One of the most common causes of complaint on check-out are cleaning issues. We have all experiences these, be it landlords unhappy with the way a property has been returned to then or tenants disputing the cleanliness of the property at the start and end of a lease.
Here are 6 points on this thorny issue with guidance directly from the TDS Adjudicator
- The TDS have stated the best evidence of condition at the start of the tenancy is in the comprehensive inventory (check-in) and schedule of condition.
They go on to state that if the check-in does not mention cleanliness; they will not assume the property is clean. The TDS do not regard a general statement that the ‘property is in good condition’ as including cleanliness.
This means the check-on report and check-out report must make reference to the cleanliness of the property.
2, The Adjudicator will look for evidence that the property is less clean at the end of the tenancy than the start of the tenancy.
This is important as they will not make an award based solely on the basis of an obligation in the tenancy agreement.
- A professional clean at the end of the tenancy cannot be demanded if a professional clean was not completed at the start of the tenancy.
- If the property is professionally cleaned at either check-in or check-out then the receipt should be included in the inspection report with the original being kept on file by the agent/landlord.
- Surprisingly the TDS have stated that photographs and video evidence are generally of little value in support of cleaning claims, except for individual items such as ovens or other kitchen appliances.
The TDS explained that they require all picture to be placed in context and will only consider them when accompanied with written evidence such as a check-out report.
- Maintenance of gardens is an area often overlooked by tenants. the adjudicators have stated they expect the garden to be maintained as it is part of the tenancy agreement and will award costs at check-out to cover a gardener if it is not up-kept during the tenancy.