So for whatever reason you are leaving your current residency and your tenancy is reaching its end. You have another property lined up, whether it is a rental one or you are taking out a mortgage to move onwards and upwards and you want to tie off all loose ends with your landlord before moving on. One aspect of this that must be addressed is properly cleaning the property before the end of the tenancy.
It is your duty as a tenant to make sure that the property is ‘returned’ in the same condition as it was originally let to you as stated in the terms of your lease. In doing this, you may need to perform a routine maintenance check as well as making sure the property in itself is clean and clear. We’ve put together a short list of 4 steps you want to follow if you’re making sure that your property is right and ready for the inspection of the landlord. Read on to find out more.
1. DIY or Hiring a Professional?
It is important that you decide as a house whether you will tackle cleaning the property yourselves or hire a professional cleaning company to do it for you. While it may seem like a big expense, if it helps you get your deposit back it might be worth the investment, especially if you lack the time to clean the house yourselves. Generally splitting the cost of professional cleaning is better value than losing your whole deposit, so it could be an option.
On the other hand, some landlords only deduct cleaning costs from your initial deposit instead of retaining your deposit in its entirety, so you might actually end up losing out on money because of this. Take a look into various local cleaning companies to see what they charge, and also see whether or not there are any big messes that actually need a professional to clear them up. This is where taking pictures of the property before the start of your tenancy is useful, as you can see whether or not any stains or defects were present before you moved in.
2. Moving the Clutter
There is no point in cleaning a property that hasn’t been cleared of all its clutter. If you clean around the clutter and the mess, you may as well not do the cleaning in the first place. You want to move everything out and work through the rooms systematically so that you can clear all the spaces, in and around the nooks and crannies. Leave no stone unturned as they say! By working through each room as you go, you can use the other rooms in the property to store the clutter in that room.
3. Throwing Away Unwanted Items
Another good idea is to do a clear-out before you start your cleaning process. Are there any old items of furniture that you know for sure have been there for years, abandoned by previous tenants? Any gross, mouldy old blankets that have been just left alone because nobody wanted to touch them? Anything you can throw out, do. This will give you a good head start when you start cleaning the property and will also help with improving the overall smell of the property (as that can be an issue at times).
4. Cleaning – Inside and Out!
The garden and exterior of the house can often be a major reason for the reduction of deposit returned, so mow the lawn and keep the paths well maintained. Even removing weeds from between paving slabs can make a vast difference, and don’t let rubbish blow into the garden and build up as this can be unattractive and a health risk. Also make sure all windows are clean from the inside and outside, for a good first impression when your landlord comes to inspect the house.
Checking your lease at this point may be a good idea; some tenancies explicitly require the upkeep and general maintenance of a garden or property exterior, whereas some others leave it out. If the upkeep of your property garden is otherwise unmentioned in your lease, then you have some leeway when arguing back your deposit. If you are unsure, make sure to talk to a professional about your responsibilities as a tenant.
When reaching the end of a tenancy, whether you’re a student moving onto bigger and better things, or you’ve finally found your dream home and are stepping onto the first rung of the property ladder, properly cleaning your property in line with the terms and conditions of your lease is essential. You want to make sure that you get your deposit back and that you give your landlord no reason to complain about the state of the property or its condition. Sometimes seeking a Schedule of Dilapidations or at least advice on a schedule might be useful if you have lived in the property for some time now. At the end of the day, it is important that you are vigilant with cleaning a property at the end of a tenancy so that both you and your landlord can finish things on good terms.
This article was provided by Sara Bryant, independent content writer for Apple Clean, the carpet and upholstery cleaning experts for the South East England.
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