Q. My tenants have left my property dirty and the carpets are in a dreadful state. Can I get it cleaned and pay for this from the tenant's deposit?
A. Possibly. However, this will depend largely on what is stated in your opening inventory. If your property had been professionally cleaned before your tenants moved in, you have a receipt for the work and it was detailed as such on your inventory, then yes, you should be able to claim for this corrective work. However, if you simply cleaned it yourself, even though this may have been to a good standard, it is unlikely the Deposit Scheme will allow you to make a deduction from the deposit as they would classify this as betterment i.e. the tenant would be improving the condition of the premises beyond the condition stated at the start of their tenancy.
To ensure you are able to claim in such circumstances, we recommend landlords always invest in having the property professionally cleaned and the carpets professionally cleaned throughout. Whilst this is an initial cost to the landlord, it sets a precedent for all future tenancies.