rental cleaning

Update- Commonly Asked End of Tenancy Cleaning Questions

Over the past few months, we have been discussing some of the most common questions a tenant may have regarding an end of tenancy cleaning. Below it’s our latest edition with questions and answers not previously discussed. We hope that you will find the below information useful and as always and comments and recommendations are welcome. Please note that the answers to these questions are based on our experience and we can’t take responsibility of the information provided.

The information on this article is for general guidance to an already complicated topic such as an end of tenancy cleaning. It’s especially useful for those who are undertaking an end of tenancy cleaning service for first time. Trust us when we say it’s useful to be prepared for your end of tenancy cleaning as many parties are involved in this.

Who pays for carpet cleaning the tenant or the landlord?

Let’s start with clarifying what is meant by carpet cleaning. Firstly, we talk about professional carpet cleaning which is normally conducted using carpet steam cleaning equipment. It’s not just simple vacuuming of the carpets. This type of cleaning is more thorough and would require a specialist equipment normally. Please also be aware that this is a separate service to the end of tenancy cleaning, hence it’s not automatically included when you book an end of tenancy cleaning and its quoted separately.

Generally, the carpet cleaning is quoted on per room basis or carpeted areas within a property. There’s also a minimum call out charge for carpet cleaning and the cleaning companies will have their own minimum charge, hence don’t be surprised to pay £50 for one room of carpet cleaning only. This is because as we have mentioned, carpet cleaning is a separate service, and the cleaning team would have to bring specific equipment which wouldn’t otherwise bring if only an end of tenancy cleaning is booked. Most of the cleaning companies that specialise in carpet steam cleaning use equipment and detergents from Prochem.

We have explained what a carpet cleaning service is and now we’ll discuss why it’s needed. The carpet cleaning service is needed because it’s one of the most powerful methods of cleaning carpets. The carpeted areas in rented properties are generally neglected and can become soiled and stained quite easy, hence the landlords insist on deep cleaning of the carpets. Unfortunately for the tenants, generally arranging professional carpet cleaning service is to be done by them. This is because the tenants are obligated to pay for any cleaning services conducted at the end of the tenancy and that includes carpet cleaning.

We have already explained the importance of deep carpet cleaning, why it’s needed, and we would like to inform you to not be surprised by the cost of professional carpet cleaning. Some tenants who are performing this kind of services for first time might be surprised to find out that these services are not particularly cheap. However, hiring and sourcing cleaning company yourself will definitely save you some £££ comparing to agreeing to use recommended cleaning companies from your landlords or estate agents. As a conclusion we would like to give you an idea of average cost for carpet cleaning. As we mentioned there will be minimum charges for carpet cleaning which is normally £50 or more depending on the cleaning company and your postcode. See average prices below:

Single bedroom £20 – £30
Double bedroom £25 – £35
Lounge £25 – £40
Hallway £15 -25
Stairs (per flight) £15 – £20
Landing £5 – £10
Rug £15 – £30

The prices above are for guidance only based on our experience in this field. As an advice, you should ask the cleaning company what type of cleaning equipment will be used, drying times, spot treatments, stain removal service etc. There are many companies that specialise in providing professional carpet cleaning, hence the price will be higher, however the quality will be there too. If your carpets are in bad shape, you will need a reputable cleaning company to clean them professionally using the latest carpet cleaning equipment.

Can a landlord withhold your deposit for cleaning?

This is something that we see quite often. The landlord hires an independent inventory clerk who will perform an inspection and if the report says that the cleaning was not sufficient then the landlord will attempt to deduct any further cleaning cost from your deposit. But don’t despair. Prior to performing the end of tenancy cleaning you need to ask the cleaning company about their return policy. This is generally known as a cleaning guarantee.

Most reputable cleaning companies will offer an end of tenancy cleaning guarantee and each company will offer their own guarantee which can range from 2 to 7 days. It’s vital to ask your landlord or estate agents whether the cleaning company will be allowed back for a re-clean should any problems occur, and if the cleaning service did not pass inspection. Please also note that generally in a tenancy agreement the landlord would have the right to take a sum from your deposit to cover the cost for any touch up cleaning. But you should also be allowed to send the cleaning company back for a re-clean that would satisfy the cleaning requirements set by your landlord or estate agents. It’s good idea to find out more about your rights when renting from private landlord.

What is the average cost landlord can charge me for cleaning?

