Forum Home Search Login Register
+  Landlord Forum
|-+  General Category
| |-+  Tenant Advice & Help
| | |-+  Landlord/Estate agency wants to deduct from my deposit for professional cleaning

Landlord/Estate agency wants to deduct from my deposit for professional cleaning

Pages: [1]
Print
Author Topic: Landlord/Estate agency wants to deduct from my deposit for professional cleaning  (Read 147 times)
Newbie
Posts: 7

I like property

« on: August 29, 2021, 02:24:38 AM »

Hi

grateful for any advice on this.

Short version.

Landlord/Estate agency wants to deduct from my deposit because they say "the property was not cleaned to a professional standard". They are yet to point out any mess I left behind. I believe I left the property in a cleaner state than when I moved in. I cleaned it myself and did not use a cleaning company, can they deduct from my deposit?

Also, on the checkout date, I was told I will get back my deposit within 10 days but it took 3+ weeks and many calls for the estate agency to respond and say they will deduct from my deposit. do I have a case against the them for not returning the deposit / raising issues within 10 days?


Long Version.

I have moved out of the flat on 30/07/21, I have been there for a year, did the cleaning myself and I believe I left the place in a cleaner condition then when I moved in.
On the checkout day both the landlord and a estate agent were present at the property, the estate agent took pictures and raised no issue with me. I was told by the estate agent that they would compare the pictures they took against some they took before I moved in which they said would take 10 days and if everything is OK, I should get my deposit back.

10 days passed and I heard nothing so I started calling the estate agency from 16/08/21, all I got was "leave your details and we will have someone call you back". Finally on 25/08/21 I received an email from them saying they are waiting for the Landlord to make a decision on the deposit and whether he wants any deductions made.

Second email said "the landlord wants to deduct 700 for repair, re-painting and cleaning", I wrote back saying "what did I break that needs repair and why should I pay for painting, and I thoroughly cleaned the house."

They came back saying the Landlord wants to compromise and since he spent "a lot of money" cleaning the place before I moved in, it was only fair I paid for "professional cleaning",
I said I wasn't going to pay for cleaning as I believe the property was cleaner than when I first moved in, I asked them what exactly I have left uncleaned.

They just came back saying "the property was not cleaned to a professional standard". Can they deduct from my deposit?

The tenancy agreement only says I should return the property in the same condition given to me. it doesn't say I need to use a professional cleaners.

Quote
End of tenancy Return possession of the Property in the same good clean state and condition as it was originally provided to the
Tenant, even if this was under a different tenancy agreement, and make good, pay for the repair of, or replace all
such items of the fixtures, fittings, furniture and effects as shall be broken, lost, damaged or destroyed during that
time (reasonable wear and tear and damage for which the Landlord has agreed to insure excepted).

Since I was told I will get back my deposit within 10 days but it took 3+ weeks and many calls for the estate agency to respond and say they will deduct from my deposit. do I have a case against the them for not returning the deposit / raising issues within those 10 days?

Thank you
Full Member
Posts: 165

I like property

« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2021, 08:44:30 AM »

First of all, I would suggest you check your inventory reports.  If the check-in report states the property was cleaned to a professional standard then you will be liable for a clean at the end of the tenancy.

If they haven't had one done then you might want to look into raising a deposit dispute.  Though if they have invoices from cleaners showing they paid for a clean and you haven't then it's possible they'll win a large portion of the money.

The 10 days rule insn't really enforceable so don't expect too much joy with that.
Global Moderator
Hero Member
Posts: 4232

Abuse Officer

« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2021, 08:56:38 AM »

Cleaning to a professional standard.
Paying a professional to clean.

These are obviously two very different things... but can result in exactly the same outcome. One can also have a better outcome than the other - and it can go both ways. That's undeniable. I remember back in the days of the OFT... they considered any clause that looked like - "The landlord may, if the tenant fails to keep the property in a clean and presentable condition, employ the services of a professional to do so and charge the tenants any costs incurred therefore." should be changed or updated to - "Term deleted.".

