Is there a fair wear and tear allowance on cleaning?
You are expected to return the property and its contents in a clean and good state of repair – as it was at the start of the tenancy. Fair wear and tear only relates to damage, not gardening or cleanliness.
The number of hours cleaning needed is higher than I expected, how has this been worked out?
During your check-out, the independent, accredited clerk will create a guide of the amount of cleaning that is required in each room based on their professional opinion; this is in direct comparison to the cleanliness at the beginning of your tenancy. This information is sent to the cleaning company prior to them attending the property to give them an idea of how much cleaning is required.
Cleaning at £20 per hour seems expensive, I have found a cleaner that charges less per hour, why didn’t you use them instead?
Before you leave the property, we send through several reminders to clean the property and provide you with information on how to do so. You are welcome to have the clean carried out before the last date of your tenancy by a cleaner of your choice (Checkatrade is a great place to look for someone), which you would need to organise yourselves. Unfortunately, due to the sheer volume of work that comes with cleaning around 500 houses in a 12-week window, the cleaning firms that we use have a number of experienced end-of-tenancy cleaners, office staff, cleaning supervisors, company vehicles, etc. meaning larger overheads than a much smaller cleaning firm. Therefore their £20ph hourly rate is higher than some smaller firms. They also have additional fixed costs for oven cleaning, freezer defrosts, rubbish removal, carpet and mattress cleaning.
Why is there a separate charge for the oven clean/freezer defrost?
The £20 hourly rate is for general cleaning which only requires regular cleaning products (i.e bleach/antibacterial spray/vacuuming), not specialist chemicals/equipment. As specific chemicals must be used to clean an oven or defrost a freezer as well as the additional time this takes, the cost of this will be in excess of £20 and you will therefore be charged separately. To avoid this, we recommend you do a deep clean before you leave the property (there are some excellent, if slightly cheesy videos on how to do this on YouTube like this one).
The carpets were already a bit dirty when we moved in, why have we been charged for carpet cleaning?
The cleanliness of the carpets are compared to the state they were in when you moved into the property. If the carpets were clean when you moved in but they are dirty when you vacate, you will be charged for the cleaning. In some cases, if carpets were showing stains when you moved in and then were in a worse state when you vacate, the cost of cleaning can be split between Landlord and Tenant. Again, carpet and mattress cleaning requires a large cleaning machine to be brought into the property. This is why carpet cleaning is charged separately, with a set up charge for the initial area cleaned.
Why doesn’t mattress cleaning come under the general cleaning hours?
The £20 hourly rate is for a general clean that does not require specialist chemicals/equipment. Mattress sanitising is very time consuming and requires specialist equipment. This does not constitute general cleaning and you will therefore be charged separately. Sometimes accidents happen, and if you know that your mattress needs a clean and would like to organise one yourself, then we’d recommend finding a supplier on Checkatrade.
We left our rubbish outside for the refuse collectors, why have we been charged for rubbish removal?
In accordance with your tenancy agreement, you are responsible for keeping the property clear from rubbish and ensuring that it is regularly collected by the local authority. If there is an excessive amount of rubbish (more than 1 wheelie bin load), the council will not remove it. If you do not remove it at the end of your tenancy, we will be required to hire a rubbish removal company to ensure the property is clear of rubbish for the incoming tenants. If you think you have the wrong bin size, you can also request a new one from the Council during your tenancy – just follow this link.
The rubbish removal charge seems expensive considering we didn’t leave that much, how come?
It completely depends how much you’ve left. If the amount left is more than one van load, you will be charged for the use of another van. Rubbish removal contractors also have to take waste to a trade waste site which is time consuming and often incurs charges. It is much more cost effective for you to take it to a non-commercial tip.
We just left a few items in the house for the new tenants, why have we been charged for their removal?
We do ask that all personal items are removed from the property prior to your check-out, no matter how useful you think they might be for the next tenants.This is so we can keep the standards of our properties the same across the board.
Can we see a copy of the cleaning invoice?
Of course! Please let us know if you would like copies of any invoices for works carried out – just email firstname.lastname@example.org.