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March Out After Dogs. Really?

27 replies

midori1999 · 25/08/2011 09:37


We had our first march out after living in a house for 3 1/2 years. We owned 3 dogs for all of that, 4 for the last year. At the pre-march out, the first thing the chap said to my DH when he turned up was 'you've had a menagerie in here then?'. He then spend ages 'inspecting' the lawn, saying 'well, you can see the dogs have damaged this. You know we can't put a family with small DC in the house if you've had dogs in the garden?', to which my DH replied the dogs had not been on the lawn the entire time we'd lived in the house as we'd fenced off the large patio area so the dogs only had access to that, not the lawn.

So then the chap said that if there was event he tiniest hint of the smell of dogs in the house upon his return, we would be billed for all the carpets and they'd be subject to deep cleaing/fumigation.

So, he's been this morning, and suprise, suprise, he has billed us for every carpet, bizarrely, except the hallways, saying there is a 'strong smell' of dogs in the house. Apparently they now have to be deep cleaned and if the 'smell' is gone, the bill will be torn up.

The welfare officer seems to think this is standard practice if you've owned a dog/dogs. Is it really?

I understand the house can't smell of dogs, but we have painted the entire house, including some glossing and washed every bit of woodwork. We have shampoo'ed the carpets twice, with two different, very good cleaners, put fresh curtains up (well, we took down and packed away the army curtains when we moved in) and had the dogs out of the house and the windows open for 10 days.

The bill is large and I feel pretty annoyed that he is saying the house still smells of dogs, I don't believe it does, not least as the dogs weren't allowed upstairs, yet we are also being billed for those carpets, and spent the majority of their time in the tiled kitchen.

Are they usually like this?

OP posts:
swingingcat · 25/08/2011 11:54

I've always arranged for carpets to be deep cleaned on MO, I thought it was standard for a pet owner in MQ?

Dog owners after a while aren't aware of the smell of their dog.

Somebody with an allergy may well be allocated your house so it needs to be odour and hair free.

You should have been told what the requirements are on your pre-march out!

vintageteacups · 25/08/2011 13:33

Firstly, they can only charge you for the cost of deep cleaning the carpets (unless you pay yourselves), not to replace them unless they are unsaveable.

Then, if they have to be chucked, they should only be charging you for a %age of their life. So if they're 6 yrs old, they can't charge you for the entirity of the new carpets; only a percentage of what's left on their life.

With pets, you have to have the carpets cleaned on MO - that's stated somewhere but cannot remember where.

After what you've said you've done and as long as the dogs haven't weed on the carpets, then I don't see what he's on about. I think he's trying to con you.

Saltire · 25/08/2011 13:39

As far as I know, it is generally the case that you are asked to get the carpets professionlally cleaned if you have dogs. That's usually what part of teh disturbance allowance can be used for.But you should have been made aware of this when you ahd your pre march out.
Bizarre about the garden though, we've had dogs in every mQ we've lived ina nd as long as hte poo was lifted and it was tidy and clean there's s never been a problem.

But Defence estates..oops silly me defence Infrastucture organistaion 9as if a name change make a difference they are still crap) do ahve a tendency to make the rules up as they go along

whenIgetto3 · 25/08/2011 13:40

If you have had dog, enterprisingly only dogs not cats or other furry things, then you have to have the carpets cleaned and get a certificate from the professional cleaner stating that they have been cleaned to a certain hygienic standard, its listed in JSP somewhere. It is to do with the fact that they can have flees which eggs can live dormant in fabrics for several years, they awake when the sense heat (I think, that was how it was explained to us in the US).

The garden bit does sound a bit of a con to me. But if you are in a hurry to march out I would do so and claim back on your pax insurance if you have it.

Saltire · 25/08/2011 13:48
  1. Cleaning of SFA on move out. Personnel who receive permission to keep a domestic pet(s) in SFA will be required to leave the property to move out standard and provide evidence that the floor coverings and/or soft furnishings have (in the case of cats and dogs) been professionally cleaned or the occupant has self administered an appropriate pesticide and/or deodorising treatment applied prior to moving out.

