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Final cleaning bill!

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Monday 17 September 2012 10.38am
After three very enjoyable years living in City Walk my wife and I have just moved out, with fond memories of meals at Zucca and Pizarro.

However, we've been given a bill of 150 +VAT, to clean our 1 bedroom flat in Antonine Heights.

Bearing in mind that the condition of the flat when we moved in, was to a "good domestic standard", does anyone else think this is a bit expensive?

I've asked them to provide contact details of the cleaning company, so that I can check the bill, but can anyone suggest anything else I can do?
Monday 17 September 2012 12.11pm
It is common practice for the contract to state that the tenant must have the flat professionally cleaned and have proof of this before you move out. You can check this in your lease.

Whether it was professionally cleaned when you moved in, is now unfortunately irrelevant, and should have been raised at the time if it was not up to standard.

150+vat is at the high end of the 1 bed cleaning scale I think, but you are unfortunately at the whim of whichever cleaning company the estate agents have paired up with to do this. No doubt the estate agent has added an arbitrary 'admin fee' to arrange this too.
Monday 17 September 2012 4.06pm
Thanks for the info.

Before moving in, I made sure that the agents amended the contract to reflect a domestic clean, which we then subsequently signed.

150+VAT seems pretty expensive, especially for an empty, small one bed flat in Antonine Heights!
Monday 17 September 2012 4.25pm
The going rate for a 'domestic cleaner' is at the most 7 per hour in my area. Possibly a little more in London, but surely no more than 10 per hour.
You can hire a carpet shampooing machine from 'Homebase' for 20. (24 hours.) So, 150 plus vat to clean a one-bed flat seems exorbitant.
It's too easy to forget what a difference the vat element makes, now that it's set at 20 per cent. Your total bill for what I would guess to be a couple of hours work maximum, is 180. Ouch!
Monday 17 September 2012 5.41pm
So if the contract was amended to say it should only be required to be domestically cleaned at the end of the tenancy and you did so, then you have a pretty good argument for them not to clean it again and incur no charge?

I'm assuming you cleaned it, but if not then yes they will have cleaned it and charge you whatever they wish, sadly. They probably own the cleaning company too :-P
Monday 17 September 2012 6.14pm
Worth noting perhaps that the London Living Wage is set by the GLA at 8.30 per hour - see here for more details about how it is calculated.
Monday 17 September 2012 7.12pm
If it helps I'm in the process of letting my flat and all the agents are recommending that a professional deep clean costing between 150 and 200 is carried out before rental, which the tenant is then obliged to carry out on leaving.
Tuesday 18 September 2012 6.34am
Why dont you ask for a copy of the specification, I worked for many years in the cleaning industry and always quoted for different levels of cleaning, for example, a basic clean would be what you would do yourself on a daily basis, then you would have a more intense clean that would include shampooing of carpets, cleaning of windows, washing of all walls woodwork etc, and I think Longlane is correct the agents have more then lightly added some on for their trouble.

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