This is a question sometimes asked about the necessity of an end-of-tenancy clean end-of-tenancy clean, and in short, the answer is no.

The best way to fully appreciate this is to understand the difference between when a tenant and lease exist and when they don’t.

When a lease exists, the tenant is responsible for keeping the flat or house clean and tidy. When the keys are returned at the end of the tenancy, they must be left in this condition.

Yes, ideally, a professional end-of-tenancy clean will ensure this is done satisfactorily and in accordance with any lease and inventory obligations.

But tenants don’t have to—they can just do it themselves, so long as it's nice and clean afterwards!

Turning back to the landlord’s duties, they have no specific legal obligations to keep clean between tenants. It’s not as if they have a lease between themselves; it’s their property as it is.

Therefore, the new tenant will inherit as it is, even if it is dirty.

However, there is a but here!

The landlord DOES have basic repair and health and safety duties to make a place habitable for tenants under various Landlord and Tenant Acts. So it can’t be handed to a new tenant in such a bad condition that these obligations are breached!

Probably the best way to explain this better is through an example.

Suppose someone lets a one-bedroom flat in Birmingham city centre to a new tenant. Although the previous tenant didn’t do an excellent job of an end-tenancy clean, and the landlord didn’t complete anything extra between tenancies, it’s not too bad.

Okay, there may be high dust; even the bath and kitchen worktop need a scrub-up, and the carpets require deep cleaning.

But it’s still habitable, and even if the new tenant is happy to take this on in this condition, they okay they need to clearly state this poor condition in the initial inventory or schedule of condition to make sure they don’t receive these inherited problems, for example, stained carpets, damaged items, and scuffed walls.

But let's assume this previous tenant went even further and trashed the place…and the landlord is simply reletting as it is without any start-of-tenancy clean!

So, mould in the fridge and kitchen cupboards from rotting food was left, now attracting pests and even rodents. The mattresses on the beds are stained and damaged, and there is a terrible smell from old clothes and bed linen left around.

This IS a problem regarding the essential health and safety of the property for a new occupier, which the landlord will probably have a legal obligation to deal with before the new tenancy.

Do you want any more help and advice on end-of-tenancy or other cleans? Contact us today for any obligation and fuss quote and feedback.