    Taken from JSP464, tri service accomodation regualtions
LtEveDallas · 25/08/2011 13:57

From the DIO website:

Keeping pets

If you have been given permission to keep small domestic pets in your SFA by DIO Operations Accommodation, you are responsible for ensuring that they do not cause damage to the fabric of the property or the garden. You are also responsible for ensuring that that your pets do not cause any nuisance to other families. You are also responsible for keeping your pet free of fleas and ensuring that at Move Out the property is more thoroughly cleaned.

From JSP 464 Pt 1:

0721. Cleaning of SFA on move out. Personnel who receive permission to keep a domestic pet(s) in SFA will be required to leave the property to move out standard and provide evidence that the floor coverings and/or soft furnishings have (in the case of cats and dogs) been professionally cleaned or the occupant has self administered an appropriate pesticide and/or deodorising treatment applied prior to moving out.

Also from JSP 464:

0714. Replacement and cleaning at public expense.
a. Carpets. Carpets will normally be cleaned every 3 years for lounge/dining rooms and hall/stairs and every 5 years for bedrooms. Should the need arise to clean the carpets before the agreed date, the cost must be borne by the licensee. Similarly, should the carpet need replacing before its scheduled expiry date (normally 10 years) the cost appropriate to the age of the carpet will also be born by the licensee.

So - you've been there over 3 years - have you had your carpets cleaned by them in that time? If you got permission for your dogs then he knew they had been there, so was looking for them. Does sound suss to me I must admit - could you get a non-doggy friend to sniff your house for you?

Funnily enough the only time we didn't get billed for a carpet was when we didnt declare the dog...

midori1999 · 25/08/2011 14:36

Thankyou. It wasn't made clear to us the carpets needed professional cleaning, just that they needed cleaning. We haven't had the carpets cleaned, except by ourselves since we lived there. We did have a non pet owning friend look in and she said it only smelt of paint, not dogs.

They are getting professional cleaners in at their own expense and provided the carpets are then clean to their standard they will tear up the bill. Fair enough.

I do think they were specifically looking for damage caused by dogs as they knew we had them, hence the garden thing. The guy was reluctant to believe a fence had been up until DH showed where the posts had been taken up and peered over into next door's garden to confirm that a gravelled area at the side of the house had always been gravel, not grass.

Welfare also said every single dog owner on the patch have had similar bills, even where proffessional cleaning was carried out. All bills were ripped up, barring one, so fingers crossed!

OP posts:
LeonardNimoy · 27/08/2011 17:36

Midori, where are you? If this HO is really wandering around waving "bills" in peoples faces and then ripping then up when he is happy, then someone needs to complain. Does he think you are 12 years old or something?! I would write and complain to the area housing Manager at your HIC.

LeonardNimoy · 27/08/2011 17:37

Your relevant families federation will be able to tell you who the Area Housing Manager is.

whenIgetto3 · 27/08/2011 17:48

LeonardNimory it is standard practice with carpets that you get the bill and then if it cleaned by them to a standard which is acceptable then the bill will get torn up. We have had this with a coffee stain, they billed us, then when they sent in the carpet cleaner (as the carpets hadn't been cleaned whilst we were in the house and we had refused to have them cleaned before moving in due to small children) the coffee stain came out and we got our billed posted back to us with a compliment slip saying please dispose of bill

scaryteacher · 28/08/2011 17:05

That's interesting...we've been in the same SSFA for 5 years now, and no mention has been made of the carpets (MOD supplied) being cleaned at public expense.

whenIgetto3 · 28/08/2011 17:17

scary when you move out it will be on the list of things you have to do. When we were in the US we had to get 3 independent companies to quote for carpet cleaning (which was hard as we had wood floors)Grin and also cleaning of the furniture they had supplied.