This will depend significantly on the type of your property and the services required for an end of tenancy cleaning. Obviously, if your rented property is carpeted then a professional carpet cleaning service will be needed, and this will increase the cost for cleaning service. Further, the landlord may insist on professional upholstery cleaning as well which covers steam cleaning for the sofa, armchair, table chairs, curtains, blinds etc. Some landlords will insist on cleaning the windows externally and if it’s not possible to be performed by the cleaning company which will be performing the end of tenancy cleaning you may have to call a window cleaning company that have a long-pole water system to reach external windows.

We have discussed some of the additional services that may be needed for an end of tenancy cleaning which will undoubtedly increase the overall cost for the services but the cost for an end of tenancy cleaning will depend on many other factors as well. These factors are normally associated with the property type and locations. Obviously, if your rented property is in the city area where a congestion and ULEZ charge are payable this will increase the overall cost. Some cleaning companies would not cover the whole of London within the M25 borders and would only provide services to London postcodes, hence if you are living in Surrey or Epsom you may not have as much choice for cleaning companies as if you are living in a London postcode. This will inevitably increase the cost for the end of tenancy cleaning. And finally, comes the property type. Is it a one bedroom flat, two bedroom flat/house etc.? On how many levels is the property, bathrooms, toilets, conservatory, guest toilets, office rooms, box rooms etc.?

As you can see there are many factors that would affect the overall cleaning cost for your rented property. Further, the condition of the property will also have an impact on the price. Neglected properties would require more time to clean, hence the price will increase. As a conclusion, we would advise you to compare prices between several different cleaning companies. Write down a list of tasks and questions you would like to ask the cleaning company and be honest about the information you provide to avoid any hidden charges. Below we have provided guidance on average cost for an end of tenancy cleaning. If you need to add carpet cleaning service to the end of tenancy cleaning in one of our previous questions, we have provided an average cost for carpet cleaning.

Property Type  
One bedroom flat/house £115 – £145
Two bedroom flat/house £125 – £155
Three bedroom flat/house £175 – £210
Four bedroom flat/house £200 – £250

The above prices are for guidance only. As we have explained the cost for an end of tenancy cleaning will depend on many factors and whether any additional services are required.

Is the landlord obligated to professionally clean the property before I move in?

Just as your landlord requires from you to clean the property professionally at the end of your tenancy, he/she is also obligated to present the property to you in perfect condition. We would advise you to ask the landlord to provide you with a proof that the property has been professionally cleaned prior to you moving in. You should ask to see a receipt provided by a professional cleaning company and you should also ring the cleaning company to verify that the property was cleaned by them.

If you think that the property was not cleaned professionally, and the landlord or estate agent hasn’t arranged professional end of tenancy cleaning you should ask them to do it as soon as possible even if you have moved in already. Please note that some cleaning companies will perform an end of tenancy cleaning even if you have moved in. If they refuse to provide you with a cleaning service, you should negotiate as well that at the end of your tenancy you will not be obligated to clean the property professionally.

Furnished or Unfurnished property? Does it make a difference when obtaining cleaning quotes?

This will depend on the cleaning company. Some cleaning companies will increase the quote if your property is furnished which makes sense since furnished properties would generally require more time to clean. But that is not always the case. Most cleaning companies will have fixed fees regardless of whether the property is furnished or unfurnished. When looking for a cleaning quote, ensure that you notify the cleaning company about your property whether is furnished or unfurnished as this may make a difference in the price for the service. 

Mouldy grout? Is it normal wear and tear?

Based on our experience we would say that mouldy grout is general wear and tear. The tenant shouldn’t be responsible for removing mould in the bathroom. Generally, an end of tenancy cleaning will include cleaning the bathroom and treating the mould, however no guarantee can be given for 100% mould removal. Most of the cleaning companies will use harsh chemicals and will do their best to remove mould but it won’t always be possible. Please don’t get cross at the cleaning company if your grout still has mould marks after cleaning. Most landlords and estate agents will be aware that this is generally considered as wear and tear and if you have problems with your landlord regarding this, you should insist on the grout being replaced at the landlord expense. If your landlord insists that you will need to replace the grout as it’s mentioned in your tenancy agreement, you may need to find some handyman services London to do it for you.

Do tenants have to clean outside windows?

This is another very common question we receive from tenants. Generally, balcony windows should be cleaned externally at tenants expense, however if your windows are not easily accessible and would require specialist window cleaning service which uses long-pole water system this should be arranged by your landlord. Please be aware that you need to ask the cleaning company whether cleaning windows externally is included and if not how much additionally will cost. Not all end of tenancy cleaning companies will have the ability to clean your windows externally using specialist window cleaning equipment and will only be able to clean those windows externally that are easily reachable.

If your landlord or estate agents insist that you will need to clean windows externally and if they are not easily accessible, you should ask them if this is part of your rental agreement as it may not be. Don’t immediately assume responsibility for cleaning the windows externally. Read your tenancy agreement and read your rights.

