Cleaning Costs

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    Cleaning Costs

    Hi all,

    I’m looking for some impartial views (and possibly some advice) to make sure I’m not being biased on my case.

    I signed a long-term tenancy agreement in Jan 10 and moved into the flat during the same month. Upon moving in I found that despite being in the TA, the flat was unclean and had not been professionally cleaned. There was also minor damage on walls and there were bulbs broken or missing.

    I asked the letting agent (who I now have found out is owned by the landlord) to fix these but got told there was nothing wrong. I sent them photos and they told me they’d put it on file for the check-out. I asked for a check-in but was told it was done before I moved in. I didn’t get a copy and just got ignored when I asked for the property to be cleaned and for a check-in where I was present.

    In the end I got professional cleaners in to give it a good clean and to remove the stains from the carpets and sofa. Both were old (10 years) and they did a good job at removing the stains but the carpets still showed wear and tear from age.

    The tenancy came to an end last week as the landlord wished to redecorate the property. I had a check-out and they used a previous check-out from a few years back to compare the check-out to. Because of this there were items which weren’t present on the “basic check-in” and there were additional items too.

    When I went to sign the check-out, it said that the apartment wasn’t professionally clean. I asked what’s not clean and she said the shower screen, to which I replied yes it is and let’s go back up to check it, to which she declined. I therefore changed this to say the tenant doesn’t agree. She then said I wouldn’t have to pay for any cleaning costs, for any damage or for any missing items as they didn’t have a check-in. The concierge witnessed this and I signed the check-out.

    Within 15 minutes, 6 people from the letting agency turned up and got the keys from the concierge and went upstairs to redecorate.

    I was then sent an invoice the next day stating that I owed for professional cleaning of the apartment and the carpets. They had the cheek to say “Please understand that there were quite a few things missing and bulbs not working but we haven’t charged you for that”.

    I sent an e-mail back saying that the property was in a much better state than when the tenancy commenced and sent the photos taken at check-out to show that the apartment was professionally clean.

    They are now claiming that although it looks clean in my photos after I vacated the property they “dug deeper” and found that it was un-clean. They are saying the landlord and manager of the letting agency witnessed that together. They are now also threatening me slightly by implying that they will charge for damages and missing items if I don’t accept.

    The deposit is with the DPS and I have applied for the full amount. I am thinking of sending a final e-mail listing all the evidence in bullet points and saying if they don’t agree then we will have to go to arbitration.

    I think that is most of it. Any help, advice, views would be much appreciated.


    Del Boy

    Yes - let it go to artitration. I presume that you never signed an inventory when you moved in? Without that they are unlikely to be able to claim any of your deposit as there is no proof of the condition at the start of your tenancy.

    Added to which you hopefully have the messages that you sent at the beginning of the tenancy stating that things were not satisfactory? Likewise the photos you took at that time? And a dated receipt from your professional cleaners? All of this will help your case immensly.

    These kind of unprofessional landlords / agents make me very angry as they give us all a bad name.

    Good luck
    IANAL (I am not a lawyer). Anything I say here is just an opinion, so should not be relied upon! Always check your facts with a professional who really knows their onions.



      Thanks for the impartial view and advise.

      No I didn't sign a check-in or any kind of inventory.

      Yes I have e-mails with the photos that I sent them when the tenancy commenced, although they seem to have misplaced them their end.

      I also have a dated receipt from the cleaners. I'm half tempted to try and claim that back after this is over because they have been so rude and unprofessional.

      It does tarnish good landlords and that is annoying. Hopefully next time I'll have a good one who's not trying to rip people off.



        IMO new T does not have to be present (but pref) for move-in inspection/inventory. However T should be provided with this, along with other sta documentation on signing AST and be allowed 7 days to check, correct & signify acceptance.
        Basically T accepts property condition at time of signing AST. If property not viewed in advance and transaction completed by post, Dist Selling Regs may apply
        At end of T LL will be required to show proof of property condition at move in vs move out. I doubt T could enforce any promised but unfullfilled non-statutory renovations unless a contractual condition of Agreement.
        If subs LL renovations were completed during T then I would expect move-out comparison to compare with these subs improvements.



          Thanks for the reply.

          It does state in the AST:

          The Landlord agrees with the Tenant as follows:-

          3) To deliver the Tenant at the commencement of the Tenancy the Premises in a professionally clean and tidy condition with all appliances in proper working order.

          Does that make any difference?

          As a little update I've sent across a list of all the facts and asked for arbitration if they don't agree.



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