Likewise, terms like - "Pay for washing and cleaning of all items which shall on the opinion of the agent have been soiled during the tenancy. The agent's decision shall be final and binding on the tenant." were to be replaced with - "To wash and clean all items that may have become soiled during the tenancy."

That basically meant their opinion was that it was an unfair term and condition in a tenancy agreement and paying for professional cleaning was considered excessive.

My view is that you have a case. I'd suggest to the Agent that it's time to raise a Deposit Dispute with the Scheme protecting your Deposit. See how they react to that. They may immediately back down.
Newbie
Posts: 7

I like property

« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2021, 01:49:47 PM »

First of all, I would suggest you check your inventory reports.  If the check-in report states the property was cleaned to a professional standard then you will be liable for a clean at the end of the tenancy.

If they haven't had one done then you might want to look into raising a deposit dispute.  Though if they have invoices from cleaners showing they paid for a clean and you haven't then it's possible they'll win a large portion of the money.

The 10 days rule insn't really enforceable so don't expect too much joy with that.

Thanks for the reply

I wasn't given an inventory report for the checkout or the start of the tenancy, I have asked for one but they have yet to send it, and I suspect they haven't done it. the checkout date, the agency guy wasn't taking any detailed pictures, just one snap of an entire areas and I am not sure you can tell how clean something is from those pictures.

if it turns out they do have an inventory report that says "the property was cleaned to a professional standard", and show invoices for from a cleaning company. don't they have to demonstrate the property wasn't cleaned to a "professional standard"? or could they just say, we paid someone to clean it, you must pay someone to clean it and your cleaning isn't clean enough without being specific?
the reason I don't trust their judgement and I think they are being greedy is, they first tried asked to deduct for "repair and repainting" along side of professional cleaning, and backed down from that when I insisted they state what damaged I caused.


Newbie
Posts: 7

I like property

« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2021, 01:57:29 PM »

Cleaning to a professional standard.
Paying a professional to clean.

These are obviously two very different things... but can result in exactly the same outcome. One can also have a better outcome than the other - and it can go both ways. That's undeniable. I remember back in the days of the OFT... they considered any clause that looked like - "The landlord may, if the tenant fails to keep the property in a clean and presentable condition, employ the services of a professional to do so and charge the tenants any costs incurred therefore." should be changed or updated to - "Term deleted.".

Likewise, terms like - "Pay for washing and cleaning of all items which shall on the opinion of the agent have been soiled during the tenancy. The agent's decision shall be final and binding on the tenant." were to be replaced with - "To wash and clean all items that may have become soiled during the tenancy."

That basically meant their opinion was that it was an unfair term and condition in a tenancy agreement and paying for professional cleaning was considered excessive.

My view is that you have a case. I'd suggest to the Agent that it's time to raise a Deposit Dispute with the Scheme protecting your Deposit. See how they react to that. They may immediately back down.

Thanks for the reply,

In the tenancy agreement, there is no mention of a professional clean, all it says is
Quote
Return possession of the Property in the same good clean state and condition as it was originally provided to the
Tenant
I believe I have, they say I didn't and the weird thing is, they aren't even willing to show an example of something I didn't clean to a "professional standard".

Yes, Will informed them of my intention to raise a Deposit Dispute, hopefully they would back down. 
Hero Member
Posts: 640

I like property

« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2021, 04:45:24 PM »

Requiring a professional clean, i.e. paying someone to do it, is probably prohibited under the Tenant Fees Act now even if the term is in the contract.

