End Of Tenancy Final Inspection Guide [Free Downloadable Checklist]


End Of Tenancy Final Inspection Checklist

Conducting the final end of tenancy inspection is the moment of truth; it’s the time when landlords get to assess whether or not their property has been returned in the same condition as when it was handed over to their tenants at the beginning of the tenancy.

I’ve been a landlord for several years now, which means I’ve watched dozens of tenants come and go, so I’ve been through my fair share of final inspections. I’ve had a mixed bag of results: some tenants went above and beyond by returning the property in better condition, some did exactly what they needed to, no more, no less, and a small handful of filthy cretins left the place in a complete shambles.

Key point: as soon as your tenant(s) vacate the property and the deposit is returned, it’s extremely difficult to claim back any damages you notice after, so conducting a thorough final inspection is critical!

Conducting inspections, whether it be a routine mid-tenancy or end of tenancy inspection, is a learning curve for most self-managing landlords.

Every inspection is different, because humans have different behavioural patterns and hygiene standards, so landlords can never be certain of what they’re walking into during inspections. Even when you think you have all the check-points covered, a tenant will come along and show you something newly terrifying.

Inexperience is a liability at the best of times, but it’s especially so during final inspections. My inexperience has cost me plenty over the years. Let me give you a prime example.

I remember during one of my very first final inspections, when I made the fatal mistake of forgotting to check inside the oven *slaps forehead*

To be honest, it didn’t even occur to me to poke my tiny little stupid head inside the oven to see what condition it was left in. It was only during a viewing [for new tenants] that I, fortunately, noticed how horrendously FILTHY the appliance was left in. Thankfully, while I was trying to keep my composure while vomiting in my mouth, the prospective tenants didn’t notice the mess. They probably just thought I was having a seizure or something.

The oven was smothered in thick, greasy, asshole residue. It genuinely looked like the oven was used as a bird aviary, because the congealed gunk looked like bird shit. One thing is for certain, that mess did not happen over night, so I strongly suspect the oven hadn’t been cleaned once during the 3 year tenancy. Filthy bastards!

Here are some pictures I took on my [low quality] camera-phone so you can get a rough idea of what I’m talking about. Although, these images really don’t do justice to the degree of shit I was subjected to:

Dirty Oven and Extractor

Would you really cook food in that? My tenants did. The thought of it literally makes me want to rip my stomach out through my throat and toss it in the river. I don’t want to eat ever again.

If I had spotted the condition of the oven and extractor during the inspection, I would have made my grotesque tenant clean the oven himself. Oh well, lesson learned.

Anyways, the thick grease was so prominent that I had to hire a professional oven cleaning company to handle the situation. They came around, took the extractor hood and oven apart and got to work. The service cost £59.

Clean Oven

Lesson learned.

“Check inside oven” was officially stamped into my ‘end of tenancy’ inspection checklist.

As said, I learn from each experience, and consequently my ‘end of tenancy’ inspection checklist usually increases by one or two points after each inspection. The latest rendition is available below. I hope you find it useful, and I hope it prevents you from falling into the same traps I did.

I just want to point out that I use the checklist along side a Landlord Inventory Form.

A landlord inventory is a listing of all the contents of a property and a record of the condition of the property. These forms shouldn’t be confused with one another, they each have their vital roles to play. I would always recommend having an inventory in place for every tenancy. The “End of tenancy checklist” concentrates on areas to check, as opposed to the condition of the property and the items before and after the tenancy.

My ‘End of tenancy’ inspection checklist

Plumbing

  • Drains– run the taps from all water outlets in the house for several minutes to ensure there are no overspills from the drains. It’s also worth removing the drain covers and ensuring there are no obvious and visible blockages.
  • Taps– check that all taps actually work, and water flows as it should. Don’t neglect outside/garden taps.
  • Plug holes– I once had a tenant that left a disgusting amount of matted hair down the shower and sink plugholes. Apparently he malted like a husky in the summer. What a super freak. It was disgusting and could have easily caused blockages. Ensure the plug-holes are thoroughly cleaned by your tenant; it’s certainly not our job to unpick cheesy bunches of matted hair from plug-holes, or from any other type of hole, for that matter.
  • Water pressure / flow– if there are any pipes blocked, it may have an impact on the water flow. So check that the pressure and flow from all taps are as should be. Blocked pipes commonly occur from abusive substances being wrongly disposed of down the sink. If that’s the case, the responsibility should fall onto the tenant.

