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Lee Harvey Oswald

Cleaning Of Carpets And Curtains

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I wonder if someone might be able to give me some advice.

Checked out of a property last week. It was a very large property, and we put much effort into the cleaning. I had access to a carpet steam cleaner, and did all of the carpets myself. This took me 5 hours on the Saturday afternoon, and a further 12 on the Sunday.

We engaged two cleaners to assist with miscellaneous cleaning, including bathrooms, kitchens, and steam cleaning of curtains. They did actually advise that some of the curtains were spotless, and thus wouldn’t need doing. The cleaners were found via a forum (mumsnet actually), and were paid cash-in-hand.

The checkout was fine, and the only things noted were:

- a mark on one of the bedroom carpets. I had not noticed this after cleaning the carpet, and so wonder whether it was the light on the day of the checkout that showed this up. I acknowledge though that there was something there, although this could have been as much wear as anything

- Furniture indentations not fully lifted out in the study, and a possible very feint mark. I would question whether this was actually wear on the carpet in this particular place, as it was where feet would have been resting while using the desk/pc.

The agent has now mailed me stating:

“I have now been in contact with your landlords and they do require the carpets and curtains professionally cleaned as per your tenancy agreement…Please can you arrange for us to have the receipt for the curtain cleaning you have already had done. However, with regards to the carpet cleaning, I will get this arranged and advise you of costing as soon as possible.”

The tenancy agreement itself states that we are to:

“Pay for the washing (including ironing or pressing of curtains which shall have been soiled during the tenancy the reasonable use thereof nevertheless to be allowed for) together with the steam cleaning of all carpets”

Hence there is no mention of the word “professionally”.

The carpets are around 3 years old now; they were in very good condition when we moved in (just over a year-and-a-half ago, although some rooms then did have furniture indentations then.

Would appreciate thoughts as to where we stand.

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I wonder if someone might be able to give me some advice.

Checked out of a property last week. It was a very large property, and we put much effort into the cleaning. I had access to a carpet steam cleaner, and did all of the carpets myself. This took me 5 hours on the Saturday afternoon, and a further 12 on the Sunday.

We engaged two cleaners to assist with miscellaneous cleaning, including bathrooms, kitchens, and steam cleaning of curtains. They did actually advise that some of the curtains were spotless, and thus wouldn’t need doing. The cleaners were found via a forum (mumsnet actually), and were paid cash-in-hand.

The checkout was fine, and the only things noted were:

- a mark on one of the bedroom carpets. I had not noticed this after cleaning the carpet, and so wonder whether it was the light on the day of the checkout that showed this up. I acknowledge though that there was something there, although this could have been as much wear as anything

- Furniture indentations not fully lifted out in the study, and a possible very feint mark. I would question whether this was actually wear on the carpet in this particular place, as it was where feet would have been resting while using the desk/pc.

The agent has now mailed me stating:

“I have now been in contact with your landlords and they do require the carpets and curtains professionally cleaned as per your tenancy agreement…Please can you arrange for us to have the receipt for the curtain cleaning you have already had done. However, with regards to the carpet cleaning, I will get this arranged and advise you of costing as soon as possible.”

The tenancy agreement itself states that we are to:

“Pay for the washing (including ironing or pressing of curtains which shall have been soiled during the tenancy the reasonable use thereof nevertheless to be allowed for) together with the steam cleaning of all carpets”

Hence there is no mention of the word “professionally”.

The carpets are around 3 years old now; they were in very good condition when we moved in (just over a year-and-a-half ago, although some rooms then did have furniture indentations then.

Would appreciate thoughts as to where we stand.

OFT have ruled that clauses such as this are unfair and hence void.

IMHO a small amount of ingrained dirt on a carpet after 3 years is fair wear and tear and the TDS will not allow the full cleaning of slightly soiled carpets as a valid deduction, but I have no example cases to back this up

tim

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The checkout was fine, and the only things noted were:

- a mark on one of the bedroom carpets. I had not noticed this after cleaning the carpet, and so wonder whether it was the light on the day of the checkout that showed this up. I acknowledge though that there was something there, although this could have been as much wear as anything

- Furniture indentations not fully lifted out in the study, and a possible very feint mark. I would question whether this was actually wear on the carpet in this particular place, as it was where feet would have been resting while using the desk/pc.

The agent has now mailed me stating:

“I have now been in contact with your landlords and they do require the carpets and curtains professionally cleaned as per your tenancy agreement…Please can you arrange for us to have the receipt for the curtain cleaning you have already had done. However, with regards to the carpet cleaning, I will get this arranged and advise you of costing as soon as possible.”

Tell the LA and LL to go to hell (email is sufficent, if that is how your communication with them has been conducted so far), then get started on your TDS claim.

