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Do Landlords Have to Clean Between Tenants in the UK

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January 25, 2023

New tenants have a right to receive clean and hygienic property. And then, they should make sure the property is kept in good condition for the remainder of their tenancy. This post will go over the cleaning responsibilities that arise at the end of one’s tenure.

Without a doubt, it is best to pay for a professional end of tenancy cleaning. This will guarantee that both the homeowner and the new dwellers are satisfied with the condition of the unit. Professional technicians use high-end equipment and are quite skilled in this.

However, there are questions about who should ensure the property is clean or pay for the service. It’s time to provide the answers to tenants, landlords and letting agents.

Key Takeaways on Who Should Clean the Property and Pay for Cleaning

  • A tenant must clean the flat to a reasonable standard before they move out
  • If the property is still in a bad state at the end of a tenancy, it is in the landlord’s best interest to take care of it. They have the right to deduct from the tenure deposit for the cleaning bill.
  • Move out cleaning extends beyond regular cleaning
  • Homeowners can no longer make you pay for professional end of lease cleaning. Yet, that doesn't mean you shouldn't clean and maintain the premises while you are using them.

Landlord or Tenant Responsibility: Who is Responsible for Cleaning?

Tenants have a responsibility to clean before they leave the property at the end of their tenancy. The premises should be as clean as they were when the person moved in. Clean and in good condition, that is.

    Since cleaning standards are subjective, a lot of disputes can arise between tenants and landlords. Perhaps it is a good idea to collect proof of the initial condition of the property at the start of the tenure. This means taking photographs of the entire flat at the start of the tenancy. (Typically, the flat is clean on your first visit or when you are moving into a new property. And if it isn't, then it is up to you to demand whether landlords have to clean it or just receive it as is.)

    Now, even though it is tenants who should do all the cleaning before they vacate, if they fail to complete the task, then landlords must take care of it. For this, they can deduct a portion of the initial deposit.

    You may be interested in reading about how long does end of tenancy clean take and how to prepare for it.

    Should a landlord clean a property between tenants?

    There is always this question of whether landlords should do the cleaning. Here is the thing: it is a landlord’s responsibility to provide a safe and clean property before every tenancy. If there are issues that need to be fixed, they ought to be tackled before handing over the keys to the new tenant. The landlord may also require the previous tenant to do any cleaning.

    How clean should a rental property be when leaving?

    Tenants should make sure it is clean. At the very least, the building should be as clean as it was when you moved in. The tenancy agreement will require tenants to maintain the rooms in a sanitary condition.

    There are certain things to be aware of regarding a cleaning job. For example, if the carpets weren't professionally cleaned when you moved in, your landlord would not be able to make claims about steam cleaning. This means you are free to only hoover them and leave them be.

    Cleaning Checklist at the End of the Tenancy

    It is important to clean every surface before a new tenant moves in:

    • Removing cobwebs
    • Cleaning oven
    • Dusting off lampshades and fittings
    • Mopping laminate and hard floors
    • Vacuuming carpet
    • Wiping down picture frames, mirrors, and wall décor
    • Polishing switches
    • Cleaning behind the toilet if reachable
    • Scrubbing soap dispensers
    • Cleaning sinks and taps
    • Scrubbing toilet bowl
    • Cleaning all reachable tiles
    • Cleaning inside cupboards
    • Cleaning inside the freezer and fridge
    • Wiping down radiators
    • Wiping and polishing wooden furniture
    • Vacuuming and steam cleaning upholstered furniture (where applicable)
    • Removing any existing stains
    • Cleaning hob, extractor fans
    • Wiping down windows on the inside

    It is vital to clean the property thoroughly, removing any dirt or stains previous tenants have left.

    In no way is the above list extensive, which means it doesn’t exhaust all the items and surfaces that tenants need to clean before moving out.

    A professional service will cover the cleaning of ledges, extractor fans, awkward corners, you name it. If you do it yourself, we've written a tenancy cleaning checklist for moving out which you can follow. We'vew also written a post with our professional tips and advice for end of lease cleaning if you do it yourself.

    Can I be charged for end of tenancy cleaning services? Who should pay for a professional clean: tenant, landlord or letting agent?

    female cleaner cleaning sink and bathroom as part of a move out cleaning service

    Tenants can no longer be required to book a professional cleaning service as they vacate a property. However, if the landlord is not satisfied with the cleaning, he or she can deduct a certain amount of money from the initial deposit to cover cleaning charges.

    Sometimes, even if the cleaning was done well, landlords will still pay for a move-out or deep cleaning just to make sure their property is in tip-top shape for new tenants.

    Do landlords have to paint between tenants UK?

    It is strongly recommended that a property is given a fresh coat of paint between tenants but there is no legal requirement for it. Ideally, the place will be redecorated every 5 years to keep its value up.

    What the law says about landlords is that they must repair any clogged drains, roof leaks, gutter issues, or other exterior damage. Peeled paint is on that list. In addition, they should take care of the interior as well.

    While on the topic of painting, you may be interested to learn how to get paint out of your carpet.

    Should you hire a cleaning company to get your rental property in tip-top shape?

    While you are not obliged to hire a professional cleaning company to restore the previous shine to a property, doing so has a slew of benefits. Professional cleaners will carry out a fantastic job which can prolong the lifespan of the furnishings. They choose products carefully and will never use a cleaning solution on items that cannot withstand exposure to harsh chemicals.

    Cleaning services follow a strict protocol which means they aren’t likely to miss any spots. Plus, they can shorten the time between tenants. What is more, getting someone else to clean the property frees up lots of time during the transition between tenants. You can use it on more important tasks throughout the day. It also saves money in the long term.

    Please note that landlords cannot deduct from your deposit if you haven't had the property professionally cleaned. But they can deduct money if they have to address issues that tenants have left the property with.

    What is considered fair wear and tear?

    This is damage to an item that occurs due to normal use or age. It’s unavoidable, so to say. An example of this would be loose door handles, a few small stains on a carpet, colour fading due to exposure to sunlight, etc.

    If the deterioration did not happen under natural forces or by reasonable use of the premises, then it does not constitute normal wear and tear.

    How much does an after tenancy cleaning cost in the UK?

    It takes between £220 and £300 to hire a professional cleaner in different parts of the UK. Areas that are more expensive to live in usually offer higher prices for the service. The cost also depends on the size of the property and the parameters of the job. For example, some people will require carpet cleaning and window cleaning as part of the service, which may incur extra charges.


    Bottom Line

    It is agreed that it's a tenant's responsibility to clean their rented property when they leave. With that said, a landlord must make sure the premises are in an adequate state before getting new dwellers. So, if there is any hygiene issue left, they should deal with it on their own. The general rule of thumb is that the property is as clean as it was upon moving in.

    For tenants - We do advise you to clean when you move out if you want to get your deposit back. Leave everything the way your landlord wants you to after your lease cleaning and hand the unit over in the best shape possible. If you don't trust the property owner, watch out during the final inventory. Many landlords use this opportunity to collect as much of your deposit as possible through overcharges and absurd accusations.

    For homeowners - Even if the tenants don't do an amazing job, it does not remove your responsibilities. The unit should still be clean if you want to rent it out. You can either do the cleaning yourself or engage a professional cleaning team before you sign a new tenancy agreement.

    End of Tenancy Cleaning, Carpet Cleaning, After Builders Cleaning, Office Cleaning.