At Let's Shine! , we’re always looking out for you and your home!
So, you already know that cleaning is the tenant’s responsibility. This responsibility dictates that when you return the keys to the landlord the property will be just as clean, as it was when you first moved in. Your landlord can request a hygiene standard equal to the one documented in the inventory agreement.
End of tenancy cleaning is something you do when your property cannot meet that criteria, but if you have been a good and caring tenant, it’s likely your home will be very close to the inventory already. In such a case, you only need to do a final sweep before surrendering the property.
Your landlord cannot force you to purchase end of tenancy cleaning services IF you have met your obligations as a renter !
Many landlords include a “professional cleaning” clause in their tenancy agreements. Tenants often find themselves forced to use cleaning services worth up to 400 pounds for as short as a six month tenancy. Of course, this is the most extreme that a case can get. But, many tenants feel their rights are intruded by demanding excessive spending for cleaning.
The Office of Fair Trading discusses this problem in it’s specialised guide – Guidance on unfair terms in tenancy agreements. End of tenancy cleaning is discussed under the following sections:
4.4 Cleaning charges – a requirement to pay for cleaning at the end of the tenancy may be unfair if it is vague or unclear about the basis on which money will be demanded, or the extent of the cleaning involved. Such a term is more likely to be fair if the amount of the charge is expressly limited to reasonable compensation for a failure to take care of the property (see also our views below on excessive charges).
4.8 Excessive cleaning charges – as a matter of normal practice in short lets, reflecting the common law, tenants are expected to return the property in as good and clean a condition as it was when they received it, with fair wear and tear excepted. We therefore commonly object to terms that could be used to make the tenant pay for the property to be cleaned to a higher standard than it was in at the start of the tenancy, or that require cleaning regardless of whether or not this is necessary for the tenant to comply with their normal obligations with regard to the state of the property.
As long as you return the property clean, you’re free to choose the means for sanitation.
Demanding a “professional cleaning” when the property is already clean, or before the tenant has been given a chance to perform their own cleaning before the keys are returned is unfair.
However, if you do not return the property in a comparable quality, the landlord is within their rights to hire a cleaning company and charge you for the costs.
If the landlord agrees to have the property professionally cleaned before you move in, it’s fair to do the same before you move out. You should negotiate these conditions with your landlord before signing the tenancy agreement. Make sure you’ve agreed on a how to to prevent disputes at the end.