Can my landlord demand I use a certain cleaning company?

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  • Can my landlord demand I use a certain cleaning company?

    Can my landlord legally specify on my contract that I have to use a specific cleaning company at the end of tenancy? If I sign the contract will I then be unable to fight it if I find it to be illegal?

    And on a side note...this specificed cleaning company is quoting at least 250 pounds to clean this two bedroom modest flat (with carpets in the 2 bedrooms and living room)..is this reasonable?

    Thanks for any help you can give!

  • #2
    No - A landlord can not specify that you have to use a cleaning company at all, and certainly not a particular one. Depending on what needs to be done, £250 is not totally out of line in London, although you can find some cheaper. This would include deep steam cleaning of the curtains, carpets, upholstered furnishings (if any) and the oven. Polishing and bees-waxing pine table tops (if any) etc etc.
    ASSUME NOTHING - QUESTION EVERYTHING!

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Paragon View Post
      No - A landlord can not specify that you have to use a cleaning company at all, and certainly not a particular one.
      Why not? I understand that certain contractual provisions may not be effective but why wouldn't this one be?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by greatthings124 View Post
        Can my landlord legally specify on my contract that I have to use a specific cleaning company at the end of tenancy? If I sign the contract will I then be unable to fight it if I find it to be illegal?
        No, it's almost certainly an unfair term, but better not to agree such a term than have to argue later that it's unfair.

        However, assuming the TA is an AST the deposit will be protected by a scheme, therefore you'd be able to challenge the cleaning deductions via the scheme's adjudication service - that is, IF the LL agreed to use adjudication to resolve the dispute.

        Here is the stance taken by one of the deposit schemes as regards cleaning. Quoted from The Dispute Service's (TDS) annual report 08-09:

        "Cleaning continues to be the major source of dispute.... We have suggested that, where it is possible, members give tenants a list of cleaning companies with whose work they are content. Members would make it clear that there was no compulsion for tenants to employ one of these firms to clean the property at the end of the tenancy; but if they did, and there was a complaint about the standard of cleanliness, the tenants would not be responsible to put matters right."

        Originally posted by greatthings124 View Post
        And on a side note...this specificed cleaning company is quoting at least 250 pounds to clean this two bedroom modest flat (with carpets in the 2 bedrooms and living room)..is this reasonable?
        For London, maybe at the higher end but within normal range of prices. The company I use charges £120 for a 1-bed with no carpets (in London). The cleaning companies don't really take note of size of rooms, so a large 2-bed will cost the same as a small 2-bed.

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        • #5
          Consider this hypothesis...

          LL rents flat to discreet, careful & obsessively tidy & clean T. T maintains flat to standard LL & previous tenants never did.. Indeed LL has never seen place look so fantastic. At end of tenancy the place is gleaming, spotless, immaculate as Sister T... ......

          Tenancy has clause as described above...
          that I have to use a specific cleaning company at the end of tenancy
          Why? It is unfair...

          Google OFT356 and read, learn & inwardly digest if you don't believe me...

          Cheers!

          Lodger
          I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

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          • #6
            It is also worth bearing in mind that the check-in inventory must be sufficiently rigorous and well-supported by evidence (preferably photographic), that the property had been cleaned to a professional standard at commencement of tenancy, before LL can hope to justify any deductions for cleaning when tenancy ends.
            'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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