What Should You Clean Before Moving Out?
Being a landlord can be lucrative, especially when you have several properties. However, one of the downsides of being a landlord is facing the end of tenancy cleaning. You may get lucky and have a tenant that has always kept on top of the house cleaning. The tenant moving out may also realise that in order to get their deposit returned they need to ensure they have done a good job of the house cleaning before moving out. Yet, no matter how meticulous your tenants may be, there always seems to be five things that tenants forget to clean, or simply can’t be bothered to clean when they are moving out.
If you have provided furniture and white goods in your property, you can be almost certain that these items, including the oven will suffer some wear and tear if your tenant has lived in the home for a while. Although a certain amount of wear and tear is to be expected, you may not be happy if items, such as the oven that can be cleaned without much fuss, are not. Perhaps the previous tenants have given the hob a quick wipe in the hope that you won’t investigate the inside of the oven, and if so, expect a grimy mess to be lurking within. It is a mystery why some tenants refuse to clean the oven, as this could be enough for you as the landlord to only give them some of their deposit back should you have to employ a domestic cleaning company to ensure the oven is ready for the next tenant. It is easy and relatively inexpensive to hire the services of a cleaning company to clean this appliance and it may be in your best interests to pass on the details of a home cleaning company to your tenant before they move out.
This is perhaps not all that surprising, as moving to a new house and making sure the interior is clean can be hard work, especially if your tenant is doing it all on their own. However, grubby windows are not a good look when you are attempting to attract new tenants. Hire a window cleaner for one-off cleaning, or keep on top of the window cleaning by hiring a cleaner to do the outside windows regularly. You may expect the tenant to pay for this service but as it is not expensive to hire a window cleaner, you may be better off organising this and paying for it yourself to avoid a displeased tenant.
Some tenants pat themselves on the back when they have cleaned the inside of the house but what about the outside? Whether your rental has a garden or a yard, chances are that your tenant will not want to tackle it once they know they are moving out. Many rental agreements state that the upkeep of the garden is the responsibility of the tenant, and if they do not adhere to this they can face losing some or all their deposit. Be certain to remind them of this when your tenant gives notice to move out and arrange to inspect the property and garden a few days before they are due to move out to give them time to tidy up, or to hire a cleaning company that takes care of gardens should you not be satisfied with their version of cleaning.
If you have provided the furniture, you will certainly be checking that there is nothing more than the expected wear and tear on sofas and other soft furnishings. However, many tenants forget to give items such as sofas a thorough clean. Although things may look fine on first inspection, a closer look could reveal that tenants have forgotten to remove detachable cushions and to vacuum and clean under and behind the seating areas of the sofa. If this is the only job that needs to be done, they may not even need to hire professional cleaners, and can easily do this particular job themselves. Again, a list of what you expect should be given to tenants well in advance of them vacating the property.
Unfortunately, some tenants are very messy and are prone to spilling drinks and foods that can permanently damage carpets and flooring. Unscrupulous types may go so far as to cover marks on carpets with a rug or a piece of furniture in the hope that you as their landlord don’t see it. Should carpets be stained to the extent that the mark cannot be moved with scrubbing, you could need to employ the services of a deep cleaning company. Tenants should be made aware that if you are the one that needs to employ a cleaning company then you intend to deduct the bill from the tenant’s deposit.