For tenants, moving home can be an overwhelming experience. For landlords, it can also be an apprehensive time, when you are inviting new tenants into your rental property. To make things a little easier for both parties, we’ve put together a list of five of the major cleaning and household dangers tenants should be aware of. Tenants take note and landlords spread the word!
Although you may only just be moving into a property, it’s important to be aware of any cleaning charges that could be part of your contract when you leave. Keeping the property clean and well-maintained throughout your tenancy will ensure that there are no disputes around deposit returns when you move out.
The number of tenants leaving their properties in an unclean and dirty state at the end of their tenancy is increasing and causing an issue for agents and landlords across the country. To avoid landlords needing to seek professional cleaning services after you’ve left, ensure you regularly clean the property. Before leaving, it’s also recommended that you deep clean dirty ovens, fridges and any stains or marks left on walls and flooring. If you are unable to undertake this work yourself, it may be cheaper for you arrange for professionals to come out and help you with specific services e.g. oven and microwave cleaners.
Your tenancy agreement contract should detail who is responsible for certain repairs during your tenancy. In most cases, the landlord is responsible for keeping most of the property in a decent condition and is required to repair anything major that has been damaged.
If necessary, you are entitled to ask your landlord to fix the following:
• Damage to your property’s structure or exterior
• Sanitary fittings, such as sinks, baths, toilets, plumbing and drains
• Heating and hot water supplies
• Gas appliances
• Electrical wiring
• Damage to common areas
Many of these repairs must be fixed by the landlord because they are responsible for keeping your home safe and comfortable. However, if you cause harm or damage irresponsibly or on purpose, you may find that you are liable for some or all of the costs.
When you move into your new property, letting agents and landlords will ask that you be careful to avoid causing mould, for example by avoiding drying washing indoors and ensuring that you regularly ventilate the property with fresh air by opening windows. Damp and condensation problems are quite common in the UK and can be found in almost a third of households.
If you follow the basic rules above, you should be able to avoid serious issues. However, if you are experiencing problems you should let your landlord know immediately. If left, mould can spread fast and cause further problems that are more difficult to deal with. Often, landlords are able to assist by supplying tenants with advice and dehumidifiers if required.
Alarms and Risk Assessments
By law, landlords are required to install smoke alarms in all properties, as well as carbon monoxide alarms in rooms with any solid fuel appliances. Failure to comply with these rules can lead to landlords and letting agents facing a civil penalty of up to £5,000.
Alongside the requirements above, landlords are also required to carry out checks to ensure that both alarms are installed and working correctly. If you believe there to be an issue with any of the equipment provided, let your landlord know immediately.
Landlords also have a duty of care to ensure that the properties they let out are safe and free from other health hazards. Most landlords will be aware of their responsibilities when it comes to gas, electric and carbon monoxide; however, they may not be aware that they are accountable for the water supply. A healthy water system is essential and needs to be checked regularly. This is especially true if the property has been vacant for a long period: in that case, a legionella risk assessment will be required.
Kitchen and Oven Care
In many properties, the kitchen is the heart of the home. All homeowners and renters will want to ensure their kitchen is well looked-after and it can be frightening when any accidents take place. Exploding ovens can be a real danger, especially because of oven door glass — however, the likelihood of this event can easily be reduced.
When cleaning oven glass doors, avoid removing the glass to polish it, as this can cause knocks and breaks that can lead to explosions. Also, check you are using the correct cleaning products, as those that contain abrasive or aerosol products can also cause damage. On a day-to-day basis, avoid hanging cold or damp tea towels over the oven door or handle: this can cause the glass to fail as the surface temperature becomes uneven.
If you need any further tenancy cleaning advice. check out our Ultimate End-of-Tenancy Cleaning Checklist.