According to data from The Dispute Service* when a tenancy ends there is one issue more than any other that gives rise to disagreements.
Of the 34,993 disputes (latest figures the year up to March 2020), Cleaning was cited in 42% of cases as being number one.
This problem likely occurs as a result of everyone having a different definition of what constitutes “clean”. As a landlord you may be looking for a professional standard of cleanliness which may be very different from a clean and tidy up followed by a personal hoover round.
An argument is liable to ensue about deposit returns particularly when a tenant feels they have left the property in the same condition as it was at the start of the tenancy. In this situation having a clear and definitive inventory that includes proof of the property’s condition is the only way a landlord can offer a counter argument.
Two key points about an Inventory:
- At the outset a tenant is given a clear understanding of what is expected of them. They know you’ll be checking at the end of the tenancy, so are more likely to take good care of the property.
- should a dispute arise as a Landlord you have the inventory to back up your side of the story.
An inventory must not be too general or lacking in detail, it should include photographs (dated) and written descriptions of the condition of the property including areas such as inside the oven, inside the fridge and the shower.
As a Landlord being open and clear with your tenant from the beginning will set the right tone.
If you’re a landlord and have any questions about managing a tenancy, get in touch with us here at MARTIN & CO, we’re happy to help.
*An organisation that offers a landlord/tenant resolution service – data being analysed by Decorus for Sage, property management software providers.