Q. I have just vacated my rental property and left it in what I believe to be in pristine condition but the Inventory check-out report is riddled with multiple cleaning issues, I went back in after my cleaners had completed the job and it all looked fine to me? The agent has now sent in their cleaners as there are new tenants moving in and they are deducting the charge from our deposit. I am furious about this what can I do, please help?
A. This sounds like a case of not understanding the depth of an ‘end of tenancy clean’. This is not the first time I am hearing of such a complaint following tenants vacating. First of all it’s important to understand what is actually required for this type of clean. It is very thorough to include things like the oven, kitchen cupboards and drawers, windows inside and out, and steam cleaning of any carpets or furniture as well as dry cleaning curtains, as well as the regular every day clean. Countless tenants are under the impression that getting their usual cleaner in to give the place a clean after they vacate is sufficient, unfortunately it is not. The Inventory clerk is an independent person and if he says it is not clean enough on the report then he is usually right as he would be in a position to understand the level of cleanliness required to satisfy the report. Agents are left in a difficult position when the cleaning is not completed to the standard required and with new tenants moving in they have very little time often to instruct further cleaning to get the property up to standard prior to the new tenants moving in. Your deposit of course should be registered with one of the governments approved schemes so any deductions will have to be approved by you prior to the release. If after much discussion with your agent you still feel the charge is unfair then you can ask for the disputed amount of the deposit to be referred across to your deposit protection scheme for independent adjudication, this is a fair and just way of dealing with the issue. Do understand that your agent can only work according to the report, and often the news can be a bitter pill to swallow. Going forward I would suggest in order to avoid such issues arising again when you are checking out that you ask the agent to recommend or even organise the cleaning, that way if there are any issues on the report the agent will order the cleaners back in free of charge to rectify any issues flagged up.