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Is this an acceptable quote for end of tenancy cleaning for a 1 bed in Southeast (Windsor area)?

I am moving out of a one bed flat after 9 years. My landlord has requested repeatedly that I send him receipts of professional cleaning or he will deduct from my deposit. It's not in the contract that I must use professional cleaning but he is being difficult and he has made it obvious he will try every trick to claw back what he can from my deposit. Clearly he is not happy to be losing a reliable rent payer. Ha! So he is stubborn and has nothing better to do, I am tired and stressed and don't have great energy to fight back and forth and just want to start a new chapter in my life. I am willing for an amount that's not too obscene to be taken from my deposit and move on with my life. But I don't want this guy to take too much advantage of me. Based on some quick reading his quote is on the high end but is it so ridiculous I should contest?

£240 End of tenancy cleaning for 1 bedroom flat, includes oven clean and carpet shampooing
£30 Window cleaning
£30 Curtain cleaning 
£30 Balcony cleaning 
£80 Time to arrange, attend and inspect professional cleaning

£240 appears to be on the high end for a 1 bed even before the additional £90 for the extras. £330 for what should probably be a £200 job I can live with. I understand he is legally required to provide the invoice as proof and can't just deduct from my deposit, maybe he knows someone to cut a deal and get a higher than usual invoice. What about the charge for his time? Is that justified? Is it legal? I tried reading the examples in the Tenant Fees Act 2019 but I couldn't find anything addressing this.
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  • vikkiew
    vikkiew Posts: 122
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    You have no obligation to pay for cleaning. Your only obligation is to leave the property in the same condition as it was when the tenancy started (less fair wear and tear).

    If it was spotlessly clean then, you should leave it spotlessly clean - but how you achieve this is up to you. Clean it yourself, get your mum round to help, or pay a company. Your choice. Indeed, paying a  'professional company' (actually there's no such thing) does not guarantee success. They might fail to make the property 'spotless' where you or your mum might succeed, and the LL could then deduct from your deposit, receipt or noreceipt!

    On the other hand if the property was not spotless, but had dust or a dirty oven when you moved in (as evidenced by the inventory or your photos) then you can leave it in the same condition and the LL cannot deduct any costs from you.

    Now read:

    Post 3: Deposits: Payment, Protection and Return.




    I am familiar with the obligation, I know 'professional cleaning' can't be legally enforced and there is no regulated definition. Like many things in life theory and application differ and I don't have the energy to bicker with a difficult LL. The property was clean when I moved in but I've convinced myself this LL will make any excuse to deduct from my deposit even if I get it just as clean. He is spiteful now because I'm leaving and he can't find a tenant to pay the rent I was paying. So I'm asking beyond the basic rules and more specifically about the numbers and how acceptable they are to close this chapter in my life. If they are just high I'll let him have this one last money from me, if clearly outrageous I will challenge.
  • BobT36
    BobT36 Posts: 508
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    Don't just let him have the money. Enabling these sort of people will just mean they carry on doing it to the next tenant, and the next tenant. Imagine if someone else "just paid up" and that's why he's now doing it to you, too.

    If you don't have the energy to argue, leave it as clean as you found it, and let the deposit arbitration process sort it out! (Just contribute your bits), that's what it's for! To stop anyone illegitimately claiming cost, and take the whole arguing process away from you. 

    He DID save it in a proper deposit scheme...right? 
  • vikkiew said:
    You have no obligation to pay for cleaning. Your only obligation is to leave the property in the same condition as it was when the tenancy started (less fair wear and tear).

    If it was spotlessly clean then, you should leave it spotlessly clean - but how you achieve this is up to you. Clean it yourself, get your mum round to help, or pay a company. Your choice. Indeed, paying a  'professional company' (actually there's no such thing) does not guarantee success. They might fail to make the property 'spotless' where you or your mum might succeed, and the LL could then deduct from your deposit, receipt or noreceipt!

    On the other hand if the property was not spotless, but had dust or a dirty oven when you moved in (as evidenced by the inventory or your photos) then you can leave it in the same condition and the LL cannot deduct any costs from you.

    Now read:

    Post 3: Deposits: Payment, Protection and Return.




    I am familiar with the obligation, I know 'professional cleaning' can't be legally enforced and there is no regulated definition. Like many things in life theory and application differ and I don't have the energy to bicker with a difficult LL. The property was clean when I moved in but I've convinced myself this LL will make any excuse to deduct from my deposit even if I get it just as clean. He is spiteful now because I'm leaving and he can't find a tenant to pay the rent I was paying. So I'm asking beyond the basic rules and more specifically about the numbers and how acceptable they are to close this chapter in my life. If they are just high I'll let him have this one last money from me, if clearly outrageous I will challenge.

    The onus is on the landlord to prove the deductions are reasonable.  Using the deposit scheme's arbitration service is supposed to make it easier for tenants to receive their money back but if you can't be arsed you can't be arsed.

