How an adjudicator approaches end-of-tenancy cleaning disputes
The adjudicator will look for evidence that the property was less clean at the end of the Tenancy than the start.
The best evidence of the standard of cleaning at the start of the Tenancy is a detailed Inventory – one that mentions the cleanliness of each item. An adjudicator will not assume the property was clean and will not accept a general statement that the property and its contents were ‘clean unless otherwise stated’.
The adjudicator will take into account any feedback provided by the Tenant about the Inventory at the start of the Tenancy.
Photographs may provide only little value in supporting cleaning claims, other than for individual items such as ovens.
The best evidence of the standard of cleaning at the end of the Tenancy is a detailed Check Out Report. This is most compelling if it is clearly laid out and references the item numbers in the Inventory.
Detailed invoices or quotes can be helpful in supporting a Landlord’s claim for cleaning costs, but the adjudicator will not necessarily accept the full amount claimed. Invoices should be sufficiently detailed and the amounts should be appropriate to the work described in the Check Out Report – if the work is more than necessary; includes excessive elements or appears too high for the work, the award will probably be reduced.
If there is no invoice or quote to support a claim, the adjudicator will use their own judgement to decide if the amount claimed is appropriate.
The adjudicator will not consider wear and tear as relevant in cleaning disputes.