And the growth of the rentals market is partially responsible for increased demand for professional cleaning companies. Landlords in stiff competition for tenants find a pristine property can give them the edge over their rivals. Maxine Peller, lettings Google Adwords Services manager for Oakleys, believes a professional clean is essential in todays rentals market. People expect a property to be pristine when they move in and landlords expect it to be pristine when they move out. Oakleys client base is mostly corporate, says Ms Peller, who admits that people renting tend to treat properties rather differently from homeowners.
They turn up looking like theyve just abandoned their surfboards on Bondi Beach, and they really turn a place into something special. Cleaning companies may find themselves revisiting the same properties in between tenancies: Estate agents are our main clients for end-of-tenancies. Often we go back to the same property every six months when a tenancy is finished.
My own property probably goes some way to disproving the theory that homeowners have higher standards, as the team spends a full five hours erasing years of sloppy housework and accumulated grime. Finally the oven shines, the tiles sparkle and the wooden floors appear shades lighter. The vendor may have had the house cleaned, but we sometimes get called in by the buyers and asked to clean every surface as they dont want to live with someone elses germs.
The appearance of a skip and a pile of bricks next door should set off the alarm bells if this is the first you know of a building project. If an extension emerges from alongside a shared wall, it is time to take action. Almost four years ago, the Party Wall Act came into force throughout England and Wales to protect adjoining owners from any work being carried out without their knowledge and permission.