Request Feedback on Reasonable End of Lease Cleaning Fee

Hello,

I have recently moved out after end of my lease. Although I cleaned the apartment myself, but I could not arrange professional cleaning and I acknowledge that it was not enough clean. Hence, I was expecting a cleaning fee reduction from my bond.

I was renting a moderately sized 2 bhk unit in Epping area.

My agent called me today and informed that the house and carpet cleaning charge would be $530. He has sent me the bond claim form having that deduction amount and asked my consent.

My question is, is this a reasonable charge?

Thanks.

Edit: I got really good responses and that everyone for your valuable feedbacks.

I called the agent today and requested him for an estimate/invoice. As I was expecting, he became furious and said that I was annoying him, blah blah :).

He also threatened that he could charge me rent until the property is cleaned and ready for next tenant.
Although, I later checked and found that this is not allowed by law (https://legalanswers.sl.nsw.gov.au/tenants-rights-manual-pra...) . Luckily I have agent's email which says that they received the keys.

I have decided to check the estimate first (though he will probably give me a dodgy one after including his commission etc) and then sign the bond form.

As before, requesting feedback from members.

Comments

  • +2

    I don’t think it’s “reasonable” but you didn’t get a quote and it’s also your fault for not arranging it beforehand. The agent would have a contract with an existing cleaner and is under no obligation to find the cheapest one for you. The fact that you acknowledge it wasn’t clean enough probably means that you left it with more than just a carpet steam clean remaining which will obviously cost more.

    I doubt your going to win this one so consider it a $530 lesson and next time book a cleaner and do your own work.

  • +2

    Impossible for us to know considering we don't know the extent of the cleaning required. If you think the fee is unreasonable then either:

    1. Negotiate with the agent for a lower amount and see if you can agree on an amount
    2. Submit your bond claim (without deduction or with a deduction that you feel is reasonable) and see if they will challenge it and then go to NCAT

    Remember that it isn't necessary to have professional cleaning - just that you return the property in substantially the same condition that you received it (less fair wear and tear).

  • I would say it's probably reasonable…I paid around $300 for EOL clean of a tiny 1 bedder over 5 years ago…perhaps I got ripped off?

    You could call a few cleaning places and ask for a ballpark quote…it'll probably be around that much.

  • $350 actually sounds reasonable for a two bedroom apartment. I paid $300 for a one a bedroom a couple of years ago in the Melb CBD and that was about middle-of-the-range for that time.

    • +1

      $530, not $350

      • +3

        $053 is very reasonable..

      • +2

        $530, not $350

        Something has definitely been wrong with me lately! (Im blaming lockdown v2.0!) lol

        In that case, $530 is probably bordering on "expensive" but not totally unreasonable yet.

  • +1

    Easy answer, do not consent ? Ask them for before and after pictures.

  • Well, how long you have been living in there? And how often you clean it yourself?

    $530 to me is fairly reasonable for a 2BR. I paid over 1K last time for a 2BR in Sydney where I lived in there over 13 years without ever cleaning once myself. ;P

  • https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/551144

    sadly nobody told him the correct advice :(

    • It's surprising really. At the minimum you will require professional carpet cleaners - I think they've always requested at least that and that's something I just can't do.

    • First reply did:

      "Also if i was you i would find the time to get the place cleaned, Agent will use a company for cleaning which pays them a kick back for the referral, so cost will be much higher than if you organise it yourself."

    • I did!!

      Clean the house as best you can, ask the agent to come have a look, they'll make you a list of things to fix, fix them, have them approve it and you're good to go.

      If OP had stayed in communication with the real estate and got them to approve the clean or tell him what to fix, have him fix it and then get them to approve, he wouldn't have had this problem.

      This is exactly what my terrible tenant did to me. Did a half arsed job, left suddenly with no communication, then I had to fix each of the items my real estate made a list of. Eg clean window tracks, clean outside of windows, mow lawn, clean stove top and oven, wipe down walls etc etc

      All she had to do was communicate and then she could have fixed all those little items she didn't realise were needed and both of us would have saved money (I had to pay some as her bond didn't cover it completely, with the break lease fee and rent up to the next tenant moving in), and would have saved a lot of hassle and stress for me to organise to get it cleaned within like 4 days.

      Communication is key to so many things

  • I acknowledge that it was not enough clean. Hence, I was expecting a cleaning fee reduction from my bond.

    informed that the house and carpet cleaning charge would be $530

    These companies are 'fixed' costs to complete a bond clean. So even though you had a go, it doesn't really matter.

    Guessing its something like $300 to clean and $230 to clean the carpets.

    He has sent me the bond claim form having that deduction amount and asked my consent.

    You are welcome to get your own quotes instead.

    • +1

      If you have already returned the key, arranging access for your cleaner could be an issue if you want to use your quote. Sounds like you have vacated the property.

      They might even try charge you for arranging access or the need to do another inspection and worst case, additional rental for the day.

      I would probably just suck it up and don't have to worry about all these especially if you don't have time for it.

  • Steam cleaning of the carpet isn't mandatory (unless you made a real mess of it - think wine stains etc) - even though the RE agents would make you believe it is.

    • -1

      You have to return the property to the state you received it in. If the carpets were steam cleaned before you moved in it's reasonable to expect to have to steam clean them when you leave.

      • -1

        Incorrect - it just has to be in a reasonable condition

    • +1

      Pretty much every rental contract I signed just added an extra clause that said you must steam clean on departure. So while it's not mandatory by default they can easily make it so.

      • such clause is not enforceable

        • Does it really matter? You need a good reference to get your new place. If you refuse and then take your previous landlord through *CAT to not have the cost to have it done taken from your bond they're not going to think kindly of you.

          • @Quantumcat: So the law doesn't matter, justice doesn't matter? No wonder the RE agents and landlords feel they can act like the bullies/ jerks they are.

            • @Love a bargain: It's really not much to ask. Would you prefer moving into places with stained dirty carpet? It's just being a good human being - treating people how you'd like to be treated. There's no laws that tell me to hold doors open for people juggling lots of stuff to pass through or to empty the coffee machine basket after using the coffee machine at work but you do it cause it is a nice thing to do, it isn't too hard, and it makes your life better when others do the same for you.

              Now if you're struggling financially and can't afford the $80 or so to hire the stream cleaner machine from the supermarket and do it yourself then sure go ahead and fight it. But if you can afford it just do it cause it is the right thing to do and will be nice for the next tenant to move into.

        • How so? It's not a general requirement to return the property clean but a specific requirement to steam clean (and provide receipt).

          Surely this clause works the same as the one saying no subletting, no automotive works and until recently (in Victoria) no pets.

  • It's expensive and they are ripping u off but what are you gonna do? You didn't clean it properly and haven't organised your own. They are required to return the bond in certain number of days or dispute it. This way is cheaper for them then to take you to VCAT. This way is more expensive but also easier than for you to go to VCAT. So, what u wanna do?

  • Thanks for all your time and comments. Though i received varied opinions, probably I would bear the cost and give it a go. My agent already sent me a NSW bond refund form with the deduction amount, and I just need to sign it and return it to him.

    Can I ask him for the cleaner's money receipt to be sure that the agent himself is not keeping anything in his pocket (i am not saying he would, but he could) ?

    Thanks.

    • Sure, but they probably get kickbacks (or similar) in other less obvious and traceable ways.

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