Electrics

  • White goods / Electrical Items– don’t rely on visual inspections, ensure that each item is tested and in full working order. Pay particular attention to the cleanliness of the items, especially the white goods. I got royally penetrated up the rectum recently by my dirtbag tenant that was too lazy and disgusting to clean the oven during his entire tenancy. I didn’t check INSIDE the oven during the final inspection, but when I did a few days later, I was in for a nasty shock in the form of congealed fat and food residue that resembled decayed bird shit. I had to hire a professional oven cleaning company to resolve the matter. Moral of the story: don’t underestimate the filthiness of tenants. Oh, and thoroughly check all appliances, inside and out.
  • Appliances– as with the above point, check all appliances you provided with the property, don’t rely on appearances, and especially don’t rely on your tenant’s word.
  • Plug points– check to see that all plug points are working. Additionally, check that the plastic plug socket covers aren’t broken/cracked. Plug socket covers often get broken when furniture is being moved around and/or when crazy sex stunts go wrong- it’s a pretty common issue. Not a huge financial burden, but nevertheless the deposit is there to cover those mishaps.
  • Light Switches– ensure all light switches work, and again, check that the actual switches are in the condition they should be in.
  • Door bell– check to see if the doorbell works. A lot of landlords generally forget about this one.
  • Fire / Smoke Alarms– check that all fire alarms still work. That’s a no-brainer, and should be covered in the inventory.

Fittings

  • Doors– ensure all doors open, close and lock properly. It’s also worth looking for significant cracks/splits in the doors, especially where the lock is. Doors are expensive to replace.
  • Windows– ensure all windows open, close and lock. Also look for for any chips and/or cracks.
  • Laminate / hardwood flooring– if you have laminate/hardwood flooring, check for breaks, chips and unevenness. I had to replace hardwood flooring once because the previous tenant liked hosting gatherings which entailed a lot of fluid spillage (I’m not judging). Of course, that caused the floor panels to expand and dislodge. It cost quite a bit to fix, and I didn’t spot it during the inspection because the damage was being strategically covered by furniture. Yes, my thoughts precisely, what a sneaky, snakeoil, conniving little cock!
  • Sinks / baths/ showers – check all ceramic and plastic fittings for cracks and chips. I had a tenant leave behind a huge crack inside a sink before.

Storage

  • Outside/Inside Bins– always check that the bins are completely empty. It should be the tenants responsibility to dispose of all rubbish before they vacate the property. I’ve fallen victim to this ugly, ugly, ugly situation before, and it killed a part of me, a good part. My tenant left an ungodly amount of crap in the wheelie bins outside the property. Of course, I didn’t check the bins during the final inspection. Worst part was that the rubbish wasn’t disposed into black bags, it was just thrown directly into the bins. Seriously, are we back in the caveman era where we act like animals? Let’s just shit in the corner while we Willy-nilly dispose of rubbish directly into wheelie bins. To clear up the mess I had to retrieve my thick, rubber gloves from my special trunk and transfer the rubbish into black bin bags. By the end of it, I had 8 bags full, which I had to take to the local dump. It was an awful experience, which still gives me nightmares. Why didn’t I just let the garbage men collect the rubbish, you ask? Because while the property was empty, I applied for council tax exemption so I was revoked from my local tax privileges e.g. garbage collection. Is that a good enough reason for you? Lovely.
  • Cupboards / Drawers– again, make sure cupboards and drawers are completely empty, otherwise the new tenants will only make you do it. And believe me, it’s not a fun job to dispose of other peoples shit (unless you’re getting paid for it).
  • Shed / Garage– ensure all items from outbuildings are removed. Also worth checking the fittings in the outbuildings e.g. doors, windows, locks.
  • Loft / Atic– check the loft/actic is empty and doesn’t contain any of the tenants unwanted items. Tenants have tried to pull this stunt on me one too many times. Amusing, but it gets old and boring.

