My friend lives in atrocious conditions in social housing. The conditions are tenant inflicted and cover pet faeces on the floor, fly infestations, blocked up plumbing etc.

My friend is moving house soon and feels completely incapable of cleaning the house by herself. She knows there will be a hefty bill for the landlord's cleaning services, but she wants to know if that is capped and, if so, at what amount?

N.B. please do not comment on the inappropriateness of the cleanliness of the property. I agree that such a standard is unsafe and unusual.

  • Putting aside cleaning costs for the moment, there may actually be an issue with potential criminal damage here if the landlord wanted to pursue that avenue should the tenant just up and leave with the property in such a state, so you might want to look into that.
    – user4210
    May 15, 2019 at 22:05

2 Answers 2


The tenant is responsible for damage beyond “fair wear and tear” which this obviously is.

If it is as bad as you suggest then it may require professional forensic cleaning which can run to thousands of pounds. At some point, things like carpets etc. can be cheaper to replace than to repair.

There is no upper limit (beyond, at the extreme, the cost of demolition and rebuilding the dwelling), however, there may be a practical limit being the amount the tenant can pay before going bankrupt.

  • To add to this: if there is a deposit, the landlord can use it to cover expenses like this. If that's not enough, the landlord could sue the tenant...but in practice, if the tenant has no money, it's unlikely to be worth the effort or additional cost. May 15, 2019 at 9:13

The amount is not capped, and a social housing landlord is quite likely to use a cleaning contractor.

It may be cheaper for your friend to pay a cleaner directly rather than waiting for the landlord to use their contractor.

This is the sort of cleaning contractor that deals with vacated property cleans


Your friend needs a cleaning company that can deal with biological waste and lift and remove soiled carpets, not one of the cleaners who wave a duster around.

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