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What expectation property condition when tenant leaves?


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After 2 years of letting my property via a LA my tenant has moved on. A new T is taking over the property at the end of this week.

Speaking to the LA they informed me that they have visited the property with the T and all is well although some signs of general wear and tear. I visited the property after the LA visit and was surprised that they felt it was ok.

What I found on my visit was what I can only describe as a generally very grubby looking giving the appearance of little in the way of care and attention by the T. Walls extremely grubby and in places paint worn away where furniture placed, oven and grill pan untouched and greasy. Some holes in the wall repair had been attempted but just overfilled with plaster and left rough. Skirting boards many paint chippings. Damaged to the stair hand rail and ceiling - assumed to be from furniture removal. A couple of minor items missing.

Before letting the property I spent a considerable sum of money completely renovating and repairing and also all rooms decorated and finished to a high standard. This fact noted by the LA who also advised that due to this the amount of rent could be increased over the area norm. During the time the T occupied the property whenever a problem arose it was dealt with immediately at my expense using the LA contractor e.g. shower leaking, washing machine failures etc.

I even left a quantity of paint in the shed of all colours used for any minor touch ups the T needed to do.

I have spoken to the agent and followed up with email detailing my concerns and my contention that after only 2 years the condition the T left the property is totally unacceptable and it is up to the T to put right the damage caused to paintwork and fittings and to replace the missing items. In other words to put the property back into the condition at the start of the rental. I am waiting on their response.

Perhaps I am just being naive and my expectations too high, what do you think and how do you deal with this situation

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Over the years that I've been letting property I think I've seen the complete range. I've had departing tenantts leave a property so clean there really has been nothing to do .......to the exact opposite. Here are a few of my tips:

* Never provide a property that is better furnished // decorated than your target tenant needs.....you will only be dissappointed when its returned.

* Always ensure a detailed check in and check out inventory.

* Don't overfurnish the property.

* Ensure regular 3 monthly inspections and follow up any repairs needed by the tenants.

* Don't rely on lettings agents to do what they say they will do.....always check that they have done it.

* Always take a deposit and a larger one iif there are increased risks.

* Remember children and pets = increased wear & tear.

* Issuue a detailed letter to your tenant showing exactly what is expected of them if they want their deposit returned in full. (mine is attached.....change it to suit your needs)

* Don't take any prisoners ie don't become an unpaid cleaner for your tenants.

* Any problems with deposits then return them in full to the tenant and take court action for any claims against them.

Sorry.....seems as the transfer has altered the formatting.....but its still readable......just!

IMPORTANT- This letter contains important information for the return of your deposit.

Dear xxxxxxx,

Re:End of Your Tenancy Agreement for xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, Essex.

Thank youfor notifying us today that you wish to end your tenancy of xxxxxxxxxx. The earliest your tenancy can endis xxxxxxxxxxxx. This letter is to advise you how you should leave the propertywhen you move out.

1. Its important that you leave the propertyin a clean & tidy condition. General wear & tear is accepted but anydamage, breakages, missing items or anything that is not clean may result in adeduction from your deposit. If you are unsure then please contact us. Itsimportant that the property is handed back to us in a condition that issuitable for new tenant(s) to move in immediately. We prefer to return completedeposits as this means we have had no work to do.

Youshould ensure that the whole of the property is clean including (but notonly):-

· Carpets.

· Curtains.

· Lampshades/light fittings.

· Allkitchen equipment including walls & tiles.

· Allbathroom equipment.

· Windows.

· Anymarks on walls, woodwork, door frames, skirting boards etc have been cleanedoff.

· Anymirrors or glass have been cleaned.

· Alllight bulbs & smoke detectors are working.

· Theoven & hob are clean.

· Thefridge is defrosted (please ensurewater from fridge does not run onto floor & damage kitchen units/ floor coverings).

· Anysoft furnishings supplied have been cleaned, this includes- shower curtains &net curtains & floor mats.

· Anythingelse that has been provided & that you will hand back to the landlord.

2. Your deposit is held within the TenancyDeposit Scheme operated by xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. Payment of all or part of thedeposit will normally be made within 10 working days of the end of the tenancy.

3. Please ensure you provide us with aforwarding address.

4. If you have changed the electricitysupplier you must provide the details. Currently our records show XXXXXXXX as the supplier. Pleaseadvise us if this is NOT correct.

5. You must also ensure that :

· Allinstruction books are left at the property.

· All the keys are returned.

· Youhave contacted the utilities: Electric, Water, Sewerage & Council Tax.

· Youhave made a note of the meter readings.

· Youdispose of all rubbish before you leave.

· Youhave removed all of your personal belongings.

· Note:Royal Mail can redirect your mail for a charge, for up to one year……but we arehappy to forward your mail on to your new address for a week or two.

6. When you leave, turn OFF all electricalappliances, ensure all doors & windows are locked and post your keysthrough the letterbox.

If youare unsure of anything, please contact us.


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Thanks Richlist, all the points you made in your tips excellent. The letter to the T is very good and using that as a basis I will be discussing with the LA exactly what they send out!

Spoken to the LA today who has contacted the old T who is not happy about the situation. He stated that they were without a washing machine for a couple of days (about 18 months ago) and the fact that they were without heating and hot water for a total of 8 days (actually told LA 2 months!) this was covered in an earlier post - I refused to pay any compensation due to the fact that I had done everything in my power to put right within a decent timescale and in the process paid out over £200!.

Anyway LA asked how much it would cost to put the damage right as I do not know I estimated a good painter for a day and a bit about £200 + materials. LA thought that high but will put this to the T. Also told if they go through the Deposit scheme arbitration that unlikely to get costs for this as they would see anything as fair wear and tear. Obviously if I did need to pursue this I think it would need to go Small Claims? Not sure if it is worthwhile or if I should just right this off to experience?

So waiting now for an answer from the T but time has marched on and a new T will be in place in 2 days

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Guest tenants_from_hell

Rich is exactly right.

This year I had 2 different sets of tenants leave from 2 properties (Well one was chucked out and the others moved on).

Group 1 - were so petty had about 6 dogs, rent in arrears, threatening legal action, took the house unfurnished, yet had no own furniture (due to dogs needing room to roam around), house had new carpet which is ruined and dog smell dont go away. When they left they left the keys inside the double glazing doors so i cant gain access into the house, left water and boiler running, they climbed out through a kitchen window.. how petty...

Group 2 - cleaned the house top to bottom and never had any problem with them.

I got one group of women the other day as prospective tenants and she was asking for a mirror! How ridiculous is that. I just give the basic needs anything extra they buy themselves.

Remember its roof, water and sanitation - the basic needs. Any LUXURIES they get themselves! one chap was asking for meals a few years back, what a cock!

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