Furniture

  • Underneath / behind– the amount of times I’ve had tenants try and strategically place furniture in an attempt to cover up shit stains on the carpet is horrifying. Check around, under, behind, on top, and inside of the furniture, basically every which way possible.
  • Testing– give each furniture piece a test of stability and usability e.g. lay down on the beds and sit down on the sofas. Make sure everything feels safe and sturdy.
  • Unwanted furniture removed– tenants often buy temporary furniture with the intentions of leaving them behind when it’s time to vacate because they’re too lazy to dispose of their cheap Ikea crap. The tenant may suggest leaving the items in the property for your new tenants, and it may seem like a tempting offer. However, I ALWAYS refuse the offer because as soon as a landlord starts providing tenants with pieces of furniture, they automatically become liable for repairing/removing/replacing the item if it gets damaged (unless there’s a disclaimer in the contract). Make tenants remove ALL their furniture if you don’t want to provide a part/furnished property.

Security / Alarms

  • Alarm– check the alarm is still working, specifically the sensors.
  • Unlock key– check that the intruder switch is still operable and the unlock key for it is present.
  • Alarm code– check that the original alarm code is still the same (i.e. the tenants didn’t change it).

I’ve put my list in a form format which you can download from the link provided below, just in case, you know, you actually think it will be useful to you as a reminder.

FAQ – End of Tenancy Final Inspection

How clean should a property by at the end of the tenancy?

A tenant is obligated to return the property and all appliances in the same condition as they received it in (minus wear and tear).

Your inventory report (that should have been completed at the beginning of the tenancy) will help both landlord and tenant return the property in the right condition.

If you didn’t conduct an inventory, it could make matters extremely difficult if there are disputes over the condition of the property. Generally speaking, the burden of proof is on the landlord. I recommend trying to compromise, but be warned, you may have to make some consessions (the penality for skipping the inventory. Consider it a lesson learned).

What if my property is not returned in a satisfictory condition after the final inspection?

Explain to your tenant what the problem(s) is, and give them an opportunity to resolve it.

If your tenant is in disagreement, and you have an inventory to back up your allegation, you can file your case with the tenancy deposit scheme in order to make a claim to use the deposit to resolve any outstanding issues.

When should the final end of tenancy inspection be done?

This can be a bit of juggling act, and often varies case by case. A couple of points to bear in mind:

  • It’s best to conduct the final inspection after all your tenant’s possessions have either been nearly boxed or completely vacted from the property, and once the property has been properly cleaned. This will allow for a thorough inspection, particularly because it’s common for damage to be caused while moving furnture/items in and out of the property.
  • Conduting the final inspection on move out day can create problems if any problems are flagged during the inspection, because it doesn’t provide the tenant an opportunity to resolve them.
  • The best case scenerio is to conduct the final inspection 2-3 days before move out day, with the property cleaned and emtied. But this isn’t always possible, and it largely depends on the tenant’s schedule and/or willingness to be organised.

Ultimately, communication is key; talk to your tenant to determine what makes most sense. In many cases, tenant’s start moving all their possessions out a few days before their last contracted day, which usually works out the best for everyone.

Does my tenant need be present during the final inspection?

Not necessarily, but it’s definitely recommended.

Is professional cleaning required at end of a tenancy?

Landlords cannot force tenants to pay for a professional end of tenancy cleaning service if they have returned the property in the same condition as they received it in.

However, if tenants do not return the property in that condition, landlords can be within their rights to use the deposit to hire a cleaning company.

Here’s a more complete guide on end of tenancy cleaning for landlords.

Anyone have any further suggestions/recommendations?

Does anyone else have any other to-do’s I can add to the list? Perhaps I’ve missed a few out because I’ve yet to be stung by tenants in that particular area.









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47 Comments- Join The Conversation...

Guest Avatar
Ryan 1st July, 2011 @ 10:36

Hi Landlord,

Oven's are always a must when I check move outs, also fridge's and freezers (you'll be amazed the amount of times a single chicken breast has been left in a freezer that's been switched off).
Out of interest what company did you use for that oven?
Sparkling and at that price I think I may use it at home instead of using industrial cleaners which burn my eyes!

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Fee 1st July, 2011 @ 12:49

The oven and extractor are pretty disgusting I must admit... the grease on the fan actually makes me feel a bit sick!

