Honourable and personal residential letting experts


What can I charge my tenant when the tenancy ends?

So you want to know what you can charge your tenant when the tenancy comes to an end?

Well, our blog in February on “What causes disputes at the end of a tenancy?” received quite a bit of interest. The default feeling was that the deposit will (in most cases) go straight over to the landlord and that is just not the case. Most checkouts lead to no deductions at all. Why? The tenancy has run smoothly- in that both parties have followed through on their obligations:

  • The landlord to maintain the property.
  • The tenant to treat the property in a tenant like manor and pay the rental when due.

The biggest issue at the end of most tenancies is down to cleaning

So how do you prove the home was clean when the tenancies started, and more importantly what does clean actually mean?

The only way to prove the condition of the property at the start of a tenancy is by having a professional inventory. This will show in pictures and a detailed description the condition of the property going as far as advising if there is limescale on taps/how clean the loo was.

The inventory is given to the tenant on the day they move in, and we allow three days to be notified of any discrepancies.

Do I need a new inventory for every tenancy?

We get asked this quite a bit and the answer is no, but without dated photos (ie. a few days before the tenancy starts) you risk having a dispute at the end of the tenancy. In essence, you will have no back-up to any argument you may have. If on the worst-case scenario your tenant takes a dispute to TDS or DPS, you will have absolutely no chance of repayment for a clean. The risk will be yours and that is why we advise, best practice is to have a new inventory carried out at the beginning of each tenancy.

What about wear and tear?

There is no legal definition. It really is common sense. Let’s say you have a young child in a home- you may see little hand marks on the stair walls. That is what I would class as normal wear and tear. However, writing on the stair walls comes under the heading of heavy wear and tear and I would be expecting the charge for repainting the landing and stairs to be settled by the tenant. But, only if you have an inventory could you prove this.

We have a section on wear and tear on our website which you may find helpful- click here.


A few facts from us

In 2021 we carried out 187 checkouts:

– 38% had no issues and received their deposit back with in give days. 61 tenants had taken out the checkout cleaning service we offer.
– 33% had cleaning dilapidations with an average charge of £243 which was taken from the deposit. Five tenants disputed the charge, however, agreed once the inventory was shown to be very clear on the condition of the property as they moved in.

To answer the question ‘what can I charge my tenant at the end of the tenancy?’ is hopefully…nothing! But if there is a need to deduct money, we do all the negotiations for you.

If you have any questions or queries on this just give me a call on 01480 494939.