Do landlords have to provide evidence of property not being cleaned enough?

We would say yes, however some landlords may not provide proof which is wrong and you should insist on seeing photos or report from checkout agent. In most cases the checkout process is conducted by independent clerk and report should be available for you to see. Photos could also be another method of proving insufficient cleaning being done. Please also note that your landlord may require some surfaces to be re-cleaned, however this may not always be possible as damage could occur. You should also compare the missed areas from the report presented to you by the landlord with the cleaning checklist the cleaning company has provided you with. If the report identifies that you haven’t steam cleaned the carpets and upholstery and if you haven’t booked these additional services with the cleaning company, you may have to pay extra for these to be done.

Most cleaning companies would offer a guarantee for their end of tenancy cleaning services and you should inform the cleaning company as soon as you receive a report or complaint from your landlord so that a re-clean can be arranged. In some rare cases the landlord or estate agent may not allow the cleaning company to return to perform the re-clean, hence we would advise you to check with your landlord that you will be able to arrange a re-clean service with the cleaning company should any problems arise.

Do tenants pay for professional carpet cleaning or just vacuuming would suffice?

Generally, it’s an end of tenancy cleaning requirement to clean your carpets professionally. However, if you live in a one bedroom flat and only the bedroom is carpeted you need to ask your landlord whether steam cleaning for the bedroom will be required. You need to do this because even though it’s a one room that you need to be steam cleaned, the cleaning companies have minimum call out charges for carpet cleaning which is typically £50, hence to steam clean the bedroom will cost you £50. You may also need to explain this to your landlord that the carpet cleaning service normally comes with a minimum call out charge.

Before adding a carpet cleaning service to your end of tenancy cleaning you need to be familiar with your tenancy agreement requirements. In some instances you may not have to arrange professional carpet cleaning service. But this is rarely the case. If you skip cleaning the carpets you may be asked to do it later on by your estate agents. From our experience we can tell you that in most cases simple vacuuming of the carpets will not be enough.

Can landlord provide you with cleaning checklist?

Some landlords may have specific cleaning checklist to ensure that the property is cleaned according to their specifications. Don’t worry. Generally, the cleaning checklist provided by your landlord is less comprehensive from that of a professional cleaning company, hence all or most points will be covered. In instances where the landlord provides you with a cleaning checklist compare it with the one provided by the cleaning company. If something is missing, ask the cleaning company whether they can do it and if it will cost extra.

Please also note that the cleaning checklist provided by a cleaning company is normally comprehensive enough. If your landlord’s checklist includes items such as cleaning walls, removing mould from grout and external window cleaning, you need to question this as not everything can be cleaned. For example, not many cleaning companies will clean walls as when treated the paint can be damaged. Further, the mould from grout in the bathroom is generally considered as wear and tear and your landlord shouldn’t be insisting on cleaning that. There are many other small points that may be problematic to clean or shouldn’t be your responsibility. You need to check your landlord’s cleaning checklist to your tenancy agreement as well, to ensure that you weren’t asked to do something that you were not supposed to do.

Are carpet stains normal wear and tear?

This is a tough one. In most instances, carpet stains are tenant’s responsibility, hence you as a tenant need to hire professional carpet cleaning service. Please note that not all stains can be removed 100% as this will depend on many factors. If your rented property is carpeted, you need to inform the landlord of any stains prior to move in and take photos as well as you might be blamed for the condition of the carpet at the end of your tenancy. Ensure that your landlord is aware of any carpeted stains from previous tenants. Your landlord shouldn’t be expecting from you to restore the carpets former glory if the carpets were badly soiled and stained. On the other hand, if the carpets were in good condition when you moved in you will be expected to present the property in the same condition. 

How long do I have to wait for my deposit?

This will be mentioned in your tenancy agreement but on average it takes up to 10 working days for you to get your deposit back. Please note that some estate agents may provide you with a checkout report up to 2 weeks after the cleaning has been done and any associated deductions will be made then. Deposit deductions are quite common not only for cleaning but for other services as well such as: gardening, handyman, electrician, plumbing etc.

We hope that this updated version on some of the most commonly asked end of tenancy cleaning questions has provided further knowledge regarding this topic. This is our 5th article on an end of tenancy cleaning service and we tried to cover most points that you may find useful. End of tenancy cleaning service is not a simple domestic one off cleaning. It will benefit you if you are familiar with this service so that you can avoid being charged by your estate agents or landlord for insufficient cleaning. If you would like to know more about prices or order an end of tenancy cleaning please click here