The life of renters and landlords is a life of cat and mouse.
The most common: Unallowed pets.
We all love pets and most tenants do as well, but some landlords are far from okay with that.
Mould and mildew issues.
Mold and mildew are extremely hard to remove while extremely easy to hide. If the landlord was unlucky enough to let irresponsible tenants in, the lack of proper ventilation over time could cost a fortune to fix.
- Walls, corners and paint.
Take a good look for any signs of fresh paint.
- Kitchen cupboards.
Inspect all kitchen units for signs of mould or mildew. Have a good look at all sink surroundings.
- Inspect all windows.
Condensation is among the main reasons for moisture. Take a good look and make sure your ex tenants have not tried (or even worse – succeeded) to hide signs of moisture accumulating.
Hiding carpet stains.
Stains happen all the time and professional carpet cleaning comes with excellent results but it can be in fact, costly. Many renters would opt to avoid the cost of cleaning and that’s why tenants try to hide the signs of stains. Here’re a few tricks to bear in mind:
- At the end of the tenancy renters relocate furnishing in order to hide their carpet stains. Look out for signs of rearrangement.
- Some tenants use bleach to hide a stain. First they whiten the dirty spot and then they apply dirt to darken it back to beige. In our humble experience with carpeted properties, the color is often beige.
Furniture scratches and dents.
- Wooden floor scratches
- Kitchen worktop (or other unit exterior) scratches
Eviction of Tenants: What landlords can and what landlords can not?
Eviction is the inevitable end for any bad tenant. We all know what a conscientious person should do, but what should landlords do? Here is what landlords should NOT do to rent a property the right way. It could and most likely will only worsen the situation:
- DO NOT show up unannounced and bang on the door;
- DO NOT turn property utilities OFF;
- DO NOT change door locks without notice;
- DO NOT make verbal, nor written threats;
- DO NOT remove tenant belongings;
- DO NOT try to remove tenants physically out of the property.
Despite frustration and nerves, it would be a crucial mistake if landlords decide to act without minding the law.
Another important note in case things turn to worse:
If maintenance and repair issues arise after the landlord has decided to start a repossession process, all issues should be fixed, preferably by an independent contract, who can afterwards serve as proof. If the landlord fails to do this, he or she could end up facing a counterclaim by the renter. This will make repossession even harder to achieve.
A tip or two, regarding inventory reports the inexperienced renter simply has to know:
- First and most importantly – a DIY inventory inspection might not hold in court! The purpose of independent inventory clerks is to provide both sides of the tenancy agreement a peace of mind and legal grounds in case of court disputes.
- The point of having inventory inspections is to prove damage or theft. If you decide to handle inventory on your own, make sure you document the property conditions as detailed as possible!
- Use technology! There are quite a few great apps out there! Some come with great templates for you to only fill and print!
- It’s pointless to hand over a deposit to your landlord without a thorough inventory to back it up. This way tenants are left at the mercy of landlords, which often ends up with disputes.
- Know what is “fair wear and tear”! There are one too many rogue landlords and being informed is the best type of precaution. Fair wear and tear can range from damaged furnishing to cracked windows. Either of these will cause an inventory inspection to flag up and thus allow landlords to plead for deposit deductions. However, there are a few other types of damage, that only a few experienced tenants would recognise and properly note via video or photos – dirty or damaged flooring, damage to kitchen tops, clogged drains, plaster and electrical fittings damage. Having home insurance is a great way to get a bit of extra safety.
- Write things down in a clear and easy to understand way. Regardless if you’re about to use it in court or simply hand your check-in report to a team of post-tenancy cleaners, make sure you’ve described your property condition in a simple and clear way. This is one of the downsides of DIY inventory reports because tenants often fail at being precise.
- Label everything! Rooms, units and even boxes!
How to carry the inventory itself:
- Start from the entrance and slowly walk in the property.
- Handle one room at a time.
- Record the overall property condition as well as decorative order.
- List down all furnishing units and add a brief description of their post-tenancy condition.
- Try to make your photos as clear and descriptive as possible. Try to change your point of view / angle of shot at least 3 times per task.
- Bear in mind that you have to focus on what is valuable, i.e. appliances, TV’s and etc.
Local landlords with small housing portfolios.
Such small business owners usually require proper end of tenancy cleaning to restore property condition. It is a service delivered right after tenants move out and helps both sides: it ensures tenants receive their deposit back; restores the rented property in a top-notch condition for landlords in an extremely timely manner, thus allowing them to list it back on the market as soon as possible. The cosier and more welcoming a property is, the sooner it will find new tenants.
The benefits for landlords:
- Professionals use high-end gear and detergents. These products are usually unavailable to the wide public;
- Prompt completion and excellent results. Professional post-lease cleaners have fully specialised in restoring rentals to their cosy condition. Some cleaning companies dispatch a team of up to 6 people at a time;
- The 72 hrs guarantee is a sure bet for customer satisfaction;
- You get a checklist of “what was done”;
- The best companies will offer additional discounts and special combo deals.
Cleaning – How to find a conscientious company?
Make sure to always, always, always take your time and research before you choose your cleaning company. Reviews, insurance and guarantees are what set reputable providers apart. Carefully read what companies say for themselves and compare to what clients have on their end. Make sure to look for social media reviews and forum threads. Although there are a ton of fake reviews (both positive and negative), it is still possible to see who’s conscientious and who isn’t.