We all know just how stressful moving out a property can be, whether it be sorting out through all your items, getting to know an entirely new location, or moving day itself, there are many things that you need to take into consideration and prepare for. Another thing that this includes if you are renting a property is to make sure that it is thoroughly cleaned so that it is prepared for inspection and so that you have the best possible chance of getting all your deposit back. But how do you do exactly that? Here at Secured Loans, we have prepared a checklist to make the cleaning process that little bit easier.
Read your tenancy agreement first
When it comes to preparing yourself for end-of-tenancy cleaning, you should always make sure that you have taken the time to check the tenancy agreement in full. This is because it will clearly state your responsibilities as a tenant and will define how the house must be left when you move out, which will give you a guideline as to what your essential cleaning tasks will be.
Make sure that damages are fixed
In most, if not all, tenancy agreements, it is likely to be stipulated that if you have caused damage to the property in any way (or they have been incurred whilst living there) that they will need to be fixed prior to leaving the property. You should take every step to make sure you sort this out yourself, as this also gives you the opportunity to sort out replacements within your budget. Otherwise, it could end up being the case that the landlord ends up sorting the damages themselves which will then be deducted from your deposit, and potentially at a much higher cost.
One of the main reasons many tenants do not end up getting all of their deposit back is largely due to underestimating the amount of time it would take to complete all the cleaning tasks that were required, meaning that some tasks get left undone, purely due to running out of time. That is why you should try to prepare for cleaning at the end of your tenancy as far in advance as you can. You could choose to hire a professional cleaning company or do it yourself. However, in the majority of cases, it will be far more cost-effective to do the tasks yourself. Furthermore, you will also know that all of the rooms have met the stipulated standards in the agreement, which can help to give you peace of mind.
The inspection checklist
The exact work that you will need to undertake will depend on the tenancy agreement, however, these cleaning tasks detailed below generally need to be carried out, regardless of the exact inspection checklist.
- Make sure that you thoroughly cleaned out the washing machine and the dishwasher, as damage to these will not be considered as general wear and tear
- Remove all items in cupboard and shelves, as well as any crumbs or stains in them using a wet cloth, and also pull out appliances and wipe beneath as well as behind them
- Clean the fridge inside and out
- Thoroughly clean your oven, many people end up getting money deducted from their deposit due to forgetting to clean theirs, but this also tends to be the very first thing checked at an end of tenancy inspection. Make sure you remove any household dust, grease, burnt food deposits as well as grime that is lurking in it
The living room
- When it comes to the living room, your main cleaning tasks will revolve around tackling the carpet and dusting
- Make sure to vacuum the carpets
- Be sure to remove any stains on the carpets if you have them, don’t make the mistake of thinking simply moving furniture around to cover stains will be enough. Landlords are aware of this tactic, and it is frequently used, but easily discovered at an end of tenancy inspection
- Clear and wipe all shelves, cupboards, coffee tables and cabinets, and polish
- Your top priority in the bathroom when it comes to cleaning is checking any metallic surfaces (such as shower head, drain grates, taps) for signs of mould and limescale, as this will be very likely to be taken out of your deposit. There are a variety of cheap but effective cleaning products to help you tackle limescale if you have it.
Other important cleaning tasks to consider
The following should also be carried out when you are doing your end of tenancy cleaning tasks:
- Check the labels on your curtains as you may need to wash them, but they may be dry clean only
- If you have blinds make sure that you clean both sides, and replace them if they have been damaged
- Dust curtain rods and fabric roller blinds
- Ensure that all furniture is in good condition and checking that there isn’t any odours hat remain or any stains that have been left, as you could end up getting this deducted from your deposit
- Look at the conditions of the walls, are there scuff marks everywhere? You may be able to easily wash them off with the right cleaning products. If this does not remove it, it may be worth painting, however, if there is more than just one mark, you will be far better off painting the entire wall
- Make sure the staircase and any hallways are given a thorough clean, checking for marks and making sure that it is hoovered
- Thoroughly clean all windows (inside and out) on the property
- If you have a garden, make sure that you leave it in excellent condition, as the same standards are likely to apply. This may mean mowing the lawn, sweeping up leaves, maintaining the flower beds