Though to be honest I think if that was me I would of spent £10 on oven/grime cleaning products and done the job myself - saving the cost of £50 for someone else to do it. That oven does look pretty nasty but with a foam cleaner that you leave on for an hour it would of dissolved all the crap and it would of just been a matter of cleaning it all out.

I just see paying someone else to do it an unnecessary expense!

Fee x

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Ryan 1st July, 2011 @ 12:54

@Fee,

The difference is that I've seen oven cleaning companies and they take the oven apart almost completely. I wouldn't trust myself to put one back together!

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Fee 1st July, 2011 @ 13:06

@Ryan

Oh I agree... it would be stupid to even attempt that. But you pay them to literally clean it back it's almost original state which I don't think is that needed for the next tenant.

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Ryan 1st July, 2011 @ 13:31

@Fee

If I was renting a property I don't think I would be happy to be paying £700+ and be using a dirty cooker.

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Fee 1st July, 2011 @ 13:36

@Ryan

That may be you. But I think most tenants understand that the property will have been lived in previously, so don't expect it to be in pristine condition - which doesn't mean it is a dirty cooker.

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Andy Mills 1st July, 2011 @ 22:53

@Fee

I think this oven was more than a little past the normal "dirty" that you would expect to see - I doubt that normal domestic cleaning products would have made easy work of that oven.

When we moved into this house, the original oven hood was full of grease like that and if you dared turn it on, it would fill the house with the most disgusting stomach churning cheesy vile smell.

The only way is to strip it and clean it properly. It will give the tenant a better opinion of the landlord and will also be more inclined to look after and clean it better themselves.

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DVD 2nd July, 2011 @ 07:36

check divan bases, especially solid ones.
My tenant had slit the cloth on the side just enough to drop their syringe and needle into each time they injected!!
Huge pile of sharps to dispose of !
Joys of being a landlord , and now John Snow is going to take a pop at us cruel landlords on telly!

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Fredo 2nd July, 2011 @ 10:06

Good job with the oven! I have to admit I was wondering whether getting someone in to do the oven was really necessary, but for that money and the end result it's definitely justified.

Go on, give them a free advert and let us know who they are!

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 2nd July, 2011 @ 17:07

Hey all,

Great to see people getting involved with the filthy oven situation ha!

@Ryan & @Fredo
I used All Bright Oven Clean - they don't operate nationally though, but they may cover your area! I've never contemplated using an Oven Cleaning Company before this happened. I've definitely seen the light. For £59 (including VAT) they cleaned the extractor, oven and up to three racks and grill pan. But it's cheaper if you just want the oven alone cleaned (£39).

@Fee
I don't think regular domestic products would have cut it, especially £10's worth. As someone mentioned, this wasn't just "normal dirty"

This guy had a massive chest full of tools, which included special cleaning liquids, several different polishes, several different cloths, and several scraping tools. He also had a special tank in his van that cleaned the trays. Getting the appropriate equipment alone would have probably cost half the service charge (minus the tank).

Also, as Ryan mentioned. This guy actually took apart the oven and extractor- cleaned everything thoroughly.

I watched him all the way through the process, it wasn't all that simple. There is definitely an art to doing it properly. The fact it took him 3 hours (without taking a break) also speaks volumes.

@DVD
Man, that's nasty!!!

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AUS 4th July, 2011 @ 06:11

WOW loving the Oven Cleaning company - I once had to clean an oven and trays 7 times after a tenant had been in for 12 months. It was also a brand new appliance when they moved in.

My tips:
Check that all light fittings work - a daytime inspection can often cause you to overlook this.

Check that heating and hot water works - may not be a tenants fault but handy to know it's all working fine before new tenants arrive.

Check toilet flush, taps, showers and drains - I usually run the lot all at once and check for slow drainage/overflow.

these of course should already be on your inventory in some form or another.

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phil kelly 4th July, 2011 @ 17:47

regarding the dirty oven situation..... surely you would inspect it when you do your renewal inspection, monthly inspection, quarterly inspection or whenever you do your inspection of the property at your set or agreed intervals. Whenever i have renewed my tenants contract, i also inspect the property before renewal - including looking in the oven! Anything (including a dirty oven) that is "discovered" is brought to the attention of the tenant and it is a stipulation that it should be rectified within a certain timescale and state a new inspection of the said "discovery".
Common sense, is it not!

