Every property manager has heard
this phrase many times. If said during a property management gathering, it
usually elicits laughs or groans. As a property owner, you may have experienced
these words first-hand from a resident yourself. No one really wants to hear
this statement from any tenant.
scenarios can lead to this cliche. First, there are times when tenants actually
do deliver a property in better condition even though the property was clean
when they took possession. They are simply meticulous people - this does
happen. Second, the majority who make this statement are trying to put you on
the defensive because they want their security deposit back in full and they
know it is not as clean as when they moved in. The third and last scenario is
that it is actually is cleaner because the property was not in good condition
than when they moved in.
scenario is the one you wish will happen; the second is manageable with good
documentation and common sense to dispute the tenant's claim. The last one,
that the property is actually cleaner because it was dirty when they moved in,
is not a good thing.
Why is it so
important to have the property in the best condition when a tenant takes
possession? Habit two of Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly
Effective People, puts it into perspective, "begin with the end in mind".
If you think about it, you want the best possible exit or ending with that
tenant. You want a long-term tenancy but the reality is that they all do move
By having the
property in clean condition, you have the best chance of attracting the right
tenancy. The residents you want in your property are those who are more
particular because this is how they want to live - in a well-maintained clean
When the property is clean when they
move in, you send a message that this is what you expect when they move out.
You immediately set the stage for a good landlord/tenant relationship.
Otherwise, residents begin dissatisfied and the tenancy can deteriorate from
As your management company, we want
to avoid unpleasant and costly problems for your investment, so we have certain
requirements when properties transition between tenants.
We have the
same "clean" standards for all properties and require vendors to
follow these standards. This applies to both inside and outside of the
unnecessary, we have a professional cleaning of properties so that we have
documentation to support the security deposit disposition when the tenant moves
reliable vendors to complete the professional cleaning.
the condition of the property before the tenant moves in, and again when the
tenant moves out.
tenants when they move in what the expectations of cleanliness are when they
What you don't want is a security
deposit dispute when they move out, particularly one that can lead to legal
issues. There is a simple answer to this - have the property clean when
residents move in. Then you are on solid ground when the tenants move out.