We did cheat though as we handed the house back to base housing and they agreed that the Americans would clean it and the furniture for free, saved me a long list of things to do other than pack, find school for 4 DCs in UK without being there, arrange removals, get storage items back, proxy march ins etc etc

madwomanintheattic · 29/08/2011 01:51

we've always had to get the carpets professionally deep-cleaned because we've had dogs - i thought everyone knew this was standard practise. they should have told you on march-in, and also on your pre-march-out. we've also had to prove the carpets have been professionally deep cleaned by showing the receipt from the carpet cleaning company every time.

in our last patch, we also had to have the furnace and vents professionally cleaned by a different company as well, because the hair and dander etc gets into the heating ducts etc. and then prove the clean had been professionally done by handing over the receipt from the cleaning company at march out.

and no pets are allowed back into the quarter at all, after the deep clean of the carpets and heating system.

and you can't march out until it's done, so you get ot pay for kennelling as well. that's in additiona to the £2000 odd that you forked out one way to fly the dogs to the posting in the first place. Grin

dogs cost waaaaaaay more than dcs at march-out. Grin it puts a couple of marks on the paintwork well into perspective. Grin

madwomanintheattic · 29/08/2011 01:56

although - i did report the 'professional' deep cleaning company. after they had gone, the carpets still looked really minging, and i was concerned we were going to get billed, so i got dh to get the bissell out. all he did was walk across the carpet with the bissell running and it picked up a huge blot of dog hair and general crud that had obviously been trapped in the delish 1970's shag pile for some time. Shock

deep cleaned my arse.

it didn't stop them banking my cash though. it's no wonder people get billed for damned carpets when the contractors they advise you to use are so obviously laissez-faire. easy money really. wander round a mq for a couple of hours and pocket a couple of hundred quid. then the occupant gets billed anyway because the carpets are in rag order. nice.

midori1999 · 02/09/2011 20:46

Right, the carpets have been replaced, but according to our neighbour they didn't clean them at all. She was told by the contractor they had been replaced instead of cleaned due to the number of dogs we'd had in the house. The timeframe also suggests no deep cleaning had been done anyway as the carpets were replaced two working days after march out.

The bill my DH signed said the carpets would be deep cleaned.

Had the carpets been ruined by the dogs then fair enough, but the dogs spent the majority of their time in the kitchen and certainly never went upstairs. Also, why didn't the person doing the march out say they'd automatically need replacing instead of telling us they'd need deep cleaning? ( not to mention not telling us about the deep cleaning at the pre march out?)

We still haven't heard from them.

Is there anything we can do about this?

OP posts:
Saltire · 03/09/2011 13:42

Have you actually paid up yet?

Where I live a couple were charge nearly £200 because there house hadn't been painted when they moved out (by them) and DE charged them to paint it, but it was never painted (I know this becasue the house is across form mine and I could see) and also a colleague of DH's moved into it and commented ont eh state of the walls, there were marks, pen marks, handprints etc, so it definately hadn't been painted. She got her Dh's boss involved and RAFF and welfare etc.

HooverTheHamaBeads · 03/09/2011 14:18

I think the key thing is the deodorising treatment.

We used to hire a Rug Dr or similar and do carpets ourselves but ended up just getting a professional in which gave a certificate/receipt for deodorising.

Midori1999 · 05/09/2011 09:15

Thankyou. We have heard from the person doing the march out and he said they are putting the bill through.

I am furious because he told DH they had been cleaned and then needed replacing. When DH challenged him on this he admitted they hadn't been cleaned but were 'unsalvagable'. He vsays all the carpets and underlays were ruined, I'm not sure how this can be the case.

The issues I have are:

-We weren't told at the pre march out that the carpets needed professional deep cleaning and the chap knew we had done/were doing it ourselves.

-We have been charged for the upstairs carpets too, despite the fact that no dogs were ever on these.

-He tried to say the garden had been ruined by dogs until he was made aware no dogs had been on it.

-the carpets should have been deep cleaned, as per the documentation he gave my DH at march out, but they weren't.

-they replaced the carpets prior to contacting us, thereby leaving us with no proof of anything.

Not sure there's anything we can do about it though, but cant help being cross, not least as our new quarter was filthy when we marched in and the carpets were so filthy that after my youngest son had been in the house with no socks or slippers on for a day he looked like he'd been playing in a farmyard barefoot!