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CPP 5th July, 2011 @ 14:10

I take photos of the meter readings as i have had disputes with the utility companies in the past!!
Its a good way of "shutting them up" when you produce a picture of the reading. Also, the tenant cant dispute it.

Phil

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Chris 16th July, 2011 @ 20:32

I have to agree some people can live in the most disgusting filth known to the human race. And yet, still find their pit a nice place too cook & have sex, although probably not at the same time.

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YesAdam 20th October, 2011 @ 20:03

Blocked drains needed fixing before reletting, but who would you say is responsible for drainage repair costs?

Tenant or landlord.

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 20th October, 2011 @ 20:21

Hi,

The blocked drain was repaired before reletting. Out of curiosity, did I say something which made you think otherwise?

In my case, the tenants had lived there for 2 years, and by the end of their tenancy, the drain was blocked with rice and fat/grease, so it was their fault. Being careless with what is deposed of down the sink isn't wear or tear, it's negligence.

Cheers

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YesAdam 20th October, 2011 @ 20:50

Not really the opening paragraphs say " Over the years I’ve lost lump sums of money because I didn’t spot damages my tenants were liable", so it got me thinking and googleing.

Id of thought tenant, but google disagrees.

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emma 24th October, 2011 @ 08:37

Thanks for this landlord. I've passed it on to a friend who's tenent has just given notice. There's a lot of items here that you forget about!!

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 24th October, 2011 @ 13:45

Hi Emma,

What did I forget? Please let me know, and I'll add it to the list.

Many thanks :)

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emma 24th October, 2011 @ 13:51

Sorry, bad english. It meant to refer to when I tenent moves out there's a lot of areas you forget to check :)

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Rob 29th October, 2011 @ 16:26

Advice please!!

I made friends with my ex tenants and they have just moved out, I noticed a big scuff on my wooden lam flooring, to fix it would cost a lot and its not really worth the effort but I still hold their deposit should I keep some of the deposit?

I guess this a question on moral more then anything! they are aware of the problem but I haven't decided what to do.

Rob

Thanks

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Armin 18th November, 2011 @ 15:32

Landlord,

This is something you would want to add to your list under Electricals

* Security / Alarms

- Check that all sensors are still working
- Check that intruder switch is still operable and the unlock key for it present
- Most importantly: Check that the original alarm code is still the same (i.e. the tenants didnt change it).

The last item is one where malicious tenants can really screw you over. Imagine the alarm going off and no means of turning it off as your code is outdated. It will require a costly visit by a security installer to set that right.

-Armin

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Belle 10th January, 2012 @ 15:55

When I moved in, there was a hairball the size of my fist in the bath drain so I had to pull it all out and it wouldn't drain and the oven was even dirtier than that! D:

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Belle 10th January, 2012 @ 15:56

Oops posted that too soon. Does that mean I can leave it in a shit hole before I leave? Probably not :|

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Jeremy 10th January, 2012 @ 21:16

Hi Belle,

I notice you've left about half a dozen stories with questions on different blogs. It's always easier to help someone when the full story is easily to hand.

Next time, why not start your own Forum post and wait for people to reply to that?

Anyway: The condition you leave the property in will be dictated by the inventory, if you want to keep all your deposit. As long as you ensured the inventory noted it was dirty, then that's fine.

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Belle 10th January, 2012 @ 21:22

Hi Jeremy.

I actually ended up giving pretty much the full story on the scumbag landlord post.

I wasn't aware there was a forum! Thanks for that.

Yeah and we took photos too of it all. Half of the stuff in the inventory was completley wrong anyway! On the notice it DEMANDS we clean the oven and everything, wash the kitchen floor, shampoo carpets. I already said I refuse to shampoo carpets when it's the landlord who ruined them doing the dry wall. Why should I have to pay to get the plaster out of the carpet that HIM and his hired hands got in it? The agents agreed that it was okay but only verbally. Every time we ask for something in writing, they tell us to come back later. Earlier on, they hung up on me when I was asking a question! -_- Horrible estate agents.

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Jeremy 10th January, 2012 @ 22:56

Hello Belle,

Please, please tell us that you did not sign the inventory if it was half wrong. If you signed then that is the yard-sick by which the landlord will be allowed to possibly retain your deposit.

