Sign up for my Weekly Tips on a Tuesday (and get a free guide)>> Click here

Does the landlord have to wait for the former tenant to agree before cleaning flat?

tulips windowHere is a problem submitted to the Blog Clinic by Vanessa (not her real name) who is a landlord:

I have a new tenant waiting via a new agent. My old tenant left a few days ago, but has damaged the property and left it filthy. I cannot afford to have a delay – and may lose my new tenant. My old agent is insisting that any work or cleaning has to be agreed by the tenant, before it goes ahead. But he is now abroad and unlikely to be bothered to get back to us anytime soon.

Surely I can arrange to get the cleaning done myself? I have taken photos as evidence.The deposit will then be withheld in due course…?

It would be interesting to know whether the old agents would have a different attitude if they were the ones supplying the new tenant!

So long as you have clear evidence to show the damage done by your former tenant, I don’t see any reason why you should not get the cleaning done and the new tenant in.

If you are looking to claim against the deposit you will need to prove the condition of the property at the time of the old tenants departure AND prove that this was worse than when they went in.  I hope your old agent has a valid inventory form signed by the old tenant.

If not, then this may be another reason why they are so anxious that any work is agreed …



Buffer

Important note. If you are reading an old post, remember that the law may have changed since it was written.




Landlord LawAre you a letting agent or property manager?


Its a risky business if you don’t properly understand the legal issues


Landlord Law>> Click here for some special & free services to help you


 From Landlord Law and Easy Law Training





If you have a landlord and tenant related question please do not ask it here but use our
>> Blog Clinic.

Comments close after three months. Please >> click here to read our comments policy

Page 1 of 11

3 Responses to Does the landlord have to wait for the former tenant to agree before cleaning flat?

  1. QUOTE: If not, then this may be another reason why they are so anxious that any work is agreed … ENDQUOTE

    It would indeed be interesting to see if they have a thorough inventory signed. Yesterday, (Yes it was a Sunday), we checked in a Polish tenant to a flat for one of our landlords. The inventory was 58 pages long with every single blemish recorded along with photographs. The new tenant (and his brother in law acting as interpreter) were very impressed. Their last agent left them with a 4 page inventory saying the previous flat was in “good decorative order” and refused to note some damage on the walls.

    If I were you I would take some photographs of the un-cleanliness and deduct the costs of cleaning from the deposit. The damage will always be argued and without a thorough inventory you may lose that argument, but is worth a go. But if the tenant was in there for 6 months (the minimum period for an ast)then it will be very hard for them, or the old agent, to say that the tenant was not responsible for the cleanliness, especially as it should be written into the ast.

    Did you get a notification of where the deposit was held? If it is held in the DPS for example there is an Alternative Dispute Resolution Service (PDF Download)which may be of interest

    Hope you get it sorted

  2. DON’T be held to ransom by the old agent.

    Get cleaning, hold the deposit, get new tenant in, take cleaning money from deposit with photos as evidence.

    They shouldn’t have left the place in a mess!

  3. Agree with Jason above – the previous tenants should have cleaned the place up out of plain courtesy.

    No point holding everything up because of an errant tenant!

    -Liz




»

«

About the post author:

Tessa Shepperson

Tessa is a lawyer specialising in residential landlord and tenant law. She runs the Landlord Law website (now in its 12th year) and is a director of Easy Law Training Ltd and Your Law Store. Tessa also sits on the Property Redress Scheme Council. When not working she enjoys reading, cooking and messing around on the computer. You can also find her on Google



The Landlord Law Blog from Tessa Shepperson

Tessa is an English lawyer specialising in residential landlord and tenant law.


Legal Services

Legal services are provided via Tessa's online service Landlord Law. Some advice services are provided by Tessa, other legal services are provided by specialist housing firm Anthony Gold.


Disclaimer

The purpose of this blog is to provide information, comment and discussion. Although Tessa, or guest bloggers, may from time to time, give helpful comments to readers' questions, these can only be based on the information given by the reader in his or her comment, which may not contain all material facts. Any comments or suggestions provided by Tessa or any guest bloggers should not therefore be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice from a qualified lawyer regarding any actual legal issue or dispute.


Nothing on this website should be construed as legal advice or perceived as creating a solicitor-client relationship (apart from the Fast Track block clinic service - so far as the questioners only are concerned).


Guest bloggers

Please note that any opinion expressed by a guest blogger is his or hers alone, and does not necessarily reflect the views of Tessa Shepperson, or the other writers on this blog.


Other websites from Tessa

Lodger Landlord | Google+ | Your Law Store | Google | Landlord Law facebook page | How to Evict Your Tenant website | the Which Tenancy Agreement Guide | Landlords Tips | Tenants Tips | Working on the Web | Landlord Law Store