13/05/2021 12:38


Nope, not unreasonable, they’re not allowed to ask for it back in a better condition than they give it to you in.

But it was cleaned before she moved in, albeit after having to ask for it to be done.

Thethreewitches · 13/05/2021 12:45

Living somewhere makes places really quite dirty even if they are regularly cleaned.

I’m doing a deep spring clean of our own house after this year. I asked a professional company for a quote but it was so outrageous I have decided to do it myself. Doing a walk round with a pro did make me see all the grime though - windows - extractor fan filters - skirting boards - dirty walls - inside appliances etc. And we clean it all the time, or it feels like that.

You should either do it yourself to a very high standard - it will take you hours / days and you have to go fourther than the standard weekly clean. Or pay someone.


Thethreewitches · 13/05/2021 12:48

Maybe get a company in to shampoo the carpets? Or rent a machine?

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