Filthy kitchen but don't want to upset nice L

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    Filthy kitchen but don't want to upset nice L

    We are currently 5 weeks into a 6 month house let. We found the property through the normal channels, i.e. through a property rental agency, however, the owners are 'managing' it themselves. The rental agency's part in the arrangement was to merely show us the property, pass on our request for the property to be cleaned prior to our moving in, take receipt of the deposit and 6 month rent in advance from us, preparation of the AST agreement, hand over of keys. Having done all of that, the LL is now self managing.
    1) To cut a long story short, the house was not cleaned (which the L/lady admitted to me she could not find a cleaner in time!). I rang the rental agency and was told that even though they did ask LL to clean the property, it is not their responsibility as LL self-manages. Do I have any come back on the agency in this regard?
    2) The deposit of £1500 was paid (together with 6 months rent in advance of £7800) We have not heard anything about where deposit is being held. I believe this should have been reported to us within first two weeks.
    3) The fridge actually took me five hours (yes 5) to clean. The mould had to be soaked off in the bath with dishwasher powder. The oven is not much better and I have yet to cook a proper meal in it. The dials are unreadable, due to the dirt/age.
    My question is, the AST agreement states we are to pay for any cleaning services that may be required to reinstate property to the same order it was provided at the commencement of the tenancy. Well, that will be zero expense, in fact I may need to dirty it up a little! Sarcasm aside, there has been no inventory prepared as to the state of the property, so I am currently preparing one myself. Would any of you care to advise if you think this is the right thing to do? My intention is to ask the landlord to sign a copy which we both have copies of. The AST even calls for the windows to be cleaned prior to vacation. They were not cleaned for our arrival, so am I within my rights not to ignore that point too?

    I am getting really depressed about the general uncleanliness of the property we have moved into and am worried that we will be made to bring it up to a standard which it was never in to begin with, in order that the LL can then place it on the market in 6 months time.

    What are my rights as a tenant, dealing with a LL who self manages and seems quite frankly very laid back about it all at the moment, but may well turn out to be a) forgetful about the way he left the property and b) unfairly demanding about what condition he expects it to be handed back in.

    Depressed of Northants

    #2
    There is a big difference between what the average person might consider to be reasonably clean and the standard of cleanliness required for leaving or entering a rental property. A self-managing LL entering the rental market for the first time may well believe that his property is reasonably clean when in fact it is not.
    However, the state of cleanliness in your property is clearly much worse than acceptable. I would have taken photographs of the property and particularly of course, of the dirty items. It is too late to do this now, since you have done the cleaning but I would write to the LL ASAP, pointing out that the property was unacceptably dirty when you first moved in. This will make it more difficult for him to insist on a very high standard of cleanliness when you move out

    Comment


      #3
      I agree with johnw.

      However, if the LL did not conduct a proper check-in inventory and you did not sign it, he will struggle to claim any money for cleaning from you when you move out, as he will be unable to prove what state it was in to begin with.

      It would be a good idea to make your own inventory, preferably with photos and a written record of what you had to do to bring the property up to an acceptable and hygienic standard of cleanliness. Send him a copy (insist he acknowledges it) and at the same time, ask for details of where your deposit is protected. It is ultimately his responsibility to ensure it's protected and that you are supplied with the prescribed information, so don't let him fob you off by saying you'll need to contact the agent.

      Do you have any written record of the LL's admission that he couldn't find a cleaner in time?

      You are unlikely to have any comeback on the agent as it sounds as though it was a tenant-find only service, plus, the agent works for the LL, not you in any case. Plus, most agents would run a mile rather than get involved in LL/T disputes about cleanliness.
      '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

      Comment


        #4
        Given that LL failed to do a professional clean at the start, I think it would be quite reasonable for you to request that it be done at the end before you check out.

        That may be an easier suggestion to make to your LL now than to have a stand up argument at the end, and will simplify your check out process.

