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Tenants left a lot of belongings in the property

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Hi everyone! 

Our tenants left the property a few days ago and moved to another country. I did a quick check the day after they left and let them know I was going to have to deduct cleaning costs from their deposit since the property was left pretty dirty and mentioned they left too many things behind and I'll have to charge for that too. They agreed on that and they were ok with me binning all their stuff. 

I went today to clear all their things and it was a lot more than I originally thought. It took me 3-4 hours to get everything in bags (absolutely disgusting too, used underwear, towels, all sorts) and dispose of it. Then the cleaners took another 3 hours and charged £150. I'm unsure about what's reasonable to charge for my time disposing of their stuff. I have the deposit with Safe Deposit Scotland so I want to do things properly. I have photos of everything. Has anyone been in a similar situation? 


Thank you 

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Hi @mara escalante

Great to have you on the forum - welcome!

Sorry to hear about this situation with your former tenant. We've not had much in the way of conversations about this exact situation on the forum, however the Robs covered how to deal with Nightmare Tenants in an early episode of the Podcast; https://propertyhub.net/podcast/tpp157-how-to-handle-a-nightmare-tenant/

In it, they list a few businesses/trade bodies that you can contact for more advice on the above situation, which I'd recommend. Hopefully a few of our members will also be able to share their input!


Mark Rocks
Community Builder and Content Writer




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This is one of those things you might have to take on this chin. It will be difficult to get a deposit protection adjudicator to agree to charge for your time

On this forum, you'll find tenants that haven't paid for 10 months and people that have trashed properties. In these covid times, what you're describing isn't too bad..

Your best bet would be to get the tenants to agree to a deduction. Write an email and explain what you had to do. For the sake of £50-100, I wouldn't go through that stress however!

Vin Gupta
Property Investor and Developer
UK Property Blog: https://evolutionblogger.com/article/uk-property-articles
Travel Blog: https://soulfultravelguy.com/

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Thanks for all the advice everyone! 

It seems it's ok to charge for your own cleaning time in Scotland from reading Safe Deposit Scotland guidelines. They do advise to get a company to do it so it's easier to prove the charges.

I've been communicating with the tenants at all times, I ended up telling them I was going to deduct £120 for disposing of their stuff and cleaning the mattress which they also left in really poor condition after not using the mattress protector provided. They accepted straight away, possibly because of the photos and the detailed inventory I sent them which showed the huge amount of things they left. So a happy ending this time! I will definitely use a company if this happens again. 

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