Lack of Cleaning Is the Biggest Reason Landlords Make Deductions to the Tenancy Deposit

When tenants move out of a property, they have a duty under current rules to return it to its original condition, minus a bit of “fair wear and tear.” One of their responsibilities is to clean the place up so that it is ready for the new people moving in. Unfortunately, data suggest that tenants are doing a poor job when it comes to cleaning, neglecting vital areas of the property.

Failing to clean adequately isn’t just a headache for the landlord or letting agency – it’s also a problem for tenants themselves. Data from the Deposit Protection Service suggest that cleaning tops the list of reasons why landlords make deductions from tenancy deposits. Two-thirds of claims relate to inadequate cleaning, according to the agency.

For companies in the business of cleaning up after tenants, this report made for interesting reading. It suggests that tenants stand to benefit substantially from using end-of-tenancy cleaning services but regularly fail to do so, losing parts of their deposits in the process.

End of Tenancy Cleaning – a firm that offers cleaning services for tenants moving out of rented accommodation – decided to investigate the matter further to get to the bottom of what was going on. The company surveyed more than 1,600 renters and homeowners across the country to find out which aspects of cleaning people neglect the most when they move out of properties.

The results were fascinating. The study revealed that cleaning the microwave was the biggest cleaning issue. Eighty-one per cent of tenants said that they wanted to clean it out at least once per month, but failed to do so.

The next bugbear on the list was washing the bins. Seventy-four per cent said that they wanted to clean them at least once per month, but didn’t manage to get around to it. The next most common problem was brushing down the sofa. That was followed by dusting and wiping light fixtures and fitting, vacuuming floor mats, and cleaning the furniture.

The study’s main finding was that Brits in rented accommodation weren’t doing enough to keep their homes clean. The authors suggested that with the new year underway, tenants should turn over a new leaf and begin looking after their rented accommodation better. After all, they have a financial interest in doing so.

What Does This Mean For Landlords?

For landlords, end-of-tenancy cleaning issues can be thorny. Tenants don’t like it when you deduct money from their deposits, even if it is for legitimate reasons. Landlords and their agents, therefore, need to remind tenants that they could lose money if they are not careful. They need to take the necessary measures to prepare properties for new tenants when they leave.

Fortunately, even though cleaning is causing concern for landlords, getting 100% guaranteed rent isn’t. Landlords have tremendous opportunities to protect their income and ensure that tenants maintain the value of their properties. Ultimately, it is the tenant who loses out from inadequate cleaning.