This has been and will continue to be a much-debated area by the variety of people who rely on, or are affected by the inventory and condition report. Believe it or not, we have had tenants during a check-out appointment put the claim to us that by painting their daughters’ originally cream-walled bedroom electric pink is ‘fair wear and tear’ as they have children!
What about the professional tenant who when dirty plates with dried-on food and mould forming on them were found under his bed (around half a dozen in total) told our clerk ‘…well there was dust webs on the ceiling in the lounge when I moved-in, so it’s just the same really, as now there aren’t any dust webs in the lounge, so this should cancel it out. I can’t be charged for cleaning’.
Clean: has the appearance of being clear of dust, litter, debris, lint, hairs, dust or cob webs. No action of any sort is required to rectify.
Dusty: generally when referring to skirting boards, sockets and switches, but sometimes any flat surface where a property may’ve stood empty for several weeks or has recently undergone refurbishment works. Nothing more than a wipe-down with a damp cloth should be required to resolve the issue.
Dust/cob webs: generally when referring to ceilings, high levels of walls or light fittings. Nothing more than high-level dusting should be required to resolve the issue.
Light debris: generally when referring to carpets and floor coverings, this may mean small amounts of leaves for example that have blown over the threshold, or lint or cotton fibres on carpets. Another example could be a small collection of crumbs in kitchen cupboards or under salad trays in fridges etc. Nothing more than a vacuum of carpets, sweep of hard floors, or dustpan and brush should be required to resolve the issue.
Heavy debris: generally when referring to carpets and floor coverings, this may mean large amounts of leaves for example that have blown over the threshold, dried or crumbled mud that has been walked-in, large amounts of lint or cotton fibres across carpets, carpet remnants and off-cuts from newly fitted carpets, heavy brick dust or broken plaster following refurbishment works. It would be expected that a thorough vacuum of carpets, sweep of hard floors, dustpan and brush AND mop and bucket along with soap, water and cloth should be required to resolve the issue.
Stained: generally when referring to carpets, beds, mattresses and linen. Marked or discoloured in some way from it’s original appearance and it is clear it would be difficult to remove. If vacuuming would not remove from a carpet, or a washing machine would not remove from fabrics for example.
Soiled: generally when referring to beds, mattresses, linen and curtains. Excessively stained and marked or discoloured to such an extent that it would be unreasonable to think a replacement item was not required immediately. Likely not-functional or fit-for-purpose, replacement requests from tenants would be warranted.
Nick Blakeley – Owner, Professional Letting | Inventory Reports