End Of Lease Cleaning Tips

If you are coming up to the end of a lease and preparing to move out, you will need to leave the property in clean condition if you want any chance of getting your bond back.

Landlords can be merciless with their expectations of a vacated rental, and some unscrupulous agents and landlords actually use the bond as an extra source of income and proactively seek to find reasons not to return it to you.

In this article, we will cover the things you should be thinking about when doing your end-of-lease clean, to maximize the chance that you get your bond back without any hassle or headaches.

Take Photos Before You Move In

Though it might be too late for your current property, a strategy you should keep in mind for future rentals is to take photos of the whole house inside and out, in every room and every wall before you move in.

Pay special attention to any blemishes, marks, damage, and imperfections that exist anywhere.

The reason this is a good thing to do is that if your landlord tries to use an existing blemish or previous damage as an excuse to withhold your bond, you will have photographic proof that it was not caused by you, and thus cannot be used to keep your bond.

It is a good idea to let the landlord know you are doing this, even do it in front of them, so they do not get any ideas about trying to capture the bond.

Give Your Self Plenty Of Time

It is generally advisable to give yourself multiple days, with the empty property to clean it, before handing it back for post-rental inspection. If you only end up with one day or less than a day to do your end-of-lease clean, then you are setting yourself up for an unrealistic challenge.

You need multiple days so you can methodically work through both the inside and outside of the property and then go back again and give more attention to any trouble spots or areas that need more in-depth cleaning.

There is also the option of engaging a move out cleaning service to help.

Either way, give yourself enough time to do a thorough all-around cleaning job, on the whole property or you will face the legitimate risk of losing your bond.

Inside Cleaning

1.   Walls

The amount of cleaning that walls require will vary depending on how much time you have spent inside the house (as opposed to being at work etc), how many of you were in the house what rooms you frequented, and whether kids were living there.

Wall cleaning does not require any special ingredients or equipment.

The first step is to dust the walls down using a brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner, or banister brush, or even a dry mop head.

Once the wall has been cleared of any dust or sediment mix up a solution of warm water with dishwashing liquid. Do not make it too soapy.

Get a cloth wet in the cleaning solution and then wring it out to get out all excess moisture. You don’t want to apply any more water than is necessary to the walls, just enough to have the desired cleaning impact.

With this cloth, soaked in the cleaning solution wipe down all the wall surfaces, paying particular attention to any stubborn marks that do not come out. Your cleaning is likely to be most effective when you rub the wall in a small circular motion, and slowly work your way across the whole surface.

Before you wipe down a large surface do a test of a small area to ensure that the wall paint does not have an adverse reaction to the cleaning solution.

Also, ensure that your cloth is not too coarse or abrasive, or else it may have a detrimental effect on the paintwork.

2.   Ceiling

Cleaning ceilings should usually be a simple task.

Firstly use a cobweb brush or banister brush to clear away any dust or cobwebs and ensure there is no other loose material.

Following the initial dusting, that may be enough, unless the ceiling has been dirtied or stained in some way. If there are particular patches of the ceiling that have been sullied then clean those. Just be aware that if you clean one particular part of a ceiling really well, it could then be in contrast with the rest of the uncleaned ceiling meaning you then need to clean the whole thing.

Usually, however, good dusting will be sufficient for most ceiling surfaces.

3.   Door Frames

Door frames often attract a reasonable amount of dirt and grime because they are high-traffic areas and subject to a lot of incidental human contact, as we brush past them making contracts regularly.

The first thing to do is wipe them down with a dry cloth to remove any dust and loose dirt. Then mix a cleaning solution with water and dish soap, or vinegar and wipe the entire surface down. Make sure to pay attention to the top and sides of the door frame, as these surfaces often get missed and get picked up in inspections.

If the door frame is wooden, then wipe in the direction o the grain.

There are likely to be some areas with more grime around hand height, so check for marks and give those some extra scrubbing if needed.

Once the wet cleaning is complete, go over the frame with another dry cloth to remove any leftover moisture.

4.   Skirting

Skirting boards are protective strips of timber found at the bottom of the wall, running the length of the walls. These keep the walls safe from unintended foot contact and also look visually appealing.

Similar to doors and walls the first step is to wipe them down with a dry cloth to remove any dust or first. They can attract a significant amount of dust, given their floor location, and can also get quite dirty, in high-traffic areas where people’s shoes and boots brush past them.

Once they have been dusted, use a wet cloth soaked in water/detergent mix and rub the skirting boards free of any marks.

After the wet wiping, follow that up with a dry cloth to remove any excess moisture that could damage the timber.

This job can be hard on your knees, as you are likely to be on your knees as you move along each wall. As a result, you might need to either get some soft knee pads to take the pressure off the surface of your knee, or do the skirting board in small areas at a time, to minimize too much time on your knees in any one session.

5.   Carpet Floor

To clean the carpets at the end of the lease you will need to first do an overall vacuum as you would in a traditional cleaning session, but then follow up with further spot cleaning.

Make sure your vacuum cleaner is empty, and the filter is free of other dust, it will make your vacuum cleaner a lot more effective, and help you get the job done quicker.

Following the initial once-over, inspect the whole area for stains, or patches where the dust and dirt has not come out effectively. Treat those areas accordingly and do another once over. Keep doing that over and over until you cannot find any further blemishes.

Though there are so many other things you will need to consider when preparing your house for an end-of-lease inspection, paying attention to these five areas will give you the greatest chance of getting your bond back without any complications.