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landlord cleaning schedule

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507 views 1 replies latest reply: 16 June 2015
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Tenant

Ok so a friend of mine moved into a house in february it was brand newly decorated with a suede sofa. when he went to rent it was explained to the letting agent that he had young children who would be staying with him at weekends. One day when I was round the letting agent used her keys to let herself in when the tenant and I were standing in the kitchen fair enough she was letting builders in but I told my friend she was bang out of order she should have knocked.

Now I know my friend can sometimes let the housework slip but he always gets back on top of it and his young children have put hand prints on the walls (just hands not paint or anything cream walls).

so my friend cleaned the house up for the inspection that was happening after 3 months and the pulled him about the hand prints fair enough but told him it would have to be professionally repainted (they claim this cost £1200 its not a huge house) also there are marks on the sofa which they said would need professionally cleaned fair enough!

but she bascially emailed him saying that he needs to bleach his toilet twice a week clean his shower screen every day, mop and dry his floors daily and clean his bathroom tiles once a week! and hoover his carpet daily!

I understand they want to keep the house in order for the landlord however where does my friend stand legally he already explained that when he leaves the house will be returned to order but they say there will be another inspection in a month and it better improve (their exact words) to be honest I was astounded by the email!

I was under the impression that when you lease a home your obligation is to return it to an aceptable state when you move out that it isnt expected that it be returned in the exact condition it was rented as well someone is living there for a year! not that the letting agent can come in monthly for an inspection to check the place is spotless! and expect you to pay £1200 pounds for a profession cleaner 3 months into the contract for a few dirty marks on the wall (which he did try to clean off but the paint just lightened)

never mind the fact my friend works 16 hour days 5 days a week and has his kids amonst this he shouldnt be having to worry about housework inbetween surly!

I was in his house after the inspection and it was tidy certainly put my own house to shame!!

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Administrator

Hi Jody

First of all, the letting agent must always give 24hours notice and get the tenant’s consent to enter the property. It doesn’t matter who she is letting in or what she’s doing – if she doesn’t do that then she’s breaking the law on the landlord’s behalf. The only exception is a genuine emergency, such as a burst pipe or a fire. Tenants can always refuse entry (that’s the point of exclusive possession which is what you pay for as a tenant) as long as a reasonable alternative date is provided.

I would tell your friend not to pay anything. Look at what the tenancy obliges you to do – that’s normally (as you say) to return the property to the landlord in a similar state in which it was rented in the first place. If there are disputes over damage then this should be handled AFTER a check out inventory has taken place. The landlord should inform the tenant of deductions for what he/she believes is damage not wear and tear (landlords cannot charge for wear and tear). If there is a dispute over the deductions then this should be referred to the deposit protection scheme holding the deposit – it’s for them to decide what is a fair amount to charge and not for the landlord. The landlord is not entitled to any of the deposit until the deposit protection scheme agrees.

I think what these agents might be trying to do is avoid the opportunity for your friend to dispute the amount they are trying to charge as the tenancy hasn’t come to an end yet.

I’m not a lawyer but I would imagine that telling the agents that the property will be returned in the state it was rented – as per the tenancy agreement (which is what defines the tenant’s legal obligations) – should be enough. Management inspections are normally for the benefit of letting the landlord know what state the property is in, not setting cleaning targets for the tenants.

You should remind them that legally they are not allowed to enter the building without giving 24 hours notice and obtaining the tenant’s consent and that if this happens again they are breaking the law – repeatedly doing this could amount to harasment and invasion of privacy. Too many management inspections could also amount to harassment.

I’d just ignore the comments about the cleaning or just say ‘thanks for the advice’ – that’s a stupid email to send and the threatening tone is very unprofessional. 

Alex

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