OP posts:
MrsSnaplegs · 06/09/2011 18:23

I would use the formal complaints system an report it in writing stating the facts. DE/DIO nearly always backdown and you will probably find it is the local estate manager doing his own thing, I bet the carpets were due to be replaced anyway! Ask when they were last done in your letter.
No justification for needing to replace carpets on what you've said, we have a dog and did have 2 cats and we have only ever hired a rug dr and done it ourselves. And the bit about the garden is rubbish, they tried to charge us once to cut our grass and remove raised veg beds in the snow - well no we haven't mowed it this month because we would be being snowGrin and that was after he had said how well looked after our garden wasEnvy

MorallyBankrupt · 13/09/2011 13:31

I thought it was common knowledge that dog and cat owners pay for a professional clean! Every single person I know who has pets has paid for a professional clean.

I have a cat allergy and would be mightily pissed off to get a house that had cats in and hadn't been professionally cleaned.

Disturbance allowance is for things like this. It's not a nice chunk of free money Shock I'm a bit annoyed people think it's ok to try and get out of having their carpets cleaned properly when they decided to have pets.

MorallyBankrupt · 13/09/2011 13:32

Oh and it's a massive cheek to expect them to fund the deep clean!

Midori1999 · 26/09/2011 17:20

As I said, it was our first march out (not DH's, but he's never had dogs) and no-one pointed out to use it needed professional cleaning or we would have had it done. Not the Welfare office who we spoke to about carpet cleaners, not the person doing the pre march out, not anyone we knew who had done numerous march uts after dogs and stated they had always cleaned the carpets themselves... Obviously now we know, we will get professional cleaning done next time.

As for it 'being a cheek' to expect them to fund a deep clean, you're entitled to the carpets being cleaned once every 3 years and also a house paint after 3 years (although I believe that has now changed to every 5), neither of which we took them up on. I doubt they offered to pay for it out of the goodness of their hearts.

Anyway, we still haven't recieved the bill, which we should have, but are going to raise a complaint when we do.

Thanks for all the advice.

OP posts:

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SouthStar · 17/12/2011 02:50

When you sign the form to get permission to keep pets it does advise you that you have to get the carpets professionally cleaned or prove that you have applied the appropriate pesticide and/or deodorising treatment before march out.

We tried to save some money on our last march out by hiring out a carpet cleaner and doing it ourselfs, wasnt upto standard and we didnt have time to get a cleaner in so they billed us. We were fine with that as there is nothing worse than marching into a property and it smelling or feeling like you now have clean it yourselves when only a few days ago you were cleaning to march out of your last qtr.

ninkynonkpinkyponk01 · 20/02/2012 21:56

DH is due posting soon and it will be our first march out.... am really glad I came across this thread as I now know what needs to be done, and what they will be specifically looking for. I have 2 dogs (husky and lab) so I already knew downstairs carpets need deep cleaning. Dogs have never been upstairs and carpets up there are almost threadbare anyways... so will NOT be paying for them as we have only been here a yr and a half. MorallyBankrupt, while I agree that most people are aware that carpets have to be cleaned especially with pets in the house, some people are genuinely unaware that this is the case. If its not mentioned, how could u possibly know? Think u were a bit harsh by saying that people try to get out of cleaning carpets when they have pets! I personally think a lot of pet owners get wrongfully penalized and billed for stuff their animals HAVE NOT done just because someone knows they have them! Should they be made to fork out for a brand new carpet just because they have pets, when the carpet had been there for years and was threadbare anyway??? I think not!

SarahJessicaFarter · 06/03/2012 22:43

Invest in a Bissell and regularly clean your carpets. Before pre march out Dyson every crevice especially where the carpet meets the skirting board.
But as your declare pets then you will get charged. I don't have an issue with washing my carpets because I have pets. I totally get it. I have more issues with people who don't declare and don't clean. I'm not getting at you, but isn't four dogs over what you're normally allowed?

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