If they can't demonstrate how the condition have gotten worse less wears and tears, then they'll lose in any deposit arbitration.
Global Moderator
Hero Member
Posts: 4232

Abuse Officer

« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2021, 05:21:46 PM »

The only person who's mentioned "scheme" is me... we are, of course, assuming the Deposit was protected in the first place (via their words). The Tenant is likely about to confirm that is, indeed, the case.
Full Member
Posts: 165

I like property

« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2021, 05:23:31 PM »

First of all, I would suggest you check your inventory reports.  If the check-in report states the property was cleaned to a professional standard then you will be liable for a clean at the end of the tenancy.

If they haven't had one done then you might want to look into raising a deposit dispute.  Though if they have invoices from cleaners showing they paid for a clean and you haven't then it's possible they'll win a large portion of the money.

The 10 days rule insn't really enforceable so don't expect too much joy with that.

Thanks for the reply

I wasn't given an inventory report for the checkout or the start of the tenancy, I have asked for one but they have yet to send it, and I suspect they haven't done it. the checkout date, the agency guy wasn't taking any detailed pictures, just one snap of an entire areas and I am not sure you can tell how clean something is from those pictures.

if it turns out they do have an inventory report that says "the property was cleaned to a professional standard", and show invoices for from a cleaning company. don't they have to demonstrate the property wasn't cleaned to a "professional standard"? or could they just say, we paid someone to clean it, you must pay someone to clean it and your cleaning isn't clean enough without being specific?
the reason I don't trust their judgement and I think they are being greedy is, they first tried asked to deduct for "repair and repainting" along side of professional cleaning, and backed down from that when I insisted they state what damaged I caused.
I am an inventory clerk and a big part of my job is to judge the level of cleaning.  A landlord, agent or tenant can pay a cleaner and the property still isn't to a professional standard just the same as someone can clean themselves to a professional standard.

As the landlord doesn't have an inventory and the clean they paid for, if they did, probably wasn't a full end of tenancy clean I think you have a very strong case.

What i would advise you do now:

1) tell the landlord that you disagree with the deposit deductions and if your deposit is not returned in full then you will raise a dispute.
2) if the landlord doesn't budge ask for the full undisputed amount back and raise a deposit dispute for the amount the landlord wants to deduct.

Newbie
Posts: 7

I like property

« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2021, 05:45:24 PM »

The only person who's mentioned "scheme" is me... we are, of course, assuming the Deposit was protected in the first place (via their words). The Tenant is likely about to confirm that is, indeed, the case.

Yes Hippogriff .. the deposit was protected. it says on the certificate it was protected beginning 30/07/20  ending on 29/07/21 or after, since they didn't respond within 10 days of the check-out. does that means it is no longer protected?
Hero Member
Posts: 640

I like property

« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2021, 05:49:32 PM »

You have a time limit after the protection ends to raise a dispute. Contact the scheme and start the process.
Newbie
Posts: 7

I like property

« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2021, 05:50:29 PM »

Requiring a professional clean, i.e. paying someone to do it, is probably prohibited under the Tenant Fees Act now even if the term is in the contract.

If they can't demonstrate how the condition have gotten worse less wears and tears, then they'll lose in any deposit arbitration.

Thanks, read through the Act, I am glad it is clearly laid out that they need to provide evidence to their claims.
Newbie
Posts: 7

I like property

« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2021, 05:51:41 PM »

You have a time limit after the protection ends to raise a dispute. Contact the scheme and start the process.

I will be contacting them first thing Tuesday.
Newbie
Posts: 7

I like property

« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2021, 05:55:37 PM »


1) tell the landlord that you disagree with the deposit deductions and if your deposit is not returned in full then you will raise a dispute.
2) if the landlord doesn't budge ask for the full undisputed amount back and raise a deposit dispute for the amount the landlord wants to deduct.

I will give them a call on Tuesday, if they don't budge, which I hope they would, would started the dispute and ask them to pay back the undisputed among

Many thanks for the advice.
Global Moderator
Hero Member
Posts: 4232

Abuse Officer

« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2021, 11:24:20 AM »

I love it when a plan comes together.
Pages: [1]
Print