What Does Clean Really Mean?

What Does Clean Really Mean?

According to the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS), the biggest reason for a deposit dispute is cleanliness, coming up in over half of all deposit disputes. What this really comes down to is understand what does clean really mean? Or rather, in terms of the property specifically, what does clean really mean? Let’s look into things a little more closely. 

what does clean mean
Image from Pixabay

The Two Issues When It Comes To What Clean Really Means 

There are two main issues when it comes to determining what clean really means for a property. The first is that a landlord had the property professionally cleaned before the tenant moved in, but when the tenant moved out they decided to clean it themselves (assuming they cleaned it at all). There is documentation to prove the original clean was done by experts, that it included the carpets, the oven, the windows, and so on, but of course, there is no corresponding documentation once the tenant moves out. This can be the cause of a dispute. 

Or, the landlord chooses not to have professional cleaners into the property, hoping that whatever the previous tenant did when they left would be enough to make the place look presentable when the new tenants moved in. When the new tenants leave, they don’t use professional cleaners because, well, why should they? The landlord didn’t. This can also lead to a dispute. 

Who Is Right? 

According to most tenancy agreements (although it’s always best to double-check your own), the tenant only has to leave the property in the same state as they found it. The landlord shouldn’t expect to receive their property back looking better than they handed it over. 

So, in the first case above when the landlord used a professional cleaning company and the results were good, they might expect the tenant to do the same. In the second case, when the results were not so good (and in some cases downright bad), that’s how the tenant has every right to leave the property. Of course, they might choose to clean it up or hire professionals, but the choice when technically be theirs. 

what does clean mean
Image from Pixabay

How Does An Inventory Help? 

Without an inventory, it’s hard to tell who’s right and who’s wrong. Yes, the landlord may well have the documentation to prove that the job was carried out professionally, but was it to a high standard? Perhaps the tenant moved in and discovered it was still pretty filthy and that areas had been missed. Or maybe the tenant moved out and cleaned up, but the landlord doesn’t think that it’s clean enough – what does clean mean, after all? It’s subjective. 

Unless there is a good inventory that details the cleanliness of the property, no one is going to know. 

In other words, an inventory from Looksy Inventories is going to help with this kind of dispute and many more. Contact us today to find out more. 


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