Navigating Cleaning Clauses - Your End of Tenancy Exit Strategy

Cleaning of a property can often be the cause of contention between landlords and tenants, yet most tenancy agreements stipulate that the property should be returned in similar condition as when first moved in by its occupants.





Cleaning of a property can often be the cause of contention between landlords and tenants, yet most tenancy agreements stipulate that the property should be returned in similar condition as when first moved in by its occupants.

However, the exact definition of similar conditions often depends on how each party manages their expectations. Read the following article to get a deeper look.


1. Know Your Limits

Landlords typically include a clause in their lease agreement that clearly outlines tenants' responsibilities when it comes to maintaining the property, leaving no room for interpretation or debate. Landlords can also provide tenants with move-in and move-out checklists so they have an understanding of what's expected.

Tenants should do a comprehensive screening process when interviewing prospective landlords and asking about their experience managing properties. A good screening process like content on this channel describes -- Anyclean on Youtube -- should reveal whether a landlord has a proven record for keeping properties clean and in good condition, with less stringent cleaning expectations that allow room for negotiation between landlords.

If a landlord cannot or refuses to negotiate with his or her tenant, it may be time for an alternate approach. A property that's unclean can significantly lower its value and cause harm to its occupants; landlords and tenants should find equilibrium between reasonable cleaning expectations and preventing disputes when tenants move out.



2. Set a Seventy-Five Day Reminder

As a landlord, it can be stressful worrying about the condition your property will be left in by tenants. Damage caused by tenants could reduce its value and cost you both in repairs and lost rent; but don't think that just throwing people out because their place is dirty would solve anything; in fact, according to law you can charge them costs when necessary.

Although each tenancy agreement varies, most include a clause stating that tenants must "clean on close". This ensures the landlord is completely satisfied with the state of cleanliness when their tenants vacate, with any necessary adjustments being made in advance to achieve this outcome.

This typically includes deep cleaning the kitchen, bathroom, bedrooms, living area, hallways and any other spaces responsible for by tenants within the property. Mowing lawns, washing windows and vacuuming carpets could also fall within this scope.

Professional cleaning companies are an excellent solution for this task, as they have the equipment and workforce necessary to get it done quickly and thoroughly. If you decide to use one of these services, be sure to start the process at least three to seven days in advance of when you plan to depart.

If you need help getting started, there are numerous resources online with sample clauses and addendums that can help guide the creation of your own agreement. Examples include The Landlord Protection Agency free landlord forms, eForms, Law Insider cleaning sample clauses and BiggerPockets cleaning addendum ( Setting reminders within property management software is another effective way of keeping up with when to clean a property and ensure it's ready for tenants moving in.



3. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

Have you ever rented property before? Then you know it can be a challenge getting your deposit back at the end of a tenancy. Although tenants are responsible for keeping their rental space clean and aesthetically pleasing, disputes between landlords and tenants often arise regarding cleaning as it often forms the root of issues not returning deposits according to Tenancy Deposit Scheme data. In fact, cleaning is one of the top reasons deposits don't get returned!

So it is vital for both parties to establish clear expectations regarding cleaning responsibilities in their rental agreement. A cleaning addendum or clause specific to the property in question can help avoid future disagreements; in addition, using an application screening process ensures you find tenants who will abide by their responsibilities and keep the space looking its best during their tenure.

At the conclusion of each tenancy, landlords should compile an inventory and take start of tenancy photographs as evidence against potential cleaning claims from tenants. These should serve as an important record.

Under England's Tenant Fees Act, any agreements which required professional cleaning at the end of a tenancy were no longer legal; however, landlords and letting agents can still file cleaning claims depending on factors like property condition or how clean it was when tenants moved in; generally it's best for both parties involved to remain civil when discussing any cleaning matters at this stage.



4. Be Flexible

It is often legal for landlords to charge tenants for cleaning after they vacate a rental unit, however some measures can help alleviate this problem, including hiring the appropriate tenant in the first place and adding clauses and addendums into their lease agreement.

Thorough screening online as well as speaking to their previous landlord is other measures landlords can take. Ideally, they will maintain and keep the property tidy throughout their tenure so providing cleaning checklists or rental inspection templates may assist them in documenting maintenance efforts more easily.

End-of-tenancy costs can be expensive, and often leave renters without their full deposit back upon moving out. According to studies, over half of their disputes adjudicate involve cleaning expenses. However, landlords may decide not to claim them depending on their relationship with them, how messy their leave was, and whether there is enough evidence supporting their claim.

Roofstock Blog only provides generalized advice and should not be used as the basis for making any investment, tax, financial planning or legal decisions. Please consult your own advisors prior to making any significant decisions based on what you read here.



Final Thoughts

At the conclusion of a tenancy agreement, endings can be one of the most stressful times for landlords and tenants alike. Disagreements frequently arise regarding cleanliness upon leaving; to reduce this anxiety and prevent disputes over this matter from arising, landlords should clearly state in their tenancy agreement what state the property should be left in when exiting tenancies.

Establishing an exit strategy as a landlord who owns rental properties is smart. A plan will reduce tenant turnover, making it easier to fill vacant spots quickly and maintain consistent rental income.

Landlords have the right to charge them an end of tenancy clean fee if they fail to leave the property in its original state when they moved in - provided this clause is clearly stipulated in their tenancy agreement.

Typically speaking, landlords do not have a legal duty to ensure that they maintain the condition of the property during their time there. You may still be able to point out issues that need attention - for example trash pileup or filthy ovens - which could potentially qualify for cleaning claims if documented such as photographs or an inventory taken prior to moving in.

Landlords may wish to conduct an inspection a day or two prior to their tenant's move-out date in order to identify any areas that require extra work, which can help stave off accusations of bias as well as assist when filing claims with deposit protection schemes that hold their deposits.

Renters do have a lot on their shoulders, however. Renters would do well to hire professional cleaners for end of tenancy cleaning, as they will complete it much more quickly and effectively than they can on their own. They should ensure they set aside enough time for this task as failing to do it correctly could mean forfeiting their security deposit.

As landlords, we want our tenants to feel at home in their rental properties, which is why it's crucial that we communicate effectively and in a timely fashion with them in order to meet their needs and address any potential concerns promptly. Tenants whose concerns go unattended could potentially delay renewing their lease when it's time.

Standard rental agreements usually contain a clause to specify how a property must be left at the conclusion of its tenant's term, including whether all surfaces should be free from dirt and dust, as well as more specific instructions such as sweeping the whole place thoroughly.






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