The three items that you mention from the checkout report will be regarded by the TDS adjudictor (or Small Claims judge, if you prefer to fight it in the court system) as fair wear-and-tear.

If the state of the curtains was not mentioned in the checkout report, then they have no basis on which to make the claim. I suspect it's just agency idiocy and they are not even really sure why they are asking for a receipt.

As for the carpet cleaning, you need to inform them that you have no intention of paying anything toward further carpet cleaning, and that you intend to start a TDS claim to recover all of your deposit. The LA or LL is obliged to inform you of their proposed deduction within ten working days of the checkout. You then need to reject the deduction (and give them a short while to respond) before starting your claim. The TDS adjudication process is very easy.

One very important point: Was there any mention in the check-in report of the state of the carpets at the beginning of the tenancy, in a 'Schedule of Condition' or photographs? If not, this will be a very easy win for you. You won't even have to prove it's fair wear-and-tear, because the LA/LL have no way of proving the marks were not aleady there.

Edited by MacGuffin

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Many thanks for the responses MacGuffin and Tim, have responded to agent as below, and will let you know how we get on.

As regards what the inventory previously said about carpets, I will have to check on that. I don't believe that it said anything, as I know that I commented upon their assumed conditions of some of the curtains, which they stated "as new".

Thanks agin for the help & advice.

Best.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear _______,

Many thanks for your email. Unfortunately though there still appear to be fundamental misunderstandings as to the content of the contract for the above property. You refer to "carpets and curtains professionally cleaned as per your tenancy agreement", yet no such provision exists. The contract provides for:

"Pay for the washing (including ironing or pressing of curtains which shall have been soiled during the tenancy the reasonable use thereof nevertheless to be allowed for) together with the steam cleaning of all carpets".

We made it quite clear prior to agreeing a contract that we had access to a carpet cleaner, and that we would not entertain paying for superfluous cleaning; please see my email dated 1st June 2009 if any doubt. This email also outlines our objections to the checkout fee. Your records should show that the contract was amended to reflect both of these points, and many others. It is also my understanding that OFT guidelines rule that insistence upon professional cleaners to be employed is an unfair term, and thus not enforceable.

We hope this helps clarify the specifics of the agreement.

We can however confirm that the curtains were cleaned by cleaners that we employed at our expense, and would point out that your checkout confirmed their condition as faultless.

With regard to the carpets, you highlighted two potential issues during checkout:

- A mark on the carpet of the middle bedroom (top of the stairs, turn right). You will recall that I took a high resolution picture of this mark, which I deem to be fair wear.

- Furniture indentations, and a very feint mark in the upper study. I would point out that carpet cleaning does not lift all indentations (I actually noticed on cleaning the carpets that there were still indentations in the southeast corner of the dining room, from furniture that the landlords had previously had in place). As regards the very feint mark, as this would have been where feet were resting while using the desk/pc, then again I would put this down to fair wear (similar wear exists in front of where both sofas were in the lounge). Again, a high resolution image was taken of this piece of carpet.

In view of the fact that the carpets were returned in the condition received, subject of course to fair wear and tear, we are anticipating refund of deposit in full, with no deductions. In the event that this is not forthcoming, then we will not hesitate to pursue via TDS channels.

I would also like to remind you that we are still awaiting receipt of:

- overpayment in respect of the rent

- a refund in respect of an authorised repair to the washing machine

Please could you forward settlement in respect of all of the above without haste to us at the following address:

__________

__________

__________

Please can you ensure that you have this address correct, as we have had a number of issues with utility suppliers, due to the fact that you have incorrectly advised them that we have an address in ___________________.

Regards,

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furniture indents in the carpets?

WTF?

next theyll be insisting on anti gravity furniture.

Its a law of physics, placing things on carpet will leave a dent. A house is meant to have furniture in it.

W4nkers.

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When we I moved into current property, during the inventory I commented on the dirt marks on the carpet caused by tradesman. The guy from the LA said that they had been professionally cleaned and that a receipt was available. I then asked for a receipt dated within the week; needless to say one never turned up.

As far as I'm concerned - no receipt as proof when I move in, no receipt required when I move out. Maybe you can adopt the same principal?

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When we I moved into current property, during the inventory I commented on the dirt marks on the carpet caused by tradesman. The guy from the LA said that they had been professionally cleaned and that a receipt was available. I then asked for a receipt dated within the week; needless to say one never turned up.

As far as I'm concerned - no receipt as proof when I move in, no receipt required when I move out. Maybe you can adopt the same principal?

they cant demand a "paid for" service...they can demand a like for like cleanliness on leaving...

All they are doing is **** covering...look landlord we got them to clean it..here is the receipt.

In my view, if its clean, its clean...the payment is my affair. the result is the passing inventory.

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they cant demand a "paid for" service...they can demand a like for like cleanliness on leaving...

