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mexmanz
19-03-2010, 07:00 AM
Hi,

Does anyone have examples of a clause which can be used in a tenancy agreement regarding returning the property in a clean condition the same as the tenant moved in.

I would like to include wording to require the tenant to perform a full clean of the property at the tenants expense or if they leave the property without cleaning, for the landlord to use professional cleaning service and pass the costs to the vacating tenant.

Any advise on this will be very helpfull thank you

regards
Andrew

Lawcruncher
19-03-2010, 09:43 AM
The question here is what it is reasonable to expect of the tenant. We often have tenants come onto this forum saying how they spring cleaned the place before they left only for the landlord to insist he wants a wad of cash to have the place professionally cleaned. I think the standard that can be expected can be no higher than that which is needed to relet the property.

Snorkerz
19-03-2010, 12:09 PM
The question here is what it is reasonable to expect of the tenant. We often have tenants come onto this forum saying how they spring cleaned the place before they left only for the landlord to insist he wants a wad of cash to have the place professionally cleaned. I think the standard that can be expected can be no higher than that which is needed to relet the property.

It is a fact that professional cleaning companies - particually carpet cleaners, obtain far more thorough results than any DIY cleaning, the domestic carpet cleaners one can hire are not the same due to the need to protect untrained operators (ie, you & me). In days-gone-by they were decent steam-cleaners, now they're little more than carpet shampoo machines.

IF a carpet has been professionally cleaned before the tenant moved in, the only way for the tenant to return it in the same 'cleanliness' condition (as he/she is obliged to do) is if it is re-cleaned professionally. Anything else may look as clean - but it won't BE as clean.

I think (ianal) that you would be best ensuring that the condition report / inventory clearly shows the condition of all carpets as 'professionally cleaned' - the person conducting the inventory can show the tenant the receipts if required to prove this.

Lawcruncher
19-03-2010, 13:19 PM
Whilst I have no doubt that a professionally carpet is in fact cleaner than a DIY cleaned carpet, the fact that the two may look the same rather makes my point. Having a property professionally cleaned may not make it easier to let than one that has been has been left in a state of cleanliness that would be acceptable to Great Aunt Clara.

The underlying assumption seems to be that a landlord can continue to let a property in the same pristine condition without ever having to incur expense. It does not work like that. A landlord needs to factor the cost or "refreshing" a property now and again into the rent charged.

Snorkerz
19-03-2010, 15:21 PM
Whilst I have no doubt that a professionally carpet is in fact cleaner than a DIY cleaned carpet, the fact that the two may look the same rather makes my point. Having a property professionally cleaned may not make it easier to let than one that has been has been left in a state of cleanliness that would be acceptable to Great Aunt Clara.

The underlying assumption seems to be that a landlord can continue to let a property in the same pristine condition without ever having to incur expense. It does not work like that. A landlord needs to factor the cost or "refreshing" a property now and again into the rent charged.I disagree. A landlord has to factor in 'wear and tear' of course - but cleaning is entirely the tenants responsibility. A 'clean looking' carpet may harbor allergens etc. You are in a better position than I to comment on a landlords liability if such things caused medical problems for a new tenant. Irrespective of the severity or even validity of such a claim - it is going to cause hassle and ill-feeling, which all of us could do without.

matthew_henson
19-03-2010, 15:39 PM
Having lived in a number of rented properties I have yet to actually move in one that has genuinely been proffesionally cleaned, some have claimed to have been but not actually been.

I speak as a LL as well but given a T is moving out of one property and in to another in a short time frame it would in my opinion unfair to expect amazing results.

I would also expect to perform a refresh between tenants including a new coat of emulsion. There are LL's who are anal about cleaning and sterile carpets and those that are grateful the tenant paid every month and didn't break anything.

Snorkerz
19-03-2010, 16:02 PM
A new splash of paint is wear and tear - I have no probs with that, my finger nails are currently encrusted with Wilkinson "Biscuit Crunch" matt emulsion! (I will wash them - honest!).

In my previous post, note how I capitalised the IF, and suggested that proof might be required.

It would be totally unreasonable to insist on a 'pro-clean' carpet if it had started off as a 'quick run over with the Hoover'. Indeed, that would be betterment. Maybe it depends on the property - high rent tenants might be willing/expect to work to better standards.

Personally, I am low-rent! - But I have aspirations and will retain my anal enthusiasm for clean carpets for now;-)

Jaybee542
19-03-2010, 16:15 PM
The question here is what it is reasonable to expect of the tenant. We often have tenants come onto this forum saying how they spring cleaned the place before they left only for the landlord to insist he wants a wad of cash to have the place professionally cleaned. I think the standard that can be expected can be no higher than that which is needed to relet the property.

Is this legally the test? I have NEVER had a tenant return a property to me in the same level of cleanliness to which it has been let. Its usually the kind of superficial clean one might do on a Saturday morning. My usual bug bear is ovens coated in grease. Generally, I take it on the chin, but I have decided to stop this. When I let out a property tenants want it, rightly, to be spotless. I don't really understand why they can't be expected to return the property to the same state of cleanliness which they found it in. Of course there is the wear and tear exception, but that isn't about cleanliness - thats just about the fact that things look a little older when they have been used.

Lawcruncher
19-03-2010, 17:31 PM
I doubt there has been a High Court case on this. What I am doing is to assume that section 18 (1) of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1927 applies to leaving a property clean just as much as it does to leaving it in repair: http://www.statutelaw.gov.uk/content.aspx?LegType=All+Legislation&title=landlord+and+tenant&Year=1927&searchEnacted=0&extentMatchOnly=0&confersPower=0&blanketAmendment=0&sortAlpha=0&TYPE=QS&PageNumber=1&NavFrom=0&parentActiveTextDocId=1080088&ActiveTextDocId=1080108&filesize=4794

mind the gap
19-03-2010, 20:02 PM
The problem is that the concept of 'cleanliness' is about as definable as that of 'beauty'. No two people are likely to agree on what constitutes 'clean'. I have seen properties which the letting agents insist have been 'professionally cleaned' before check-in, yet on moving in, the tenant finds everything coated in a think film of grease or dust. I have also conducted check-outs of properties which the tenants tell me they have spent two whole days cleaning, which still look and smell scummy. I have had some interesting conversations with student tenants who queried what I meant by 'tidy' as opposed to 'clean' (they said they did not know there was a difference).

There is a simple 3 part test of whether a property has been cleaned : 1. Sniff the kitchen sink 2. Run a finger along the picture rail or top of the curtain track. 3. Kneel down and sniff the carpet.

Lawcruncher
19-03-2010, 20:11 PM
One of our trainee solicitors held the view that towels did not need to be washed because you were always clean when you used them.

mind the gap
19-03-2010, 20:23 PM
One of our trainee solicitors held the view that towels did not need to be washed because you were always clean when you used them.

Probably related to my sister's ex-boyfriend (a student) who was alarmed to discover that you are supposed to change the sheets more than once per term.

Jaybee542
20-03-2010, 02:17 AM
Thanks for posting the link Lawcruncher.