Cleaning your old property when you move out is probably is the last thing you want to be bothered with when your thoughts are already focused on your new home. However, if you want your deposit back in full, you need to make sure that the property is as clean when you move out as it was when you moved in. The level of cleanliness expected should be specified in the inventory you received when you moved into your rented property. If it isn’t, ask your landlord or letting agency for their end of tenancy cleaning advice.
Understanding End of Tenancy Cleaning Requirements
What is end of tenancy cleaning? Basically it’s a deep clean, throughout the property so that it looks and smells fresh and ready for the new tenant. You can take the human approach. Ask yourself ‘Would I be happy to move into this property?’ If the answer is yes and you know you have reasonably high standards the chances are you’ve got it right.
Alternatively, you can take a more structured approach by using an end of tenancy cleaning checklist. This is the way that professional cleaning companies do it.
Take it Room By Room
You can find an end of tenancy cleaning guide online, or devise your own based on what’s on your inventory. Whichever approach you use it’s best to take it room by room. Here’s a quick outline of what’s likely to be required.
- Lounge and Bedrooms
- Throughout the Property
This is usually where the heaviest work has to be done. All your worktops will need to be spotless, cupboards and drawers cleaned inside and out and all appliances have to be clean. Your fridge, freezer, oven, microwave, washing machine and dishwasher need to be cleaned inside and out. Generally speaking, the oven is the first thing that will be checked when your post tenancy inspection is done so you really need to make sure it’s spotless and fully degreased.
It’s the little things that can trip you up…crumbs in the toaster for instance! And the room needs to smell fresh as well as look clean, so make sure you wash waste bins when you’ve emptied them and leave the washing machine and fridge door ajar so they won’t get stale if the property is empty for a while.
After the kitchen, it’s the bathroom that gets the closest scrutiny. The toilet needs to be cleaned and disinfected. Sink, baths and shower cubicle have to be spotless and if there’s any limescale or mould build-up these need to be removed. Breaking down limescale can take a while. One of the more useful end of tenancy cleaning tips is to invest in some strong descaling products and leave these to act while you get on with other jobs.
In both the kitchen and the bathroom make sure that any tiling is thoroughly scrubbed to remove dirt and once again, limescale.
Make sure that carpets are vacuumed to the edges. You’ll need to move furniture to make sure that the carpets have been vacuumed beneath them. All drawers, cupboards and wardrobes need to be cleaned inside and out. Soft furnishings should be vacuumed too and curtains washed or dry cleaned if they’re part of the inventory.
If the carpet or any furniture has been stained during your tenancy you may need to hire a carpet cleaner. A fair amount of wear and tear shouldn’t count against you as an ex-tenant but damage will.
All doors and handles need to be cleaned, scuff marks removed from skirting boards. All light switches and sockets should be free from marks or grease. Hard floors need to be mopped and all carpets and rugs vacuum cleaned. Mirrors and furniture have to be dusted and polished.
If it’s all too much work for you…
Hire a cleaning company! Seriously. They do this work several times a week, know exactly what’s expected and have systems in place to make sure the work is done to the required standard. If you live in Enfield, Barnet, Harrow, Richmond or South London, check out ‘Perfect Carpet Cleaning’, they’ll come in when you’ve moved out, bring all the equipment they need and you’ll pay a fixed price for a guaranteed service.