cleaning windows

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    cleaning windows

    I have some flats with high windows, approx 4m high. One flat has secondary glazing and on my inventory I mention that it is impossible to get to all areas between the secondary glazing and the sash windows so I don't expect the tenants to risk their safety to try and clean all areas but I do expect any area that is accessible to be cleaned.

    I have a tenant who is leaving this week and she has said
    "Obviously I will only be able to clean the areas I can reach safely, I do not have any ladders or other equipment to enable me to reach all of the high areas within the flat but will do my best." in the context of cleaning the windows.

    I would like other peoples opinions on this tenants comment on cleaning the windows. It sounds like she only intends to clean as high as she can reach approx 2 metres? Which basically will leave approx 70% of the windows untouched.

    Is she within her rights to do this?

    #2
    Never actually heard of anything like this. I don't think she's in the right, but I could very well be dead wrong.

    Comment


      #3
      T could pay a window cleaner to clean her external windows.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by mariner View Post
        T could pay a window cleaner to clean her external windows.
        The question is about unusual internal windows.

        Assuming that using a pole would put water where it is not wanted, I would say it was perfectly reasonable for a tenant's own risk assessment to indicate that they could not safely clean these windows.

        Are there tie off points for a ladder? An amateur using a ladder in such circumstances couldn't be expected to use an unsecured ladder.

        Working at heights is one of the big areas for industrial accidents, and that is for people who do it on a regular basis. Anyone not in good physical condition should probably not be doing it at all.

        Comment


          #5
          Yes. We are talking about internal windows only.

          I quite agree, I would never say someone had to do it if they felt unsafe or lacked confidence. I wouldn't want anyone to have an accident and I also wouldn't want them to blame me for having an accident which is why we will not lend step ladders.

          On the other hand I am a female past the age of 50 (scared of heights) and I have to get up there and improve on the tenants efforts, so it is clean for the next incoming tenant.

          It's interesting because in 20 years this is the first tenant who has actually said she will only reach as far as she feels safe without any equipment.

          Should I suggest she agrees to forfeiting some of her deposit.?

          All my flats are difficult to clean and sometimes I would offer a cleaning service so they could just pack up and walk away. However, with the new fees ban I have been told by the RLA that offering an exit clean is now illegal. It's a shame because every tenant I offered it to accepted and they were more than happy with the option.

          Comment


            #6
            Offering a clean isn't illegal, as long as the tenant can satisfy the requirement without using someone of your choosing (e.g. do it themselves, or use an independent contractor). The law is trying to stop you exploiting your monopoly position to force the use of a supplier that gives you some sort of advantage.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by leaseholder64 View Post
              Offering a clean isn't illegal,
              That's a shame as I would have offered it to this current tenant.

              I explained to RLA how I do it: i.e. I ask the tenant if they would like me to clean the flat for £100 when they leave. I tell them all cleaning will be done by me. I also request that they email me their agreement and that they agree that £100 will be deducted from their deposit for the cleaning. It's worked fine so far - no problems. However RLA said this isn't allowed anymore.

              I'm not sure if this constitutes a monopoly (but the price is certainly to their advantage), from my point of view I know the flat is clean.

              Comment


                #8
                I do often wonder what these rather soft and fluffy tenants would do if the home they were in was owned by themselves and not someone else..... would they simply never clean their own windows ? It's lunacy, a debate on the cleaning of an internal window ......... this tenant appears to be saying that she is unable to source a set of small step ladders ! Stunned

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Hudson01 View Post
                  soft and fluffy tenants
                  Like it!
                  Also over 20 years younger than me and a lot more agile.
                  But my age and arthritis are not a consideration for them.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    My ceiling is 2.35m high. That's the sort of height for which you would use a small step ladder. For 4m you are going to need a large one, and there may well not be enough room for it. Also to safely reach to 4m, you are going to have to be at least 2.25m above floor level, which is plenty enough to cause significant damage if you fall.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I have had some professional health and safety training and agree with leaseholder64. That no one else has expressed concern is irrelevant. Rather than 'soft and fluffy' I would say sensible.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Since all of your tenants will have the same problem with cleaning these windows, why not provide them with something that will help them do the job safely?

                        A have an extendable pole, similar to the one in the link below, that I can use to clean second storey windows while standing on the ground outside.
                        It takes a little bit of practice to get the best technique, and I doubt that anyone could clean windows as well using one of these as they could if they were able to reach the window normally, but it allows windows to be kept reasonably clean without any risk of a fall from height.
                        https://www.amazon.co.uk/window-clea...=fsclp_pl_dp_3

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Macromia : That pole will make a complete mess of the carpet and any wallpaper. I think, like another poster, you have missed the point that this is about cleaning the inside of a window that is high up on an inside wall.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by leaseholder64 View Post
                            Macromia : That pole will make a complete mess of the carpet and any wallpaper. I think, like another poster, you have missed the point that this is about cleaning the inside of a window that is high up on an inside wall.
                            I am aware that it is cleaning the inside of a window that the thread is about, but if used appropriately (i.e. with the sponge damp but not dripping wet) there would be no more mess than cleaning the inside of the window any other way - you are assuming that whoever uses it will slop as much water and soap suds around as possible, which suggests that you have very little faith in tenants. If the OP shares your lack of faith she should be happy that the tenant who is leaving won't be attempting to clean any higher than she can reach.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Hudson01 View Post
                              I do often wonder what these rather soft and fluffy tenants would do if the home they were in was owned by themselves and not someone else..... would they simply never clean their own windows?
                              They'd have the option of replacing them with something that they could maintain if they owned the place.

                              Making a tenant liable for cleaning something that high is just leaving yourself open to a claim if they hurt themselves doing it.
                              Pay for someone to come in every few months with professional kit and stick the cost on the rent.

                              Originally posted by slooky View Post
                              I explained to RLA how I do it: i.e. I ask the tenant if they would like me to clean the flat for £100 when they leave. I tell them all cleaning will be done by me. I also request that they email me their agreement and that they agree that £100 will be deducted from their deposit for the cleaning. It's worked fine so far - no problems. However RLA said this isn't allowed anymore.
                              You can't offer to provide a service yourself as an option for the tenant, because what you are allowed to charge the tenant is limited to your actual loss in that situation, and there is no loss (your time working as a landlord being paid for by the rent).

                              If you offered the services of a 3rd party to do it, rather than the tenant doing it themselves, and the tenant agreed to pay the cost (but no more than what it cost), the payment would be legal.

                              That's obviously a daft outcome and probably costs the tenant more in some cases (like this one), but it's where we are and probably does serve the overall goal of stopping tenants being ripped off by agents and landlords.
                              When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                              Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                              Comment

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