When a tenancy ends, the responsibility of a landlord doesn’t stop, there are still essential tasks to complete such as handing back the remaining security deposit and monitoring end-of-tenancy cleaning of the unit.
Conflicts can arise regarding the condition of the rental home after occupancy. Although everybody’s cleanliness standards differ, you still have to meet certain expectations. This is why having an end-of-tenancy cleaning checklist is helpful to the tenants.
Defining End-of-Tenancy Cleaning
The rental home needs to be cleaned prior to the tenant moving out. This covers all rooms, furnishing, appliances, walls, and floors. The expectation is to have the unit look the way it was during the move-in.
Purpose of End of Tenancy Cleaning
Renters must perform end-of-tenancy cleaning so the unit’s condition is the way it was originally. This means that walls that have been repainted with another color must be painted back to the original hue and damaged items caused outside of normal wear and tear are required to be fixed.
The degree of cleanliness of the rental property prior to occupancy must also be resumed. If renters fail to conduct end-of-tenancy cleaning, then the security deposit may not be returned in its entirety.
Should the rental space look dirty or damaged when the renter moves out, then the landlords can deduct the cost of the cleaning fee from the security deposit they’re holding. If there are conflicts, legal counsel may be sought out to help decide.
Expected Level of Cleanliness
People have different definitions of a clean place making it likely for disputes to happen between a renter and a landlord. A good metric to follow for renters is to ensure that the rental unit appears the same as it was prior to the day of moving in. This is the acceptable and fair degree of cleanliness for end-of-tenancy cleaning.
For landlords who took the time to conduct a property walk-through prior to the day of move-in of a tenant, it’s easier to compare the before and after tenancy conditions. It will reveal the level of cleanliness of the unit before occupancy.
This can be a useful guide for renters hiring cleaners, to show how the rental should look after the cleanup. If the unit matches its original state then the landlord will give back the whole security deposit, as long as no property damage and repairs are needed.
Normal Wear and Tear
Over time, your rental home will undergo damage resulting from normal wear and tear. Carpet stains, faded wallpaper and wall paints, and scratches on the furniture and floors are expected. Since this is natural as the years pass, it’s unfair to ask renters to deal with damage caused by normal wear and tear.
It’s the landlords’ responsibility to replace or repair such items and they can only make security deductions for damages outside wear and tear.
Included in End of Tenancy Cleaning
After the tenancy, it’s the duty of the tenant to present back a clean rental space. The services of a professional cleaner can be engaged or DIY cleaning conducted.
To ensure that no area is forgotten, creating an end-of-tenancy checklist is vital. The property owner checks if the unit is ready for occupancy by a new renter. The rental home must be spotless before showing it around to potential tenants.
Before doing an end-of-tenancy cleaning, prepare your cleaning equipment and tools beforehand.
Should the owner want more detailing done than is covered in the end of tenancy cleaning, they must do it themselves or hire the services on their own. If the tenant is evicted, it is the landlord’s responsibility to clean.
End of Tenancy Checklist
Walls, Doors, and Ceilings
Ask yourself if a paint touchup is needed when seeing wall markings
Run a clean cloth over light switches and socket areas
Make sure to rub the surfaces and handles of doors and windows to remove the dust, including the frames
Wipe mirrors to make the surface shine
Fixtures and Furnishings
Clean the inner and outer corners of closets, shelves, and cupboards
Remove dust from lampshades and light bulbs
Run a vacuum cleaner on the sofa and under it
Clean the surfaces of desks and tables
Polish the basin and shower head using ingredients from the kitchen, such as vinegar or lemon juice
Remove hard water stains on the faucet and bathtubs
Scrub your toilet with a toilet brush and use disinfectant for proper cleaning
Get rid of mold on the bathroom tiles with an old toothbrush
Pay attention to extractor fans since dust can cling to it
Wipe shower rails
Degrease and properly clean the oven
Wipe the countertops of the kitchen
Remove limescale from taps and kitchen sink using vinegar/lemon juice mixture
Empty your refrigerator and clean the inside
Place disinfectant on empty trash cans
Run a mop over the kitchen floors
Clean small appliances thoroughly, such as blenders and toasters
Before storing the cutlery and dishware, make sure they’re clean
Carpets absorb dirt easily, making the rental room appear messy. To prevent any conflicts with the landlord, plan to do a steam cleaning. A professional cleaner can do this for you or you can rent a steam cleaning machine to do it on your own.
Prior to steam cleaning the carpet, you need to vacuum the area first. Move all the furniture to another side so the entire area of the carpet can be properly steam-cleaned.
Perform cleaning tasks on the exterior part of the rental.
Rake leaves, remove clutter, and make sure the garbage is in proper receptacles. Check for weeds and mow the lawn.
Hire a Property Manager
After the end of tenancy cleaning is complete, so long as the owner finds the unit habitable, the hunt for a new tenant begins!
If, as a property owner, you’re seeking a reliable property manager to perform property maintenance and repair along with other vital property management services, call Foothills Properties today!