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The main issues with ‘cleaning’ is that everyone has a different view of what classes as ‘clean’.  Now that works in your favour if your tenant has a love of bleach and knows how to remove dirt & dust from every surface.  But it is impossible to know whether this is going to be the case or not, so we strongly recommend that you employ the services of a Professional Pre-Tenancy Cleaning Company prior to your tenancy commencing.

A comprehensive tenancy agreement, along with a professional schedule of condition, will expect your tenant to hand back your property in the same state of cleanliness at the end of the tenancy, as they received it at the start (subject to fair wear & tear on the property).  If you start as you mean to continue, it will undoubtedly mean there is less confrontation at the end of the tenancy, over issues of cleanliness.

Did you know that cleaning has once again been identified as the most common cause of a tenancy deposit dispute in the private rented property sector, according to new research (Sept 2018).

  • Fresh data released by The Deposit Protection Service (The DPS) revealed that cleaning topped the list of reasons why a deduction was made to the tenancy deposit.  Over the 12 months to September 2018, 63% of landlords who entered The DPS’ Dispute Resolution Service cited cleaning amongst their reasons for a claim.  Other reasons for disputes were:
  • Damage caused by tenants at 53%,
  • Need to redecorate at 37%
  • Rent arrears at the end of a tenancy at 23%
  • Gardening 16%,
  • Replacing missing items 16%
  • Outstanding bills (4%).

Julian Foster, Managing Director at The DPS, said: “These statistics give an indication of the types of issues that landlords can face when tenants move out – and of the need for a system of tenancy deposits to protect both parties. Many of the problems that lead to deductions can be avoided when both tenant and landlord are aware of their responsibilities and stay in regular communication throughout the tenancy. Around 98% of tenancies end without any dispute between landlord and tenant over the deposit, but in the rare occasions they cannot agree, access to a free, impartial dispute resolution process helps to ensure that everyone is treated fairly.”

DEPOSIT PROTECTION SERVICE USED BY AUSTIN D'ARCY

 

What is fair “wear and tear”

The House of Lords defines the phrase ‘wear and tear’ as: “Reasonable use of the premises by the tenant and the ordinary operation of natural forces.”

Wear and tear is the natural deterioration of an item through its usual exploitation. This is especially important for tenancies that have ran for a longer period of time, e.g. five years. Throughout the years, everything from electrical appliances to flooring would wither away. It would be unfair for a tenant to pay with their deposit in full. However, more often than not, these cases are subjected to deposit disputes.

The final judgement of wear and tear always falls into the hands of a designated adjudicator.
Common factors that will influence ware and tear:

  • Type of item and its projected life span
  • Type of damage and the item’s material
  • Age of item and tenancy length
  • Brand and manufacturer specifications
  • Documented state in the move in inventory

The adjudicator will carefully examine all of these factors and relevant documents. Afterwards, they will split the cost of repair / replacement of the item fairly. The portion that is attributed to wear and tear would not be paid by the tenant. Yet, they might still have to make a contribution.