According to the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) – most deposit disputes when renting out a property arrise from property cleanliness issues at the end of the tenancy.
These problems can be overcome. We would always recommend that you enlist the services of a professional cleaning firm to give the property a deep professional clean before you start to market the property for let.
First impressions count, if a tenant walks into the property and it is clean and smells fresh, this will already be a positive start to the viewing.
Once you have had the property professionally cleaned and you have kept hold of the receipts, you must ensure that you and the tenant agree (and it is a clause in the tenancy agreement) that the property is to be cleaned to a professional standard at the end of the agreement.
Tip - Just because you have had the property professionally cleaned before renting out a property, this does not automatically mean that the tenant must do the same at the end of the agreement. The tenant could be a very good cleaner and do a good job of it. What you are looking for at checkout is whether the property is in the exact same condition as at the start of the agreement (excluding fair wear and tear). If the property is not, you may then enlist the services of a professional cleaning company and deduct their costs from the Tenant’s deposit.
We would advise that you carry out a pre-check out visit about a week before the tenancy comes to an end to advise the tenant on what you are going to expect at the check-out and this may be a good opportunity to highlight any issues. This should give the tenant sufficient time to make good on those areas of concern.
Before you beging renting out a property, you will need to be in possession of an Energy Performance Certificate, also known as an EPC.