Cleaning disputes between landlords and tenants in UK increasing

Taylor Scott International News

Landlords and letting agents in the UK are increasingly faced with dirty properties at the check-out stage and this has led to cleaning now accounting for 53% of deposit disputes. Over the last three years cleaning disputes have leapt by 13% whilst damage has dropped by from 60% to 46% in the same period, according to research by inventory software firm Imfuna Let. According to Jax Kneppers, the firm’s chief executive officer many tenants fail to leave their property in the same condition at check-out and are often very surprised when they are told that professional cleaning is required. As a result deductions made by landlords in relation to cleaning charges are regularly disputed by tenants. Many tenants claim that the cleanliness of the property at the start of the tenancy was not clear, or that the tenancy agreement did not make clear what was expected of them ‘If agents and landlords wish to make deductions for cleaning costs, they need to be careful to record the cleanliness of the property in sufficient detail, at the start and end of the tenancy. They will also need to ensure any charges they claim are a fair reflection of the property’s condition at the start of the tenancy,’ added Kneppers. One agent, Simon Smith, managing director of KS Property Rentals, said he has seen a decrease in cleaning disputes since using the firm. ‘I believe this is down to the very detailed inventory we carry out using the Imfuna Let software. We are able to record the cleanliness of the property with commentary and photographs and the digital inventory is shared with tenants at the start of the tenancy,’ he explained. ‘Cleanliness and rubbish removal are responsible for at least 90% of our deposit claims, less and less of those claims are reaching ADR due to the fact that once a tenant moves out, we email them a copy of their check-in and check-out reports, showing the clear evidence gathered with the Imfuna App, which speaks for itself,’ he pointed out. ‘As a result of seeing a thorough analysis of the property’s condition, more and more tenants are aware of the state of their fridges, ovens and the property in general, during the tenancy. Tenants are aware of cleaning issues and generally make more of an effort to keep the property clean during their tenancy,’ he added. Taylor Scott International

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