The subject of ‘reasonably clean’ in a property, is nearly always certain to create robust discussion between owners, tenants and property managers. We will always try to maintain high standards of cleaning where possible, but sometimes our standard is too high for the Tenancy Tribunal. This issue is quite common when carrying out the final, or bond, inspection of the property once tenants vacate.

We might consider the property, or part of the property, to not be reasonably clean, as is required under the terms of the Residential Tenancies Act. The tenant may dispute this.

If we can’t agree, then we may feel it necessary to elevate the matter to the Tenancy Tribunal for the Adjudicator to determine the outcome. Sometimes we win, and sometimes we don’t. We will always have ‘before and after’ photos, but sometimes the Adjudicator doesn’t agree, or thinks that the way the tenant has left the property is reasonably clean, even if there is a bit of dirt or a stain to the carpet, or a mark to the oven. A level of cleaning over and above ‘reasonably clean’, is an owner responsibility, according to the Tenancy Tribunal.

Professional cleaning of carpets is not required of vacating tenants, unless of course there are now more stains to the carpet than there was when the tenancy began, and even then, the tenant is only required to clean the stains, not necessary the entire carpet to the whole property. Many people feel this isn’t fair, but unfortunately, this is the law, and we have to accept the Adjudicator’s decision. It is often important to remember, that overall, the Tenancy Tribunal is tenant centric, but we will always try for our owners where we think we have a chance at a positive outcome. If we think our chances of success are unlikely, we will let you know. Your property manager is the best person to advise you.