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How much can a landlord charge for cleaning UK when moving out

5 British pounds bills and calculator
June 4, 2022

Moving from one home to another is usually a process associated with a lot of costs. You have given a big deposit to your existing landlord, and now you have to give another big deposit to your new landlord. On top of that, you need to pay rent in advance. You will inevitably spend a lot of money.

What is critical in this situation is that you receive your entire deposit back from your current landlord. There are some things you must do in order to do so, one of which is to leave the place at the same standard of cleanliness as when you moved in.

In this post, you will learn how much your landlord may charge for cleaning and how you can protect yourself from this.

Can a landlord claim money from the deposit to cover cleaning costs UK?

When you move out of a property, it is usually your responsibility to leave the place as clean as you found it when you moved in. If you don't do this and the place needs cleaning after you check out, your landlord may deduct cleaning costs from your deposit.

In fact, the majority of deposit deductions are concerned with the cleanliness of the property. So it might be not a wise decision to just leave the place and hope for the best.

How much can a landlord charge for cleaning?

It really depends on how much cleaning needs to be done after you've moved out. If you don't clean your property at the required level, your landlord might hire a professional cleaning service and deduct the fee from your deposit.

In the UK, the cost of an end-of-tenancy cleaning service is typically determined by the size of the property and the extent of the cleaning involved. The price ranges roughly from £150 for a studio flat to £450 for a five-bedroom house.

Can a landlord charge for carpet cleaning UK?

carpet cleaning

Yes, a landlord in the UK can charge for carpet cleaning if the property is not left sufficiently clean according to the tenancy agreement's standards. Usually this will be done via deduction from your rental deposit. However, they cannot compel you to use professional cleaning services.

As we mentioned, it is a tenant's responsibility to return the property clean and in the same condition as it was given to them. So, yes, your landlord may charge you for carpet cleaning in London if the carpet is spotted, dirty or otherwise out of compliance with the cleanliness standards. The landlord may also charge you if the carpet needs to be replaced because of damage. The most they can charge is what they have actually spent on the replacement or cleaning service. To prove the costs, they must provide a receipt.

However, you should make a difference between damaged carpet and normal wear and tear. You can be charged for carpet replacement if the damage done to it is irreversible. Your landlord cannot force you to pay for normal wear and tear of the carpet.

How much can a landlord charge for carpet cleaning?

When you leave the carpet stained and dirty after the end of your tenancy, the landlord can hire professional carpet cleaners. The cost of the cleaning service will be deducted from your tenancy deposit. Of course, this will need to be supported by a receipt.

Therefore, your landlord will charge you for carpet cleaning based on the cost of the service provided by the cleaning company. Carpet cleaning prices in the UK can range from £20 to £50, depending on the size and condition of the carpet.

What can you do at the end of the tenancy to avoid a cleaning charge when you leave?

In general, you have two options: you can clean the property yourself, or you can hire a cleaning company to do the job. But while DIY seems to be the more affordable alternative, it often ends up being the complete opposite. Cleaning yourself at the end of your tenancy is not only time-consuming, but also a bit risky. This is due to the possibility that your own cleaning will fall short of the required standards, resulting in you not receiving the full amount of your deposit.

Throughout this section, we will look at both options to help you decide which is right for you.

Professional end-of-tenancy cleaning services

Professional end-of-tenancy cleaning services

It may be worth having the rented property professionally cleaned so that it meets the cleanliness standards, and you will be able to receive your entire deposit. The experts will make it appear as if you have taken good care of the property during your tenancy.

Here are some other reasons why it is better to hire professional end-of-tenancy cleaning services instead of DIY.

  • The experts have the expertise, equipment, and skills to help you clean the property to a professional standard and get back your full deposit.
  • They follow a thorough checklist based on cleaning standards to ensure that all tasks that will be reviewed by the letting agent or landlord have been completed.
  • Professional cleaners have the equipment to clean areas that you would struggle to reach on your own. They can use a steam cleaning machine to remove all dirt and dust from the sofa, carpets, mattress, and upholstery.
  • Hiring a professional company can save you a lot of time and effort. Experts can clean the property in a matter of hours, whereas you may need several days or even a week to complete the task on your own.
  • Professional cleaning services in the UK are usually affordable. Simply request quotes from a few cleaning companies. You may be surprised to learn that their services are at very reasonable costs.

DIY end-of-tenancy cleaning

If you choose to handle end-of-tenancy cleaning on your own, you should be prepared to complete a variety of tasks, including tackling some heavy stuff. Furthermore, you must ensure that you have enough time to complete everything before your moving date. Depending on the size of the property, you may need 2-3 days or more.

Here are the basic tasks you must complete in order to spruce up the rental property and meet the landlord's expectations.

  • Wiping, dusting and disinfecting all surfaces including doors, skirting boards, cupboards, all furniture, shelves, bed frames, etc.
  • Deep cleaning of the kitchen and bathroom including floors, tiles, taps, sinks, baths, toilets, shower and shower head, and so on.
  • Thorough cleaning of all kitchen appliances such as fridge, freezer, oven, microwave, and so forth.
  • Windows cleaning (inside and out) as well as cleaning the blinds and curtains.
  • Vacuuming and mopping all hard floors, including behind and beneath the furniture.
  • Deep cleaning carpet throughout the property.

Please keep in mind that, while you may be able to clean some areas of the property on your own, there may be some tasks that are difficult to complete without the necessary equipment. For example, it may be difficult to remove dirt and stains from carpets or spots from upholstery. In such cases, it may be prudent to hire a professional cleaning service to handle at least these tasks.

What reasons can a landlord keep my deposit in UK?

Tenancy agreement deposit

In the UK, a landlord can keep your deposit for reasons such as property damage, rent arrears, unauthorized redecorations, missing items, and if the property is not left clean as per the tenancy agreement. They cannot charge for fair wear and tear.

Getting your deposit back is probably one of your biggest concerns at the end of your tenancy. That is why it is crucial to know what your tenancy agreement includes and be aware of when the landlord is entitled to hold back some or all of the deposit.

As a rule of thumb, the tenants have to adhere to the terms of their tenancy agreements in order to receive their full deposit back. In case of any breaches of the tenancy agreement, damages or rent arrears, both the tenant and the landlord must agree on how much should be deducted from the deposit.

Based on the rules of contract law, your landlord is permitted to withhold your deposit if you have caused them financial loss. The deduction must be reasonable, and the landlord must provide proof of the loss. Some of the reasons why your landlord may keep your deposit include:

  • You have damaged the property in some way, for example, staining the carpet or scratching the floor, etc.
  • You have damaged or broken furniture or other items at the property (it does not include fair wear and tear).
  • You have redecorated or made significant changes to the property without the permission of your landlord.
  • You have fallen into arrears with your rent.

Your landlord cannot deduct more than the amount of your arrears or more than the cost of fixing the particular damage. The landlord is also not entitled to charge you for fair wear and tear. Additionally, the property owner is usually allowed to deduct money from your deposit to pay for the professional cleaning, but only if you have left the place less clean than when you moved in. If you think you are being charged unfairly you can always seek assistance from Citizens Advice.

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