Q. Our tenant is disputing our claim under the deposit for cleaning costs on the basis that the property is being left in a similar condition to that at the start of the tenancy. We had it cleaned before they moved in but they say that they have cleaned it and it is no different from when they moved in. How can we best prove our case?
A. Cleaning disputes are one of the biggest issues raised in tenancy deposits and vast sums are deducted, nationwide, from deposits due to landlords and agents requiring the property to be professionally cleaned.
It is true that the property does not have to be left in a better condition than when the tenancy started - so if the tenants took over a filthy property you cannot bring any claim for cleaning it after they have gone.
As the deposit is the tenant's money, landlords have to prove their claim, on the 'balance of probability'. The adjudicator will only allow your claim if you are able to prove by way of evidence that the property was significantly less clean when the tenants left than when they moved in.