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House not left clean after tenancy ended

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  • House not left clean after tenancy ended

    We recently had tenants end their tenancy on a friday, so we arranged for prospective new tenants to view the property in the weekend immediately after the friday, and for painters to repaint the interior the following week.

    Unfortunately, the commercial carpet cleaners did not use any stain remover when cleaning the carpets, even though the tenant new that they had caused staining, and did a rush job, only spending 1 1/2 hours to vacuum the carpets (which had a lot of debris on them) and then cleaning them (4 bedrooms, lounge, dining room and stairwell). The result was so bad that I told the tenant I'd have to get a different company in, but he said that the original company would come back and redo them for free. They did this the following week, causing loss of time for the painters as they had to remove their drop cloths and reposition them the next day. Still the result was unacceptable, and the carpets looked grubby, especially in the high use areas and stairwell.

    I got a different carpet cleaner in (Nelson Cleaning Services), and they spent 2 1/2 hours cleaning only 2 bedrooms, the dining room and the stairwell (we'd decided to replace the carpet in 2 of the bedrooms and they said that the lounge carpet wasn't worth cleaning as they wouldn't be able to remove the uric acid stains caused by dog pee). Afterwards, the water used for cleaning the carpets was filthy and the grubby appearance of the carpets had gone. However, this obviously caused more loss of time for the painters.

    Also, Ab Fab, the commercial cleaners that the owners decided to use to clean the interior of the house, did not get the job finished on the Friday and I had call them to come back twice because they did not clean the oven, inside all the cupboards and wardrobes, the garage, the ceilings, and the rangehood filters. This is despite the fact that at least 2 weeks prior to the end of the tenancy I had sent the tenants a 'Tenants Guide for the Final Inspection' which stated that all of the above needed to be cleaned prior to the final inspection.

    We also spent the Saturday morning cleaning to make the place respectable for showing prospective tenants and the painters lost time as they had to clean fly dirts from the ceiling themselves, and work around the cleaners each time they came back.

    Can we claim any compensation for the time lost by the painters and the cleaning that we had to do, given that the tenants did not vacate the property in a clean state?

  • #2
    Are you looking to recover a few hundred dollars? Is it worth the effort?

    as a landlord you should expect and anticipate these kinds of issues. While you and I would hope that tenants would treat your place like their own the reality is they'll do as little as possible to vacate and be able to get their bond back.

    if you know this you can preemptively manage this in your tenancy agreements - we include rubbish bins and lawn maintenance in our leases and build into our financials the need to do a clean at the end of the tenancy.

    ln your example you lost a week rent letting tenant try to rectify a poor cleaning job. Find a commercial cleaner that can go in day tenant so move out - if the tenants do a good job your cleaner won't have much to do, if they do a poor job the property is up to scratch the next day ready for painters etc.


    • #3
      That's great advice. Thank you. It's interesting how some tenants expect a place to be immaculate when they move in but are happy to leave a property in quite a different state when they move out. As you suggest, we need to factor the risks in our pricing - one of the many reasons why rents just keep going up.


      • #4
        The word used in the TT with respect to cleaning is reasonably - as in it should be reasonably clean.
        This does not mean it will be in a condition to re-let immediately unfortunately.

        To get a commercial cleaner in it would have to be the day after the tenants move - generally they have until midnight to leave.
        But the advice to get a commercial cleaner in as soon as you can is a good one.
        Last edited by Wayne; 16-01-2018, 03:12 PM.


        • #5
          I'm not sure if you can claim for compensation for 'loss of time', what I would do would be to raise an invoice for the cleaning you did and make a claim for the cleaning you did and factor in the time lost into the bill....the RTA stipulates that the tenants responsibility is to leave the place reasonably clean and tidy, as a landlord you are under no obligation to allow them back in to do remedial cleaning.
          Fraser Wilkinson
          Wellington / Lower Hutt / Upper Hutt / Porirua