When a tenancy comes to an end, the landlord needs to ask whether or not the property is clean enough for future renters. Tenants are responsible for keeping things clean from day to day, but many let jobs pile up until they run out of time. Even worse, finding new accommodation can be so stressful that when tenants move out cleaning is often the last thing on their mind.
Landlords are not expected to pay for cleaning, whether up front or via landlord insurance. Failing to clean also is not considered fair wear and tear, which means tenants can (and often are) held responsible for it. If professional cleaners are called in, tenants are the ones who have to pay, usually via their deposit money.
Luckily, many professional cleaners specialise in providing end of tenancy cleaning services. Cleaners who work closely with landlords and property managers know how to satisfy inventory checks. Most will also provide their own cleaning materials, as well as equipment for specialist jobs like hot water extraction. In short, they have everything needed to make a property look its best!
So, what exactly is an ‘end of tenancy cleaning’ and what should you expect?
For landlords it is vital to keep their properties looking presentable. This is particularly important when searching for new tenants - nobody wants to live in a pig stye, after all!
A tenancy agreement will specify that tenants are responsible for day to day cleaning, but this is not the same as doing a professional-level job. Inventory reports usually list dozens of different factors that decide whether the property is ‘clean’, and if a tenant lets even one of them slide then a landlord has the right to step in.
However, a landlord cannot force a tenant to book a professional cleaning service. There wouldn’t be much point in trying to save your deposit if the only way to do so was to hire a cleaner anyway! A property can still look ‘professionally cleaned’ if the tenant has gone over it from top to bottom, but in practice few tenants are this thorough.
End of tenancy cleaners on the other hand are well practised in covering everything listed on an inventory report. Unless you have a star tenant, hiring a professional will usually be your best option.
The exact jobs included in an end of tenancy cleaning service can vary, depending on the size of the property, the type of work required and the experience of the cleaner.
For example, most standard services cover window (inside) and carpet cleaning. However, a cheaper service may not tackle certain jobs, such as upholstery cleaning.
A typical service may include:
By far the two most important rooms when it comes to cleaning are the kitchen and bathroom. Even if a tenant wipes worktops and mops floor, there are plenty of jobs in either of these rooms that can be easily forgotten about.
Depending on what your property requires, your cleaner may also provide more specialist services such as:
The cost of an end of tenancy cleaning service will vary depending on the size of the property in question, how far in advance the service is booked and what kind of work is required.
In general you could expect to pay:
There will almost always be a higher price to pay for booking at the last minute, as well as during weekends, bank holidays or other out of work hours. Booking far in advance will also ensure that you can get your service when you need it. Remember, the best time is just before the check-out inventory report is made.
Something to keep in mind is that services with cheaper quotes will often be far less thorough. It is not worth paying for a cheap cleaner if it means having to hire another one later on! Before considering a quote, always check first that all of the services you require are included.
If you are a tenant, it is also worth knowing that certain candidates, particularly tenancy cleaners in London, may offer options for home removals. This can be useful if you need help moving out, particularly as you can usually enjoy a discount for a package deal.