As a landlord, ensuring a seamless transition between tenants is crucial for maintaining the value and desirability of your rental property. One essential aspect of this process is the end-of-tenancy cleaning. A thorough and efficient cleaning routine not only helps attract potential tenants but also protects your investment in the long run.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll provide landlords with a detailed end-of-tenancy cleaning procedure and checklist to ensure that your property is ready for occupancy as soon as possible.
Why the End-of-Tenancy Cleaning Matters
End-of-tenancy cleaning goes beyond regular maintenance and provides an opportunity to refresh the property thoroughly. A meticulously cleaned property not only increases its appeal but also sets a high standard for the incoming tenants, encouraging them to maintain the property’s cleanliness throughout their tenancy.
Aside from being highly desirable, a clean and well-maintained property has a high value, which means you can maximize your property’s income-earning potential.
What Are the Tenants’ Cleaning Responsibilities?
Ideally, tenants should ensure that the property is as clean as it was at the beginning of the tenancy when they move out. As the rental property owner, it's important to communicate the cleaning responsibilities to your tenants right at the beginning of the tenancy.
While the extent of tenant cleaning responsibilities may vary based on the rental agreement and local regulations, here are some general guidelines:
- Regular cleaning
- Returning the property in good condition
- Reporting maintenance issues
- Removal of garbage
- Removal of personal belongings upon move-out
- Following move-out procedures as stated in the lease
It's crucial for landlords to clearly outline these cleaning responsibilities in the lease agreement and provide tenants with a move-out checklist to ensure everyone is on the same page regarding cleaning expectations. Note, however, that the specific cleaning responsibilities may vary depending on local laws, rental agreements, and individual circumstances.
Keep in mind that end-of-tenancy cleaning is usually one of the major causes of disputes between landlords and tenants. In general, landlords have the right to deduct from the security deposit if they find any damage that is not part of normal wear and tear. However, landlords are prohibited from charging tenants for end-of-tenancy cleaning.
End-of-Tenancy Cleaning Checklist
Ideally, you should ensure that every nook and cranny of the rental unit is cleaned thoroughly before you list it on any marketing platform or listing sites. If you don’t know how to get started, you can use the following cleaning checklist as a guide:
Generally, the following must be carried out:
- Dust and wipe down all surfaces, including countertops, shelves, and furniture
- Clean and polish all mirrors and glass surfaces
- Vacuum and mop all floors, paying extra attention to corners and hard-to-reach areas
- Clean and disinfect light switches, doorknobs, and other high-touch areas
- Empty and clean all bins, ensuring they are odor-free
Kitchens must be cleaned in the following manner:
- Clean and degrease all countertops, backsplashes, and cabinets
- Thoroughly clean the oven, stovetop, and extractor fan, removing any built-up grease and grime
- Descale and sanitize sinks, faucets, and drains
- Wash and polish all cookware, utensils, and dishes
- Empty and clean the cupboards and drawers, removing any leftover food
- Clean and disinfect all kitchen appliances, including the refrigerator, microwave, dishwasher, and toaster
Take the following steps when cleaning bathrooms:
- Scrub and disinfect the bathtub, shower, and toilet
- Clean and descale the sink, faucets, and showerhead
- Polish and sanitize mirrors and glass surfaces
- Clean and organize cabinets, removing any toiletries
- Wash and disinfect bathroom tiles and grout
- Sweep and mop the floor
Bedrooms and Living Areas
Addressing the followings areas:
- Dust and wipe down all furniture, including tables, chairs, and wardrobes
- Vacuum and clean upholstery, ensuring there are no stains or odors
- Launder and change all bedding
- Clean windows, sills, and blinds or curtains
- Vacuum and mop floors, paying attention to corners and under furniture
- Remove cobwebs from ceilings, corners, and light fixtures
Ensure that all fixtures are properly cleaned by:
- Dusting and wiping down light fixtures, including ceiling lights, chandeliers, and lamps
- Cleaning and polishing switch plates and outlet covers
- Wiping down and disinfecting doorknobs, handles, and locks
- Cleaning and shining any decorative hardware, such as door knockers or drawer pulls
Clean fittings in the following manner:
- Dust and wipe down curtain rods or blinds
- Vacuum or wipe down air vents and grilles
- Clean and polish any decorative frames and mirrors
- Wipe down and disinfect handrails and banisters, if applicable
- Clean and shine any built-in shelving or cabinets
When carrying out an end-of-tenancy cleaning, the tenant should:
- Dust and wipe down all furniture surfaces
- Launder or dry clean removable covers
- Clean and disinfect any decorative items, such as vases or picture frames
- Check and repair any damages to furnishings caused by the tenant, beyond normal wear and tear
Here are some additional sections that need to be cleaned:
- Clean and sanitize the entrance hallway, removing marks on the walls
- Vacuum or sweep and mop staircases
- Clean and polish handrails and banisters
- Wipe down and disinfect any switches, sockets, or electrical fixtures
- Clean and dust any storage areas, such as attics, basements, or garages
While following this comprehensive cleaning checklist can ensure a thorough end-of-tenancy cleaning, some landlords may prefer to hire professional cleaning services.
However, working with a professional property manager like those at Draper Realty is preferable because property management firms will not only take care of the end-of-tenancy cleaning but also every aspect of your rental business. Contact us today to learn more about our property management services!