Clearing up mess left behind by tenants when they leave a rented home is the major cause of friction between renters and landlords, say industry experts.
Complaints from renters against landlords keeping hold of deposits to pay for cleaning and repairing damage to rented homes are at their highest since 2007, according to the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC).
The main disputes are over:
- Dirty ovens, fridges and freezers
- Stains on carpets and laminate flooring
- Dirty bathrooms
- Pet hair and droppings on floors and furnishings
The AIIC claims tenants have a ‘general lack of respect’ for a landlord’s property and fail to leave the home in the same state as when they moved in.
“We see tenants moving out without paying the last month’s rent and the homes have obviously not been cleaned for months, with ovens dripping with grease and even unwanted food left inside,” said AIIC spokesman Pat Barber.
The AIIC also argues many tenants fail to turn up for check-out, so the landlord has no chance to explain what needs to be done to bring the home up to standard and the likely cost.
“Tenants are shocked that professional cleaning firms charge up to £20 an hour or more but really only have themselves to blame for footing the bill when they could have kept house better,” said Barber.
Some tenants cut hidden sections out of carpets and patch them into to hide dirty or damaged areas, Barber explained, sometimes they come from under beds or sofas and the tenants hope the landlord does not spot the botch job.
The Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) reviews tenancy agreements in deposit disputes and feels some do not make clear a tenant’s responsibilities to clean and look after the property.
TDS and the AIIC both suggest landlords and tenants should sign a comprehensive inventory at the start and end of a tenancy.