Should I charge a cleaning fee?

Why do some companies charge an up front cleaning fee?  You will see that some companies charge an up front cleaning fee to each tenant.  At General Home Management we do not charge an up front cleaning fee. Our experience is that if the tenant is charged an up front cleaning fee they will leave the house dirty.  My childhood memories include coming home from school and smelling Endust and Spin N Span.  Being raised by a woman who would never let us use the front door and was always telling us to clean our fingerprints off the storm door, I have a pretty different idea of clean.  After 30 years in the Real Estate industry I have found that there are not a lot of people who share the same definition of clean.  If you want your tenants to leave the home clean when they move out, deliver a them a clean home to move into, don’t charge an up front cleaning fee, but clearly set the expectation that the home should be in the same condition when they leave that it was delivered to them in and if it is not they will pay to have the home cleaned.

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