        It depends on your LL being approachable on the question, and you would need to confirm it in writing (ie follow up letter) or ideally get LL to confirm. In practice you would probably need to do the confirming, which is important.

        ML
        Refer Mad Regulators to Arkell vs Pressdram.

        Comment


          #5
          All good advice above.

          I do think the important thing is that however you decide to proceed - do it now and get something in writing, preferably agreed by the landlord. What you don't want is to leave it until the end of the tenancy when memories may have conveniently faded, and the LL / agent have no incentive to keep you happy.

          Comment


            #6
            Unfortunately I've found that I'm the un-paid cleaner. Worst offenders are the LLs that previously lived in the property (my previous LLs moved out 3 weeks before I moved in). I spent 3 hours degreasing the cooker-hood. The grill pan with sausage meat charred onto it and swimming in fat I can't say I particularly enjoyed cleaning neither. I was told it would be cleaned too. It depressed me too so I just cleaned it.

            I find those "it works" blocks very good (not as good as they say but good all the same and you don't need to use chemicals).

            Does make me feel nice that current LLs always comment on how bathroom sparkles (microfibre cloth queen of buffing LOL) and on last visit asked if I'd had carpets cleaned as they looked cleaner than when I got it. (I haven't I just have an oreck hoover which is fab).

            I guess what I'm saying is that cleanliness is somewhat objective. To me clean means sparkling but to some it just means hoovered and bed made. Whilst I would love to move into a rental and it's clean to my standards I don't think it will ever happen as I'm fussy but pride forces me to leave properties cleaner than when I found them. The lack of inventory is to your favour but do ensure you find out where your deposit is held.

            BTW I'm in Northants too.
            I'm a good tenant with great landlords
            I'm also a living, breathing, fully cooked female.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by greenteajenny View Post
              1) To cut a long story short, the house was not cleaned (which the L/lady admitted to me she could not find a cleaner in time!). I rang the rental agency and was told that even though they did ask LL to clean the property, it is not their responsibility as LL self-manages. Do I have any come back on the agency in this regard?
              No. You do not have a contract with the agent.

              2) The deposit of £1500 was paid (together with 6 months rent in advance of £7800) We have not heard anything about where deposit is being held. I believe this should have been reported to us within first two weeks.
              If you have an assured shorthold tenancy in England/Wales, the LL is obliged to protect the deposit and provide you with the prescribed information. However, she can do this at any time during the tenancy without any adverse consequences. It sounds like you may have an amateur LL so I would write to LL, politely reminding her of her obligations.

              3) The fridge actually took me five hours (yes 5) to clean. The mould had to be soaked off in the bath with dishwasher powder. The oven is not much better and I have yet to cook a proper meal in it. The dials are unreadable, due to the dirt/age.
              If you'd obtained written confirmation that the property would be professionally cleaned prior to move-in, you could have hired a cleaner and charged the LL for it (as you'd have evidence to back up the agreement).

              My question is, the AST agreement states we are to pay for any cleaning services that may be required to reinstate property to the same order it was provided at the commencement of the tenancy. Well, that will be zero expense, in fact I may need to dirty it up a little! Sarcasm aside, there has been no inventory prepared as to the state of the property, so I am currently preparing one myself. Would any of you care to advise if you think this is the right thing to do? My intention is to ask the landlord to sign a copy which we both have copies of. The AST even calls for the windows to be cleaned prior to vacation. They were not cleaned for our arrival, so am I within my rights not to ignore that point too?
              I wouldn't worry too much about this, when LL has no evidence (i.e. check-in inventory) to support any claim for cleaning etc at the end of the tenancy. However, it's definitely a good idea to make your own inventory and keep photos (which I assume you took) of condition at check-in; doesn't matter whether LL signs or not.

              You can find much useful information on the Shelter website regarding LL's obligations/T's rights etc. See:
              http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_ad...hold_tenancies

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