“Broom clean” at the end of a tenancy: what landlords should watch out for
By Sadiya Anjum
At the end of every tenancy, the renter is required to leave the property in a clean state. But how clean is “clean”? Most lease agreements, require the tenant to leave the property “broom clean” when they leave. Most authorities on real estate define ‘broom clean’ as “the ideal condition of a building when it is turned over to an owner or tenant”. So now you ask how ideal is “ideal”?
Ideally clean for a Stepford mom would be shampooed carpets, immaculate floors, shining faucets and to a bachelor it could mean there are no stale slices of pizza sticking to the counter. There really is no way of defining what clean is. But when most landlords are doing the final walk-through of the property with the tenant, the least they expect to see is the property having suffered only a reasonable amount of regular wear and tear. In such a case, the deposit would be returned intact (provided there were no other previous damages). But burn marks on the carpet or big holes in the walls is unacceptable in which case the landlord would have to deduct a certain sum from the deposit.
Here is a small list of things that need to be in order; else the landlord is justified in deducting a reasonable amount from the deposit. So tenants watch out for these! Every single room should be examined for the following:
Apart from the aforementioned, check other appliances, countertops, fireplace (if there is one) or other items that are specific to your property. The ideal thing for a tenant to do is to photograph/ videotape the property before moving in because if the burn marks were already present then you won’t have to pay for it.
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