    Without knowing the condition of the property at the start of your tenancy versus the end it is difficult to say if the costs are too high.  How does the check-in inventory compare with the check-out inventory?
  • lr1277
    lr1277 Posts: 1,614
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    In terms of quoted amounts, they seem ok.
    My experience is from owning a flat in Kensington till 2017. I think I paid around £180-£200 for an end of tenancy clean. This includes cleaning inside the ovens etc. Everything has to be spotless. I think the inside of the windows got cleaned but not the outsides. I did have a balcony the length of the flat, but it was never cleaned.
    I would have had to pay extra for the curtains, outside windows etc. I also had 2 bathrooms in a 1 bed flat.
    In terms of inventory inspection, in the contract I paid for the inventory at the start of the tenancy. The tenant paid for the inventory at the end of the tenancy. That was used as a basis for any deposit deductions in negotiation with the (former) tenant.
    The end of tenancy professional clean was in the contract. The idea behind that if the current tenant moved out by midday, the next tenant could move in during the afternoon without the landlord having to do anything (unless they wished). You may not like that idea but that was part of the contract provided by the letting agent and signed by the tenant.
    So give inflation the figues you have been quoted seem reasonable. Especially the curtain cleaing. My flat had over 40 feet of curtains. IIRC I think the quote for cleaning my curtains was £200. Also is there any parking near your place? At my flat, the cleaners and their stuff had to be dropped off and then picked up again.
    So given what I paid and the inflation since 2017, those figures aren't bad at all.

    And I paid in excess of £120 for the inventory at the start of the tenancy. But this was when the flat was empty. I had to be present to let the agent in, wait whilst the inventory was done and then see them out.
    For the end of tenancy  inventory, the tenant would be present whilst the agent did their inspection. Though it is possible on one occassion, the tenant had to be somewhere so they paid for the end of tenancy inventory but then moved out. I had to be there for the inventory agent to do their inspection.
    HTH
  • Agree with propertyrental.  After 9 years as a landlord I'd expect to need complete decoration and new flooring. 

    Greedy cheeky landlord.

    Dispute any deductions through deposit scheme.

    Artful, landlord since 2000.
  • Lorian
    Lorian Posts: 5,674
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    Has the landlord protected the deposit. Very helpful to know either way in this position.
  • vikkiew
    vikkiew Posts: 122
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    BobT36 said:
    Don't just let him have the money. Enabling these sort of people will just mean they carry on doing it to the next tenant, and the next tenant. Imagine if someone else "just paid up" and that's why he's now doing it to you, too.

    If you don't have the energy to argue, leave it as clean as you found it, and let the deposit arbitration process sort it out! (Just contribute your bits), that's what it's for! To stop anyone illegitimately claiming cost, and take the whole arguing process away from you. 

    He DID save it in a proper deposit scheme...right? 
    Yes it's in a proper deposit scheme. It wasn't the first few years. He did it after I asked.

    I know with damage costs are adjusted according to life of item. For items that aren't damaged but just have normal wear where would I stand in arbitration of not having professionally cleaned the carpets? They were new when I moved in they are now 9 years old. There are no marks or rips but some fading and slight colour variations from use and furniture placement.

    What would arbitration say about LL charging for time?
  • Vectis
    Vectis Posts: 657
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    From what you've written, I don't understand where all this is coming from:

    'he will try every trick to claw back what he can'
    'So he is stubborn and has nothing better to do'
    'I don't have the energy to bicker with a difficult LL'
    'I've convinced myself this LL will make any excuse to deduct from my deposit'


    If you think his quotes for getting the flat cleaned are high, get it done yourself and show the receipts.

    It doesn't 'have' to be professionally cleaned, but by employing someone or a company which does this for a living, the LL can have no complaints or any complaint is going to carry far less weight.

    After 9 years, they'll be a considerable amount of fair wear and tear which will have to be taken into account when settling with the LL. I'm not a LL at the moment, but, when I was, I would have been pretty lenient with a tenant after 9 years, unless there was obvious and possibly expensive damage.

    But, it still seems strange that you say all these things about the LL and yet you've been there 9 years, and you also imply that you've been paying above the going rate ('he can't find a tenant to pay the rent I was paying')?


  • vikkiew
    vikkiew Posts: 122
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    edited 13 November 2023 at 2:23PM
    (Removed by Forum Team)
    The flat is more dirty now than when I had moved in 9 years ago but only slightly and in some specific areas. Some of this is more wear. For instance some of it would be covered by a new coat of paint. The flat hasn't painted and it hadn't been before I moved in so more than 9 years. Only the carpets were new. It can come close to how it was minus wear but like I said the LL is determined to find fault. I ask myself it worth doing any cleaning at all in this case. I suppose best not to give the LL easy excuses. I can do a decent job of it but probably not fully professional.

    Starting inventory overstates some things for instance 'very good' for something that was only 'good'. However most of these could be justified as wear after 9 years I feel but I'm not sure how arbitration would judge. No there weren't any photos.

    I believe my assessment of the LL is true. He has insisted I provide receipts of all this professional cleaning without knowing the current state and I haven't even cleaned and moved out. He wants me to pay regardless. Some things are really old the oven and hob must be 30 and a redecoration is likely needed to find new tenants.

    I leave it to you to judge whether I have a 'victim mentality'. You seem to think so. That's fine. I welcome all opinions.

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