Or to put it a different way: If you don't clean the oven which the inventory says was clean, he can get it cleaned and charge you for the cost by with-holding your deposit.

I'd starting sending things to the agent in writing, even e-mail is better than verbal. The kind of thing which says "folowing our conversation, in which you agreed blah, blah"

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Belle 10th January, 2012 @ 23:15

Hiya Jeremy.

Well my partner sorted that. He took the list of things I had written down and they were added to the inventory. We also have photos of the things we listed with the date in the EXIF as a little extra evidence.

The inventory didn't state the condition of the oven, just that there was one. It took TWO HOURS to clean that thing. Had to be gone over several times with industrial stuff, I don't think the inside had EVER been cleaned. I put the shelves in the bathtub with cleaner and there are oven shelves shape of brown in the bubbles from the stuff.

Well I think everything is pretty much said, it'll be a matter of contacting them when we want to leave now I think. I'm not good with this stuff, the insane amount of stress it's caused me (I'm not a well lady, in fact, I'm 20 and chronically ill, maybe they think I'm young, stupid and as I'm ill they can walk over me when in actual fact I'm a little big for my boots, so I'm told!) I've written notes on what has been said when I started getting fed up with it all and have taken pictures of all the things that have been ruined and such.

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Ina 12th January, 2012 @ 22:45

Hi guys,

I need advice as I'm completely drowning here. I rent a single room in my house. My previous lodger moved out October 15th and on the 16th the new lodger moved in. I checked the room thoroughly when the previous lodger moved out and handed in the room in a perfect state. There was an issue today and I had to enter the room and I found out that the majority of the room has been taken over by mold. Lodger has not mentioned this to me. When I asked her she found all sorts of excuses and generally turned it back on me and said that I should know what's happening in my house. I gave her the notice we agreed but she is threatening me that if I keep any of her deposit to fix the room she will take me to court. Do you have any ideas? What should I do? Help!!

Ina

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Missy 4th May, 2012 @ 10:19

If you can be arsed to clean the oven yourself get some marigolds and some Fairy power spray. It's about £3.50 and it cleans off just about any type of shit people leave behind. We've just moved in to a house the oven had been wiped over, not good enough for me. Power spray cut through all the grease and grime straight away. Good stuff, well worth buying.

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Garry 5th April, 2013 @ 18:20

none have you seen anything till you see the state my council tenant left my house in pictures are avalible and the only moved out last stupidly i did'nt take a deposit would like to know if any can help me can i take them to court for the rubbish left and the mess they left the place in or do i notifiy the council if you would like to see the pic please let me know but you will be sick i was

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Alex 4th September, 2013 @ 18:16

Hi,

Is it even legally possible to recoup additional costs once you've returned some of the deposit?

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lisa 4th August, 2014 @ 11:33

My landlord has been in touch 6 months after I moved out claiming I didn't pay the fuel bills. I have sent proof to her and she is still accusing me of giving false readings.

I have already had confirmation from E-on that my account was read by a meter reader and is clear.

Landlord sill saying y readings were false as she has a huge bill - but after I handed the keys back and got a receipt the flat as been in the hands of several estate agencies - who can say they could've left the heating on!

I trust she won't have a leg to stand on?

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John 4th August, 2014 @ 12:33

Energy Bills are between the consumer and the company supplying the energy, Surely on check out you and your Landlord/Agent Took meter readings together and agreed them?

If not then this can make the situation difficult. That being said if someone from the energy company came out within a few days of you moving out and read the meter then I would doubt that she has any chance.

It sounds like another case of Landlords either not knowing what they are doing and getting it wrong trying to save a few quid or using a shit agent who does not know what they are doing, again just to save a few quid!

Maybe you can clarify which for us?

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Lisa 4th August, 2014 @ 18:40

Hi John,

Landlord couldn't be bothered to come up from Yorkshire to Edinburgh for my check out.

I was instructed to hand keys into an estate agent as she had put flat on the market.

I got the meter reader around on my last day & handed the keys back to the estate agents.

The flat was managed directly with the owner. I got deposit back & took a witness with me when leaving. Turned off electricity & gas

Regards

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John 5th August, 2014 @ 08:52

@ Lisa

In that case Lisa I would suggest the whole issue is between you Landlord and his utility company. As I said before he should have checked the property out!Even if you did leave the heating on this should have been checked at the end by the Landlord/Agent.

