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Pre-tenancy cleaning: Demonstrate what you are delivering

1st December 2014
By giving tenants copies of pre-tenancy cleaning invoices, you’re demonstrating respect for the tenancy and for the property.

By giving tenants copies of pre-tenancy cleaning invoices, you’re demonstrating respect for the tenancy and for the property.

Have you ever considered informing your new tenants just how much you’ve done to bring a property to a clean and tidy condition? There are a number of benefits in doing so (we’ll come onto that shortly).

But rather than just telling the new tenants what you’ve done, give them reference copies of cleaning contractors’ invoices. These detailed suppliers’ invoices tell the tenant just how much you’ve invested in preparing the property for them.

It’s the Landlord’s obligation to provide a clean and tidy property, so why do this?

Indeed, the Landlord is legally obliged to present a property in a clean and tidy condition at the start of a tenancy. Likewise, tenants are required to leave the property in a reasonably clean and tidy condition at the end of their tenancy. This is governed by the RTA (Residential Tenancies Act), and is central to the Tenancy Agreement and the initial Property Inspection Report.

At Bridgman Property Management, we go a step beyond the minimum legal requirements, in that we make reference to the pre-tenancy cleaning suppliers on the Property Inspection Report. That’s in addition to giving tenants copies of the suppliers’ invoices.

Get your cleaning contractor to provide detailed invoices

It’s important that your commercial cleaning contractor details on their invoice all areas of the property they’ve worked on, and list all surfaces that have been cleaned.

This gives your new tenant the opportunity to check that the property has indeed been presented as clean and tidy. And if they find any discrepancies, immediately call back your cleaning contractor so your tenant can agree that the property has been provided as clean and tidy and commercially cleaned. It is important to make the tenant understand that they are accountable for making sure the property has been cleaned as depicted by the Landlord and as per the cleaning schedule.

Never allow a tenant to maintain objections about the cleanliness of the new tenancy. Instead, thank them for their feedback and then get them to list exactly which aspects of the cleaning are sub-standard. Then get all those items remedied, and follow up with the tenant in writing.

Why else is it important to give a copy of the cleaner’s invoice?

By giving your tenant copies of pre-tenancy cleaning invoices, you are showing them the cost of preparing the tenancy for them. Many tenants won’t realise the cost of pre-tenancy cleaning, but the cost of cleaning curtains, venetian blinds, carpets and commercial cleaning certainly adds up.

Demonstrating the amount of your investment in pre-tenancy cleaning demonstrates how much you care about both the tenant and the property. Or in other words, it shows that you’re serious and take a strict and detailed approach to the condition of the property. The tenants will be more likely to respect you and the property.

What kind of pre-tenancy cleaning should you have carried out?

The following is a very good example of the minimum level of detail or scope of work your cleaning contractor should provide on quotations and invoices:

  • Window cleaning: inside and outside, wash all windows
  • Oven cleaning
  • Clean external kitchen surfaces and walls
  • Wash out all kitchen cupboards, drawers and pantry
  • Clean dishwasher
  • Full clean of all bathrooms
  • Clean internal window frames
  • Wet wipe all skirting boards
  • Clean doors and door frames
  • Clean light fixtures
  • Clean all light switches and power points
  • Wash down all walls
  • Wash down ceilings
  • Vacuum all floors
  • Mop all hard floors.

The tenant needs to check this as they will be signing off the Property Inspection and agreeing that the above work has been completed.

This process heads off any future objections and disagreement surrounding cleanliness at the start of the tenancy. It also leaves you in a fairly secure position if you ever have to answer questions at mediation or the tenancy tribunal surrounding cleanliness issues.

It’s really important that you are seen to be providing a clean slate at the start of the tenancy. It is then easy for you or the tenant to measure any changes (i.e. cleanliness or damage) along the way.

Summary

There are a number of reasons why you should give your new tenants copies of detailed invoices relating to pre-tenancy cleaning:

  • You are legally obliged to hand over the property in a clean and tidy condition.
  • By getting the tenant to check the quality of the cleaning (and getting them to sign it off in writing), you will be in a fairly secure position if you ever have to answer questions at mediation or the tenancy tribunal surrounding cleanliness issues.
  • It will be easier to monitor any changes in the condition of the property (i.e. cleanliness or damage) when you are so clear on the starting position.
  • It demonstrates to the tenant just how much you care about both the tenancy and the property. It shows that you’re serious and take a strict and detailed approach to the condition of the property.

 


 

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