What is an End-of-Tenancy clean? All you need to know

When you’ve listed a property for potential tenants, you’ll likely have made sure it’s completely clear and tidy. But there’s no real guarantee the place will be left in the same state and the standard is maintained for the remainder of their tenancy.

Most people don’t do deep cleaning on a weekly basis and when they’re close to moving out, it’s likely that attention will be on things other than general home cleaning and maintenance. This can leave you with a messy apartments and a bunch of inventory that you need to get rid of, as well as damage to the property in the worst cases.

In these situations, you can hire an end of tenancy cleaning service to return the property to its previous state. However, you cannot unjustly charge this from the tenants deposit if they have already left it in a good condition. You will need to provide appropriate evidence and receipts of the services used to avoid disputes.

To help with this process, we’ve developed an end of tenancy app at Reports2Go that helps you to track the condition of your property and stay on top of the various processes necessary for managing a tenancy, including check-in and check-out reports. Below are a few things you need to know to help you with the end of tenancy process.

What is an End-of-Tenancy clean?

Agents, landlords and tenants often resort to “end-of-tenancy cleaning” services to help them avoid or overcome disputes relating to the upkeep and condition of a property. A tenant is free to clean the property themselves or hire a company to do this for them before they leave.

However, if the property is not up to standards according to the check-in inventory and other records of the property’s state, then the landlord can conduct or arrange their own services and charge this from the deposit.

Essentially, this is more than just a standard cleaning of the property and requires a full top to bottom cleaning package, including cleaning of ovens, toilets, kitchen appliances and anything else that wouldn’t necessarily be covered in a general cleaning.

Whose responsibility is it?

During a tenancy, tenants are in charge of daily cleaning and maintenance of the property.

Everything from the garden, driveway and patio is typically assigned to them. In some apartments, with shared outdoor spaces or hallways, it may be that these spaces may be the responsibility of the landlord or managing agent. When conducting your check-in inspection, remember to clarify who is in charge of these areas.

End-of-Tenancy cleaning and deposits

Many disputes through the Deposit Protection Scheme are the result of insufficient cleaning. If tenants have not performed an end of tenancy cleaning before they’ve moved out, the landlord will hire a company to do the cleaning, while taking the money from the security deposit. As this may cost more money than desired by tenants, due to landlords prioritising quality over price. It is common for disputes to arise from the final bill of services.

Levels of cleaning

In the check-out report you need to note the depth of cleaning that has been undertaken. Usually, the Terms and Conditions section at the end of the report should define what is meant by each level. Here are some typical ratings:

  • Professionally Cleaned - cleaned to a high professional standard by a professional cleaner, receipt seen
  • Cleaned to a Professional Standard but no receipt seen.
  • Good Domestic Standard - flooring vacuumed and swept. Dust may be visible to some areas not commonly used.
  • Cleaned to a Poor Standard - Carpets need vacuum, all items dusty or dirty, kitchen and bathroom need further cleaning
  • Not Cleaned Property requires a professional clean

The Reports2Go app has a quick survey that captures the state of cleanliness. Having established the level, any further cleaning, as per the terms of tenancy can be initiated.

Our end-of-tenancy app at Reports2Go can help you with this process by providing you with an easy to use and transparent way of documenting the condition and state at check-out compared with check-in.

Dan, 18 July 2020
What is an End-of-Tenancy clean? All you need to know

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