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Clair 26th November, 2014 @ 14:42

HI,

Hope you can help.
We rented our home out as we had to move with my husbands job. We did this privately rather than going through an estate agent, first mistake. We left the house to her in immaculate condition, all just painted. We did inspect the property, and all did seem ok, a few areas which we said she would need to do and she acknowledged, now she has since left the property, the date she gave a her leaving date was the day we were going away, she didn't want to move her date so my sister in law collected the keys. When we did get to the property she had wrecked the garden a massive bald patch 2m x 1 m in the middle of the garden where a wendy house had been, and all rooms needed desperately painting. The kitchen was disgusting, oven filthy and she had broken the oven door, very bad marks on the wall, needed painting. Sitting room holes in the wall where she had hung pictures and not filled them in, walls filthy, wood work really bad, beyond reasonable wear and tear. Leak in the toilet she said had stopped, hadn't, have had to rip out tiled boxing the round the toilet. Stairs, carpet absolutely filthy again nails in the wall, walls dirty from kids hand prints. first bedroom, again walls all stained and dirty. Added to the fact she has had gas and electric key meters put in as she was in arrears, we did not know this till we went back to the house. she moved someone into the house without my knowledge. And we have had bailiffs to the door for various bad debts. She has said she wants the £1000 bond back, but we need to obviously sort the issues out. They have said the garden should not be their concern despite they used it. we have undergone the work ourselves, but where do we stand with returning her bond? we did not do an inventory on the property, and did have a tenancy agreement drawn. Thanks, hope you can give some advice.

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Elena 16th February, 2015 @ 14:22

Hi,
thanks for the list, it's really helpful.

Like most landlords I have an inventory file I give to tenants at beginning of tenancy (they are required to sign it), each item is described in the number, colour, etc. but also in its state (clean, new, broken etc.)
There is also a section that tells the tenant how to use/care for each item and how they are expected to leave item at the end of tenancy. (ex. BBQ need to be cleaned regularly, and returned clean when vacating or cleaning charges will be applied – it takes me hours to clean it!)

I also have a check list I give to tenants when they give me notice, this is about helping me asses what maintenance work is needed (getting ready for it!) and also it gives me an opportunity to convey the message that I will check everything and that if things are not ok they will pay for it. I ask them to let me know if house in their opinion needs painting, if appliances work well (to help me understand if they need replacement soon which gives me an opportunity to find good deals). I ask them to tell me if there are missing or damaged items.
I also ask to let me know in what way I can improve the house and if there is anything I need to re-think (out of curiosity, and because I tap in the high end of tenancy market, and I feel the need to keep up to speed with what tenants need and look for) I ask also if I was good landlord it helps me running this "business" properly.

As for your list, I'd add:
- keys, not only for front doors but also for internal doors
- Instructions folder (appliances, compliance certificates, warranties etc)
- fridge and freezer to be defrosted
- washing machine / dryer filter need to be cleaned
- all light bulbs need to be functioning

hope this helps!

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Dave Caesar 26th July, 2015 @ 20:44

Tenant vacated property 3 months early due to personal and financial problems. She gave the wrong meter reading to the energy supplier. I took a meter reading different to hers and took a photo of this on my mobile but missed off the serial number. Because i manage the property myself I would have done a move out inspection but basically she did a moonlight flit and then texted me the morning after she vacated the property. I did the meter reading that day straight away. The suppliers are saying firstly we should have had a move out inspection of the reading which was impossible to have since she did a moonlight flit and secondly they are saying that the photo I had taken with the reading could not be accepted due to not having a serial number on the photo. Please can you give me some advise what I can do to resolve this. Thank u.

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Tim 25th September, 2015 @ 14:09

i have been a landlord for sometime with commercial property, and only a few years as a domestic property landlord. i found your site by accident but think your humor help and assistance is priceless. The info and comments of what has happened to other is a great help in trying to run a buy to let property. If you are ever in the Leeds area of yorkshire i would gladly buy you a drink and meal as a thank you for letting me have the benefit of your experience in this minefield. i just have to know work out what i do with my letting agent as they signed a contract with my tenant for 6 months but sent me the paperwork stating they had signed for 12 months !!! its not going to be fun so i am considering setting my head on fire and putting it out with a spade as im sure it will be more pleasureable than trying to get a resolution by the end of today. thanks again

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Sharon 18th April, 2016 @ 19:26

When I helped the new tenant move the bed so we could accommodate a desk, the bloody thing collapsed! Previous tenant had broken 2 of the wooden legs. God knows how as it had always remained in the same position. In fact, I don't even want to think about it now but several of the wooden slats had popped out of position too...

