To rub further salt into the wounds inflicted on the Private Rented Sector and confirmed by the Chancellor last week, it is now estimated that as much as £5million a year is wasted through failure to clean rental properties to a professional standard at the end of tenancies. This cost is in addition to the extra costs imposed on rental property from the stamp duty surcharge and the extra running costs from the loss of mortgage interest relief.
However, a high proportion of the £5 million cleaning bill could be saved by cleaning to professional standards in the first place and it does not involve the cost of calling in professional cleaners either.
Poor cleaning leads to some 60% of the 36,000 deposit disputes referred for adjudication each year with the number of cleaning disputes rising by 25% in just one year, between 2014 and 2015. And the cleaning disputes are about an average £220 per property.
However, many, if not most, of these time consuming, money wasting cleaning disputes could be avoided with a little help from the experts.
Clean Up, the video, was launched in January to industry acclaim. Professional organisations and industry commentators alike have recommended Clean Up, one reviewer going so far as to admit the cleaning standards explained and illustrated were way above “what we deemed to be perfectly acceptable in our own home.”
More importantly, letting agents have been buying Clean Up to show to their landlords and tenants. Over 500 licenses have been taken up by agents.
The video was conceived and directed by Joanna White, managing director of Property Principles Ltd and an acknowledged industry expert on inventory and condition reporting and adjudicating deposit disputes.
“Large sums of money can be deducted perfectly correctly from a deposit if a rental property has not been cleaned to the standards expected. We aim to show not only how easy it is for tenants to get it right but how easy it is to get it wrong and so leave a costly mistake behind.”
Joanna White also points out that it is in the interest of landlords to encourage their tenants to learn the need and the skills for proper cleaning to avoid extending costly void periods while cleaners are called in between tenancies to do the job all over again.
The Clean Up video guide and booklet is available on http://www.propertyprinciplesltd.com (To rent for £1.50 or £5.99 to buy).