If you're planning on moving out of your rental property, your best chance of getting your bond or security deposit back from your landlord is by giving the place a thorough clean.
While cleaning out the property may not be the most fun thing to do amid all the chaos of moving, it certainly tops the list in terms of importance.
To make life easier for you, we’ve put together an end of lease cleaning guide that can help you hand over the property to your landlords in great condition.
Vacate cleaning checklist
First, let’s get your eyes on this basic vacate cleaning checklist so that you won’t miss a spot!
Check and clean the inside and outside of cupboards
Check and clean the inside and outside of kitchen appliances like microwave, oven, and dishwasher
Clean all the countertops
Clean the range hood, grill, and cooktop
Clean sink and taps
Vacuum the floors
Clean windows, window sills, fly screens, and doors
Clean sinks, taps, bath, and toilets
Clean out mould from ceiling, tiles, and walls
Wash mirrors, shower doors, and shower curtains
Dust and clean all surfaces, windows, window sills, tracks, and doors
Dust and clean fans and air-conditioning units
Clean out wardrobes
Dust and clean baseboards
Dry clean or wash carpets
Mow and weed the lawn
Clean the pool
Clean out bins
Clean the garage
Ideas and insights to make cleaning a breeze
Tips to get a spick and span exterior
- Pay attention to the outdoor furniture that may have come with the property. Clean all the surfaces of any chairs, tables and benches that are outdoors.
- Make sure that you mow the lawn and tidy up the garden. Trim any hedges and definitely give your patio or deck a good scrub down.
- Remove dust and cobwebs from the walls, window sills and eaves.
- Replace any lights that have burned out, and be sure to thoroughly dust and clean the light fixtures etc.
- Empty out all the trash bins and give them a good wash. Use some disinfectant to get rid of any lingering odour.
Tips to clean the interiors of the property
- Empty out all the wardrobes, cupboards and shelves, and make sure to go through the drawers and remove any clutter that may be there as well. Dust them thoroughly and wipe them down with some disinfectant.
- Be sure to check all the skirting boards, doors and architraves of the house, and clean them as necessary. This is an area that most people forget, so it’s extra important to add this to your end of leasing cleaning checklist.
- Use a good quality glass cleaner to clean all the glass inside the property, including mirrors.
- The vents on the air conditioning units must be cleaned. You may also need to wash the filter and then dry it out.
- Wipe and remove dust from all the ceiling fans in the house.
- Always wash and/or dry clean the curtains before handing over the property.
- If you have been living in a furnished property, clean all the furniture and make sure that they are not damaged. If they are, you will need to discuss how that will be deducted from your bond with the landlord. We suggest that you do this in advance instead of waiting until the last minute.
Tips for gutter cleaning in your rental
Regular gutter maintenance is an absolute must if you want to prevent any water damage from happening to the property that you have rented. Blocked gutters can cause a lot of issues, such as pest problems and even damage caused to the structure of the property.
Generally, it is the responsibility of the landlord to ensure that the gutters are working properly at all times. However, if blockages have happened because of tenant negligence, or failure to report a gutter-related problem to the landlord, you will need to undertake this cleaning and repairing at your expense.
Tips for cleaning mould in your rental property
Mould is often a result of poor ventilation, poor insulation, damp or blocked gutters, water leakages, and cracked walls. If there is a cracked wall or a faulty roof, you need to inform your landlord immediately so that the landlord can assume responsibility to fix it.
However, if mould has developed as a result of your actions (such as drying clothes inside the house without opening your windows), getting rid of the mould becomes your responsibility.
To treat mould in your rental, you can use diluted white vinegar. If this is not strong enough, you will have to get your hands on a detergent or a commercial cleaning solution.
*Always wear protective clothing and gloves when handling chemicals, and make sure to open a window to let the air in*
Mistakes to avoid during an end-of-lease home cleaning
Here are a few tips that will help you avoid making some common mistakes during your end-of-lease cleaning:
- Cleaning without a clear plan will cause you to miss certain areas in the property. Your landlord won’t be too happy if they notice these, so draw up a plan for the cleaning and make sure all the areas have been covered.
- Avoid last-minute rush cleaning. It is too difficult to do a thorough job if you try to clean the entire property in one day. Chances are that you will know when you are handing over the keys to the landlord in advance, so cover one aspect of the cleaning per day to make things easier on yourself.
- If any upholstery needs cleaning, give them to a professional service and avoid soaking them in water. Water only makes the stains spread and you may not be able to clean and dry them correctly. This could ultimately cost you more money.
- Vacuum the carpets back and forth instead of simply vacuuming them in one direction. The back-and-forth motion will dislodge all the dirt particles that get lodged in between fibres. The one-direction technique will not do this and could cause discolouration of the carpet over time.
- If you think that you cannot clean everything correctly and that you do not have the right tools for it, avoid cutting corners and contact a professional cleaning service. Organising a thorough clean is your best bet to get all of your bond back.
How much does end of lease cleaning cost?
If you decide to hire professional cleaners, the cost will greatly depend on the following:
- The type of property
- The number of rooms
- The amount of work involved
- The amount of time the process will take
- The number of cleaners required
- Whether or not you’ll provide the equipment and cleaning supplies
In Australia, professional cleaners typically charge an hourly rate and it can be anything between $20 to $50. Some cleaning companies, however, will charge depending on the size and the type of property. For a smaller property, the approximate cost is $200, and for a larger house, it can be around $1,000.
Price guide for general cleaning costs:
Tiles & grouts
*Note that these prices are estimates, and to get a quote for your end-of-lease cleaning, contact the cleaning serving provider*
Can the landlord deduct money from your deposit for cleaning?
This is the biggest concern for almost all tenants have when it comes to the end of their lease. Landlords usually do deduct some portion of the bond citing damages and cleaning charges, and you may not have a way to completely avoid this.
Landlords will inspect the property with great detail, including noting the spots in the upholstery and on walls and floors, so make sure that you pay attention to these. In addition, if there are any damages that cannot be cited under normal wear and tear, expect to get some amount deducted from your bond.
However, if you hire a professional cleaning service, the chances of you getting your bond back in full is much higher than if you choose to carry out the cleaning yourself.
So, to wrap up...
Most tenants find themselves in a pickle when the lease comes to an end because they fail to maintain the property during their tenancy. If there's anything that needs fixing, it's your responsibility to let the landlord know as and when it happens.
Regular cleaning isn't just a good idea, it's essential to avoid a variety of long-term issues including health-related complications that arise from living with mould, dust or toxins that can accumulate over time. Moreover, It'll help you get your deposit back, and part ways on friendly terms - possibly with a nice rental reference letter!
Disclaimer: The views, information, or opinions expressed in this blog post are for general information purposes only and should not be relied upon. We have not taken into account specific situations, facts or circumstances, and no part of this blog post constitutes personal financial, legal, or tax advice to you. You should seek tax advice from your accountant, specific to your situation.
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