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Robert 16th January, 2017 @ 21:21

I am very glad I found this site. I find it very useful and somehow helpful in dealing with the stress of dealing with difficult tenants knowing we are not the only ones. We have also been renting out a couple of properties for years. Most tenants were reasonable, some are not. Thank you for the blog

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Hannah 11th March, 2017 @ 11:58

It's rare -never- I find an article on tenancy disputes that makes me laugh out loud. It was the conniving cock that had me in stitches. Our last tenant left a fuck load of hair in the shower drain, I've never seen anything like it. We're just about to do a end of tenancy inspection with another tenant and I'm absolutely running taps and checking drains. Thanks for the advice!

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Susan Scales 14th February, 2018 @ 08:03

Thanks. I'll pass this onto neice who's moving out of rented.

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Sharon 14th February, 2018 @ 16:17

Ah yes, those annoying little bed slats that pop out with the added benefit of seeing that the mattress has been turned to hide that 'tea' stain, and the crap that has found its way under the bed: used earbuds, empty beer cans, used tissues and condoms (eeuw!), and underwear.
Just thinking about it makes me want to grab a scrubbing brush and run for the shower...

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Pip k baker 27th March, 2018 @ 09:46

Hi Adam, I am greatfull if a tenant has managed to place their rubbish in a bin, this is not my idea of going back to caveman and shyting in a corner, you might also find you agree one day when you find Shyt left in a corner. Be thankful for small mercies.

As a landlord of privet letting for over 30 years I carry a picture in my mind of my very presentable property being returned covered with excrement on walls ceiling and floors, drains blocked with all sorts just for the bastered I rent, bills changed to my name obviously rent not being paid, basically I try to picture the worst scene I can think of, holes smashed in walls and ceilings tiles smashed plumbing, electric and gas supply feeds internally messed with in order to cause me long term hassle.
When the property is returned to me I am always happy to receive it in any condition thats less shyt than the vision in my head, this has enabled me to not get beat-up by some of the mess do get damages that even the very best tenants leave. I take the view that more than a Landlord I am a unpaid social worker, a very profession cleaner and well adapted maintenance man.

Occassionally I will have a tenant who leaves the place better than when they took it on.

My properties are my bitches and yer I expect them to get F—ked and slapped around, I just make them presentable and send them back to work.

I might add capping washing machine/dishwasher outlet to drain connections, more often than not, the Appliances are removed with the rubber drainage pipe connection is left uncapped, meaning when you the cleaners or the tenant use the kitchen sink wastes water come flooding out under the sink and out of sight. There are caps available for these, (although they sit sandwiches between the connector and drainage out of sight and can I tend to simple use thin plastic and purposely leave it visible.

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Vanessa Windust 31st May, 2019 @ 08:15

I used a reputable estate agent/lettings agent who was supposed to do regular inspections. Tenant 7 years. I needed to move back in myself. Arrived, house unrecognisable. 4 doors removed, several kitchen cabinets stolen, curtain poles stolen. Front door kicked in. Windows civered in gloss paint. Phone line smashed up, tv aerial ripped out. Laminate floors butchered, 3 rooms flooded so laminate floors broken to pieces. Windows glued shut.kitchen plinths all gone. Kitchen doors painted in black patches. Zebra crazy wallpaper everywhere. Toilet walls covered in nightclub glittered black plastic. Pile of urine soaked used sanitary products in toilet. 2 tons rubbish left outside. Garden physically impenetrable. In shirt - professional negligence which agent calls wear and tear. I am a lady in my 70's, alone, on one leg, truly, and have to live in this as agent not compensating me. I have no money to renovate, this isnt the beautiful home I let out.
Agent said they inspected 2 months before I arrived, not possible after tenant in over 6 years.
This is my only property, my home.
What can I do? Help please.

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