Probably the primary reason for tenants losing all or some of their deposit at the end of a tenancy is failing to leave the property clean enough. Therefore, good end-of-lease cleaning is crucial if you don't want to finish up out of pocket. Here are some top tips to ensure that you get your deposit back when you move on to a new property.
End-of-lease cleaning tips
- Basically, you must leave the property in exactly the same state it was in when you arrived. A little wear and tear is acceptable, but things like mouldy grout, fingerprints on glass doors and limescale caked around taps are not.
- The depth of clean that your landlord will be expecting can be established by checking your tenancy agreement and inventory. The inventory should detail whether the house was cleaned to a "domestic" or "professional" standard, and your tenancy agreement will state the standard of end-of-lease cleaning that is required from you.
- Remember that there's a lot to do when moving house. Do you really want to take on cleaning the property yourself, or would you prefer to pay a professional firm to do this for you? In addition, you won't be able to clean the property thoroughly until all your belongings have been removed. This could make things extremely inconvenient for you if you're moving out of the area and have to return for a whole day or two to deep-clean the property.
- If you opt to use a professional cleaning company to carry out an end-of-lease clean, check with the letting agent or landlord first to see whether they expect the carpets, curtains, upholstery, mattresses and exterior windows to be included in the clean. Make sure that you get this is writing too, just in case there's any dispute afterwards.
- Make sure that your end-of-lease cleaning company provides you with a "deposit guarantee". This means that if they miss anything, you can ask them to come back without incurring further charges.
- When you've paid for the cleaning work to be done, always get an itemised receipt. This provides you with proof that the landlord's requests have been met just in case there's any dispute.
If you're moving out of a rental property, follow the advice given above with regard to an end-of-lease cleaning. It's a good idea to use a local firm that's approved by your landlord to reduce the likelihood of any dispute over the quality of the work.