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Should I Let Tenant Clean the Apartment After Inspection?

Real estate is probably the most well rewarding investment avenues in the present times. This is primarily because the value of land is fast appreciating and secondly because the demand for property is on a sharp increase. However, as much as rental properties can be viable investment opportunities, it is important to know how to manage your investment so as to get the best returns. Usually, when renting out a property, landlords require tenants to pay a rental deposit that is equivalent to the monthly rent. This deposit acts as security so that the landlord can make deductions for losses incurred in the event that the tenant does not maintain the property in the same condition like it was at the beginning of the tenancy.

Most tenants prefer cleaning the apartment after inspection while vacating to receive the deposit in full subject to deductions due to damages or any other losses. While it is not a requirement for a landlord to let the tenant do the cleaning, it is advisable to let them do so if they feel like. Ideally, the landlord should only be interested in having the house restored to its original condition regardless of who does the cleaning. A good number of tenants feel that most landlords withhold or deduct a huge chunk of their deposit even when not necessary. Most ‘slumlords’ never hand over deposits to their tenants but there are good landlords who refund back the deposit.

How does cleaning the apartment impact the tenant and landlord?

When renting/leasing an apartment one of the clauses in the tenancy agreement states that the landlord shall receive back the apartment from the tenant in the same condition as it was while leasing it. If otherwise, the landlord is permitted to make logical and reasonable deductions from the deposit to meet the expenses of cleaning the apartment and preparing it for a new tenant. Therefore, by cleaning the apartment, the tenant is able to save a reasonable amount of the deposit. On the other hand, the landlord is saved the trouble of cleaning the apartment. Therefore, cleaning the property after inspection is beneficial to both the landlord and the tenant.

What does cleaning the apartment entail?

When you want to terminate your tenancy, all you need to do is notify the landlord in form of writing or any other applicable means of communication. There is usually no need to justify why you are vacating the property as it is optional to lease and stay in a rental property. After notifying the landlord, the next thing you should do is prepare to move out. Have the landlord or his/her agents inspect the property, calculate the cost of repairs and replacements if any, and embark on cleaning the apartment. Cleaning involves removing any extras that you may have added on the walls, floor, ceiling or doors. The walls should also be cleaned to remove any stains and colored marks. At times, depending on the condition of the walls, the landlord may require you to repaint them.

The tenancy agreement provides for when the landlord or his/her agents can access the apartment for inspection. Usually, inspection is done within the last three weeks of the tenancy. Any unwarranted access to the apartment while you are still living there is intrusion and can be equated to violation of privacy and personal space. It is advisable that before the inspection, you should have made arrangements for the replacements and repairs that need to be done. This is because the landlord may exaggerate the cost of the repairs/replacements thereby taking a bigger chunk of your rental deposit. Additionally, maintaining the property in pristine condition while living in it acts to your advantage since you will need to do very little repair work and cleaning while vacating. Consequently, you will receive back a huge percentage of your security deposit from the landlord.

Before signing any tenancy agreement, it is important to read all the clauses in the agreement carefully and ensure that you understand their implications. Most tenants fail back to get back their deposits in full due to compromising clauses on their tenancy agreement. For instance, there are some clauses that state that any refunds of deposit can only be made after the tenancy has lasted for more than 6 months. Be on the look out for such clauses.