Cleaning at the end of a tenancy

Fortunate tenants and landlords have a mutually beneficial relationship in which they both look after a rental property. Tenants expect the landlord to manage maintenance and compliance of the property and landlords expect tenants to not damage the property while they live in it. Unfortunately, cleaning and damage can still be an area of dispute when the tenancy comes to an end.

  • Both landlords and tenants are responsible for looking after a rental property.
  • Landlords should be responsible for property maintenance and upkeep; tenants should be responsible for general care and cleanliness.
  • Cleaning can be an area of conflict at the end of a tenancy, especially with regard to deposits.

For landlords a major consideration is that thorough end of tenancy cleaning – usually part of the tenancy agreement – is carried out. Although the contract usually requires the tenant to ensure the property is thoroughly cleaned when they vacate, conflict can occur when landlord and tenant have differing view on how clean is clean enough.

Generally, tenants are expected to return the property in the same condition as they received it allowing for fair wear and tear. However, this doesn’t mean that they’re compelled to use professional cleaners.

Problems can arise when tenants are required to return a property at the end of a tenancy to the same standard of cleanliness as it was at the tenancy’s start, and this can be a very subjective judgement for both parties.

Similarly, prospective tenants are likely to have the cleanliness of a property high on their agenda. Even though the previous tenants may have cleaned thoroughly, any new tenants expect the landlord to ensure the property is satisfactorily clean before they consider moving in and cleanliness may even be a deciding factor on whether to rent a property or not.

And if some landlords rent out an unclean property to begin with but expect it to be spotless when the tenant leaves and try to keep the deposit for cleaning costs, or some tenants move into a pristine property but leave it dirty when they leave but expect their deposit to be returned, it’s easy to see how conflicts can arise.

Part of the solution may be for landlords to have a pre-prepared inventory prepared and do a thorough check-in and check-out, in conjunction with the tenant so they both have an agreed record of the property’s condition at the start and end of a new tenancy agreement.

Either way, it may be worth both parties considering a professional clean from a reputable local company, either together or separately. This would give both tenants and landlords the security of knowing they have aligned expectations when it comes to the state of the property at tenancy changeovers, and therefore minimise the potential for expensive, stressful, and unnecessary conflict.

ServiceMaster Clean provides exceptional commercial office and industrial cleaning in the North West.

To discuss your cleaning requirements with our experts, please get in touch.