Great! They GAVE YOU a Guarantee...How does that help ME & your SECURITY DEPOSIT?

Property Manager with Gibson Management Group, Ltd.

Over my years in property management, I have found that having departing residents leave the property in good and clean condition is a matter of education and instruction.

I actually have a 2-page check out letter that expounds on cleaning instructions that are contained in the resident handbook that they got when they signed their lease.

In my check-out letter, I provide the names of my PREFERRED vendors for house cleaners, carpet cleaners and yard services. when a resident of 2 years tells me that he 1) cleaned the carpet himself; and 2) that he used "a more affordable cleaning service that GUARANTEES their work".... I have to scratch my short blond hair with my French manicured nails.

What part of PROFESSIONAL cleaning don't you understand?  Unless the carpet is cleaned by a TRUCK MOUNTED system, it is not PROFESSIONAL.  A personal or store rented extraction carpet cleaning machine may be OK for spot cleaning or routine cleaning in heavy traffic areas; however, the carpet in the house was NEW when these residents moved in so any dirt is theirs' and to make sure it is CLEAN for the next residents, it needs to be PROFESSIONALLY cleaned.


When I asked about the house cleaning, I was advised that he used a service that provided a GUARANTEE.   Since the residents will be 500 miles away when I determine what that GUARANTEE is worth, it is REALLY worthless.  

If there are issues, I will have MY cleaning services go back in and clean the home per the guidelines in the resident handbook and I will take their cleaning charge out of the departed teants' security deposit.....additionally, I will charge my 20% service charge for organizing this per the terms of their lease. what GOOD is a GUARANTEE to a tenant who is 500 miles away and who NO LONGER HAS ACCESS to the PROPERTY?


Posted by

Wallace S. Gibson is a Certified Property Manager with over 50 years of property management experience and expertise.  She maintains a specialized property management business in Central Virginia serving Albemarle, Greene, Fluvanna and Louisa counties  


View our available Charlottesville, Albemarle and Lake Monticello rental homes online with photos and floor plans

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Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Wallace, I wonder how many tenants really read the lease and understand it. I'll bet they didn't read the handbook either.

Jul 31, 2013 10:53 PM #14
Wallace S. Gibson, CPM
Gibson Management Group, Ltd. - Charlottesville, VA

These are a military family so I suspect they thought they knew best....however, keeping the carpet cleaned will prolong the life which is my goal for my clients

Jul 31, 2013 10:56 PM #15
Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

Good Morning Wallace, I love the way you wrote this post. Tenants seem to understand everything pretty well when they're moving in but move-out is a different story. Your job is not easy but you have a great system in place.

Jul 31, 2013 11:13 PM #16
Doug Rogers
Bayou Properties - Alexandria, LA
Your Alexandria Louisiana Agent

I will have to borrow this idea! I learned the hard way to spell out expectations to renters.

Jul 31, 2013 11:24 PM #17
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

The program is laid out and not hard to follow...Catch the flow and things go rather well

Jul 31, 2013 11:57 PM #18
Jimmy Faulkner
Florida. Homes Realty & Mortgage - Wantagh, NY
The Best Of St. Augustine

Haven't you seen the change in the last 20 years where what is said cannot not be believed and what is in a contract  does not matter. Just ask any lawyer. WE have lost our way and we had better find an answer real soon. I am 68 years old and it was my generation that started this nightmare.

Aug 01, 2013 12:22 AM #19
Brenda Mullen
RE/MAX Access - Schertz, TX
Your San Antonio TX Real Estate Agent!!

Well reading and following directions is just hard for some people least they may get some of their security deposit back...

nice try lol :)!

Aug 01, 2013 01:13 AM #20
Jeff Pearl
RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA - Lovettsville, VA
Full Service Full Time Realtor

Some people just won't listen, and always think they know more than everyone else. I suppose you'll have to make an edit stating that tenants ny not clean the carpets themselves, then you can guess what will happen. the tenant will rent the maching from grocery store, then have one of their buddies use it to clean the carpet.

Aug 01, 2013 01:21 AM #21
Wallace S. Gibson, CPM
Gibson Management Group, Ltd. - Charlottesville, VA

House cleaning is OK....however, there are "dents" in the carpet from heavy furniture that a regular/domestic cleaner can not PULL UP...gonna call my guy to do...

Aug 01, 2013 03:21 AM #22
Leslie Prest
Leslie Prest, Prest Realty, Sales and Rentals in Payson, AZ - Payson, AZ
Owner, Assoc. Broker, Prest Realty, Payson,

We do much the same. We write the part about the professional carpet cleaning into the lease, and the tenants have to give us a copy of the receipt with their keys.

Aug 01, 2013 04:03 AM #23
Connie Harvey
Pilkerton Realtors - Brentwood, TN
Realtor - Nashville TN Real Estate

Wallace, I have a lot of respect for what you do. I haven't had to deal with tenants in years and had forgotten how difficult they can be.

Aug 01, 2013 04:47 AM #24
Ginny Gorman
RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate - North Kingstown, RI
Homes for Sale in Southern RI and beyond

Smart Lady, have it down pat so what don't tenants understand...i agree with is a tough business but you seem to do very well in it!

Aug 01, 2013 10:46 AM #25
Michelle Francis
Tim Francis Realty LLC - Atlanta, GA
Realtor, Buckhead Atlanta Homes for Sale & Lease


Another busy moving week!  Yes, when they follow instructions and return the house in the same condition we gave it to them in, we might be happier than they are, as it's a ton of work to get all these folks back out to the house to do the right job.  Have better things to do - time is money, so there is a fee for that. 

Love the folks trying to SAVE, who actually COST themselves more. 

All the best, Michelle

Aug 01, 2013 12:32 PM #26
Kenneth Cole
Weichert Realtors Appleseed Group, 2043 Richmond Ave. S.I.N.Y. 10314. office phone 718-698-9797, - Staten Island, NY
NYS Licensed Real Estate Salesperson

The Wallace Gibson school of how to's for landlords, great class and it never ends.  Thanks.

Aug 01, 2013 09:37 PM #27
Charita Cadenhead
eXp Realty - Birmingham, AL
Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama)

It's so simpley Wallace.  I just don't understand why they don't understand that they don't make the rules.

Aug 02, 2013 09:42 PM #28
Joe Petrowsky
Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709 - Manchester, CT
Your Mortgage Consultant for Life

You are so right there is a difference between cleaned and cleaned. We have used one company to handle all our cleans and always recommend them. Nice job with your post.

Aug 04, 2013 10:26 PM #29
Hella Mitschke Rothwell
(831) 626-4000 - Honolulu, HI
Hawaii & California Real Estate Broker

Wallace: You are truly the "landlordwhisperer". Move out time can be so stressful for a management company that does not have rules like yours.

Aug 07, 2013 01:52 AM #30
MichelleCherie Carr Crowe Just Call...408-252-8900
Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty - San Jose, CA
Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years

When you provide a list of acceptable service providers, you'd think they'd realize there's a reason those are on the list.

Aug 12, 2013 01:27 PM #31
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Sometimes people just fail to meet the terms of an agreement. You are smart to have the expected procedures in writing and very smart to have a security deposit that will cover the cost of cleaning.

Aug 15, 2013 11:32 AM #32
Ricky D. Sadler
Real Estate Marketing Experts &Trusted Senior Advisors on Property Management services, Rentals Leasing, Landlord Ten... - Seattle, WA
Trusted Senior Property Advisor & Marketing Expert


Good Job- have it down, I’m waiting for the book to come out! Your pictures look great!

Ricky D


Aug 16, 2013 08:51 AM #33
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