All they are doing is **** covering...look landlord we got them to clean it..here is the receipt.

In my view, if its clean, its clean...the payment is my affair. the result is the passing inventory.

What constitutes professional cleaning anyway? If you paid a mate £1 to run round the place with a feather duster, does that count? Cleaned (albeit badly), professional in the strictest sense of the word. I think come the revolution, letting agents will be 5th against the wall.

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Thought I should send a quick update.

Agent continues to insist upon professional cleaning, and is asking for evidence that it was removed from the contract. Have suggested the contract itself!

Reviewing the check-in inventory (all 34 pages of it!) marks were shown on 5 bedroom carpets, and furniture indentations on 6. We have thus pointed out that the carpets were returned in better condition than when received.

Agent has implied in an email that she didn't check the condition of the curtains on check-out.

Agent advised early last week that she was away on holiday for a week, and would pick-up on her return. This return was more than 10 days after check-out, so we have advised in writing that this is not acceptable. No response has been received, but we have had partial refund of the deposit, implying that around £600 has been held back. No details have been provided regarding how this sum has been calculated.

I am currently compiling the TDS2 claim form for the balance, and intend to submit tomorow.

Will keep you posted, but please advise if any pointers.

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Thought I should send a quick update.

Agent continues to insist upon professional cleaning, and is asking for evidence that it was removed from the contract. Have suggested the contract itself!

Reviewing the check-in inventory (all 34 pages of it!) marks were shown on 5 bedroom carpets, and furniture indentations on 6. We have thus pointed out that the carpets were returned in better condition than when received.

Agent has implied in an email that she didn't check the condition of the curtains on check-out.

Agent advised early last week that she was away on holiday for a week, and would pick-up on her return. This return was more than 10 days after check-out, so we have advised in writing that this is not acceptable. No response has been received, but we have had partial refund of the deposit, implying that around £600 has been held back. No details have been provided regarding how this sum has been calculated.

I am currently compiling the TDS2 claim form for the balance, and intend to submit tomorow.

Will keep you posted, but please advise if any pointers.

You'll win. It seems pretty clear that the agent doesn't know what she is doing.

Make sure you include copies of the email correspondence, especially the emails where the agent admits to not doing a complete check out. You can also include witness statements from anyone who might have seen the condition of the curtains and carpets.

I recently won 100% of the amount in dispute by means of the TDS adjudication, and I was pleasantly surprised at how straightforward it was.

The adjudicator will give very short shrift to the agent's insistence that the carpets be 'professionally cleaned'. As Bloo Loo has already pointed out, it is the condition of the carpets that matters, not who cleaned them.

(I wonder why the phrase 'professionally cleaned' has stuck in the minds of agents. Do they even understand what they mean by it? Do they actually mean that cleaning is so difficult that only professionals can do it properly? Or do they just mean 'really clean'? Or do they even think such things through?)

Edited by MacGuffin

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snip

(I wonder why the phrase 'professionally cleaned' has stuck in the minds of agents. Do they even understand what they mean by it? Do they actually mean that cleaning is so difficult that only professionals can do it properly? Or do they just mean 'really clean'? Or do they even think such things through?)

they mean something with a bill they can put on the file and prove to landlords they really care......

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Got this clause in a new rental contract. Wife asked to see proff that a "professional" clean was done prior to the move...

We've been told there won't be proof but it'll be done very well :rolleyes: And yet they exepct us to sign a new contract rpomising the same? Ass hats, the lot of them.

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Seems like this new professional cleaning obsession (my last landlady caught the bug too) would probably be classified as an unfair term in a contract. The important thing is that carpets are returned in the same state they were handed over, not how that comes about.

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Seems like this new professional cleaning obsession (my last landlady caught the bug too) would probably be classified as an unfair term in a contract. The important thing is that carpets are returned in the same state they were handed over, not how that comes about.

Mind you I had a tenant insisting that the property she was going to rent was "professionally cleaned" before she moved in!

It was vacant when she viewed it, and spotlessly clean.

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Mind you I had a tenant insisting that the property she was going to rent was "professionally cleaned" before she moved in!

It was vacant when she viewed it, and spotlessly clean.

would you hire a car covered in mud?

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Seems like this new professional cleaning obsession (my last landlady caught the bug too) would probably be classified as an unfair term in a contract. The important thing is that carpets are returned in the same state they were handed over, not how that comes about.

Minus fair wear and tear. IIRC, a new carpet is deemed to have a life of only 5 years.

Edited by RentingForever

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Minus fair wear and tear. IIRC, a new carpet is deemed to have a life of only 5 years.

I wish there was an official and widely-publicised government document this stuff was written down in. So few tenants know any of their rights at all, it reminds me of blacks in the American south in the 1950s who just had to go along with what policeman and politicians told them were the rules as they didn't know any better.

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