When you let a property, you would expect it to be returned to you in a similar condition to that it was in at the start of your tenants’ occupancy. If this is not the case, do you have the right to withhold the deposit?
A common reason for deductions
According to the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS), a tenancy deposit protection scheme approved by the government, cleaning costs are the most commonly stated reason for tenancy deposit deductions.
How clean is clean?
The scheme advise tenants to leave the property in the same state of cleanliness it was in at the commencement of the tenancy. If tenants have been resident for some time, perhaps even a number of years, it can be difficult for both parties to recall this accurately. For this reason, TDS advise tenants to report any anomalies to the landlord without delay, and in all cases within any given deadlines for doing so. If there are issues, this should be clearly noted on the inventory to help to prevent future disputes.
What should tenants do?
Tenants are advised by the TDS to clean the property themselves where possible, thereby ensuring a happy landlord and reducing the risk of any potential professional cleaning costs being deducted from their deposit. Further, TDS advise tenants that the principle of fair wear and tear does not apply in the case of cleanliness. This means that while items can show signs of age and wear, they must still be in a clean condition.