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kesm

Tenant not cleaned and left lightbulbs not working

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Hi all,
The tenant checked out and the inventory clerk advised that the property was not cleaned professionally and there were cleaning omissions, compared to the check in report.

Moreover, the tenant did not replace a couple of lightbulbs and the fire alarm battery.

Do I charge the Tenant for the cleaning company I hired to do the cleaning omissions and also for the handyman to replace the lightbulbs and fire alarm battery?

 

Thank you

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If the check-in/inventory and check-out clearly highlight differences and you have the inventory signed by the tenant  there is no reason why you cant claim a deduction from the tenants deposit however they have the right to dispute it.

We find the best way to deal with this is to first inform the tenant there are some issues to make good and explain you have instructed a cleaner to visit and a someone else to replace the bulb and battery and the cost will be deducted from there deposit.

As long as you have your facts clear and some before and after photos you can send if requested by the tenant plus sensible costs for rectifying there is a good chance just they will just be ok about it. But any overinflated invoices with sneaked in extras which a lot of landlords (and some agents) try to add will just cause a headache in the long run. 

Deposit deductions if managed and communicated well can normally be a easy process but there can be exceptions to the rule.

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I don't think there is any legal requirement to clean the property 'professionally' at check out. Even if your tenancy agreement requires it, it's likely to be an unfair contract clause. The tenant is required to leave the property clean and tidy and no doubt that's what they believe they have done. Just because your check out clerk has a different standard to your tenant doesnt mean they are right and your tenant is wrong, different people have different standards.

I always ask myself how bad is it and what's it gonna take to put it right. If the answer is not much I don't persue the tenant. If the tenant has been a good one during their tenancy neither would I be so miserly as to charge them what is likely to be less than £10 for a couple of light bulbs and a battery. 

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37 minutes ago, Richlist said:

I don't think there is any legal requirement to clean the property 'professionally' at check out. Even if your tenancy agreement requires it, it's likely to be an unfair contract clause. The tenant is required to leave the property clean and tidy and no doubt that's what they believe they have done. Just because your check out clerk has a different standard to your tenant doesnt mean they are right and your tenant is wrong, different people have different standards.

I always ask myself how bad is it and what's it gonna take to put it right. If the answer is not much I don't persue the tenant. If the tenant has been a good one during their tenancy neither would I be so miserly as to charge them what is likely to be less than £10 for a couple of light bulbs and a battery. 

Oh I saw the photos, and there are cleaning omissions. I am nowhere near the property so had to get a cleaning company and will have to get a handy man as well.

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I think I now understand the situation.

You are a landlord who doesn't live locally. You are expecting your outgoing tenant to leave the property in a condition that is totally ready for a new tenant to move in......and that's completely unrealistic. I have never had a tenant move out where there wasn't something to repair, fix, renew, replace, clean, prepare or improve etc. 

You are relying on the integrity of a check out clerk who may have an unrealistic standards and there is no substitute for eyeballing a problem. Your location is not your tenants problem. If I were your tenants I'd argue my case robustly.

You are going to need to get people in anyway.....at your cost.....

* You are going to need an electrical survey before reletting....can't you ask the electrician to fit a battery and a couple of lightbulbs.....it'll take 5 minutes.

* Surely you are going to need a handyman to at least confirm the details of the Legionella advice sheet before reletting so you don't need a separate visit.

Letting property from a distance doesn't mean your tenants pick up all your costs just because you can't go and fix a few things.

 

 

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The battery and the light bulbs are really quite insignificant really taking everything into consideration in the World of being a landlord.

You say you have brought a company in to professionally clean the property due to some issues. Strictly speaking you should have asked the outgoing tenant to rectify your concerns before going ahead with that action including the battery and bulbs.

Distance landlording is always going to be difficult  ( see COR's posts) and considering the horror stories you read about and see on the TV programs I would say you have very little to worry about really.

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If you try to extract the cost of a professional clean from an outgoing tenant who is determined to argue your claim is totally without merit and the deposit protection people become involved YOU are very likely to find yourself seriously out of pocket.

I've had some very robust negotiations with ex tenants of mine over deductions and what Ive learned is to keep it professional, business like and always be prepared to compromise.

Do let us know how you get on please.

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7 hours ago, Melboy said:

( see COR's posts) 

That can go 2 ways.

You may be entertained and feel fortunate that it's me and not you,

you may become depressed as it might be you at some point.

Yep you should give opportunity for ex tenants to address problems. But then that would create a further period for the tenant to pay for as the property isn't yet available for re rent.  A further inspection would then be required. Mine would be too lazy and tell me to get on with it. 

I gave up on check ins and out years ago. That saved dosh goes toward these situations. 

Damage = Wear and tear.

Claims for replacements are proportioned to such a level that any award would make the claim worthless.

Items such as battery and lamps (I plant bulbs) would be considered so petty you lose credibility, if as a landlord you have any in this 'ere country anyway. "They were checked and ok when we left, must've been the lightning storm", and how long should they last so how much of the 69p claimed should you get?

For me being able to demonstrate unpaid rents is the easy way to make claim, more often that would exceed any deposit anyway.

Tenants eh! Who'd 'ave 'em?

 

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