Here is a question to the blog clinic from Sarah (not her real name) who is a tenant
I recently vacated a property in Gloucester and moved to London. Before we moved out I volunteered to get the carpets cleaned but my landlord refused it and said she will take care of it once I move out.
During their inspection of the property (after a week past my move out) they found that the living room carpet is way too dirty. I don’t deny that it wasn’t and that is the same reason why I wanted to get it professionally cleaned before I moved out.
The landlord asked a 3rd party agent to make a report on the amount of cleaning required and the agent has said that the carpets needs to be replaced as they are beyond cleaning stage.
The landlord wants to charge me for the complete replacement of the carpet. What bothers me is I didn’t get a chance to clean the carpet by pros, I have to rely on the Landlord’s judgement completely and cannot talk to other cleaning agents and get their views on the state of the carpet.
Moreover, the carpet was not new when we moved in so why should I end up paying for a brand new one? The landlord claims the dirty carpet as property damage.
I would like to know what are my options here? Do I need to bear the carpet replacement cost?
My view here, is that the landlord is at fault. By refusing to allow you to get the carpets professionally cleaned and by carrying out the check a week after you had moved away (meaning that you were not able to participate in the checkout) my view is that the landlord has made herself responsible.
I think the landlord’s claim should be challenged by referring it to adjudication. Your case will be stronger if you can prove:
- The landlord’s refusal to allow you to have the carpets professionally cleaned – eg by having them in an email
- That the landlord knew that you would be living in another part of the country at the time of the checkout
Even if the adjudicator agrees with the landlord that you are responsible for the cost, you will only be responsible for a proportion of the cost as the carpet was not new when you moved in.
There is a formula which needs to be followed in this situation in order to avoid ‘betterment’ which is where a tenant pays a disproportionate amount to the landlord. The formula provides that the tenant only pays for a proportion of the cost to reflect the time the item was in their care.
But no doubt many readers will be more experienced in this situation – what is your view? Has the landlord lost her chance of recovery by refusing to allow the tenant to pay for professional cleaning in your opinion?