First and foremost, your current landlord will have to be forewarned if you’re moving property. Furthermore, you must adhere to the specified notice period outlined within your tenancy agreement. After finalising a moving out date, you’ll have to strategically organise your move; this will include arranging an end of tenancy clean up – don’t underestimate this, it can be somewhat deceiving and can cause disputes over the a tenant’s deposit. The condition in which you hand the property back to the landlord will ultimately have a consequence on your deposit being returned in full. Landlords often solicit for their properties to be left at the same level of cleanliness and hygiene as documented in your move-in inventory.
Where do I start?
Prior to your spring clean, it’s appropriate to dig out all documents relating to your tenancy, such as your tenancy agreement – including any attachments or renewals – as well as your move-in inventory and any receipts for repairs or maintenance. With your move-in inventory at hand, you’ll be able to identify any items within this record that require some TLC. Make a list of any items that are in need of repair – regardless of their scale – and find out which items are deductible from your tenancy deposit and which lie under your landlord’s responsibility. End of tenancy cleaning is hard work and moderately time consuming, so it’s advisable to leave at least a day for a full clean. Clearly, a rented flat will require less laborious grafting to satisfy a landlord compared with a leased two- or three-storey home, but there are a few key areas within all dwellings that will need special attention to grant a straightforward moving out process.
How to clean the Kitchen
The kitchen is the heart of many a home and probably the most time-intensive room for a clear out. An environment that houses grease, grime, limescale and household dust, the kitchen harbours bacteria and will therefore require special attention when it comes to your end of tenancy clean-out. Ensure you empty the kitchen of all contents, removing any deposits that may have built-up throughout your tenancy. Pull out appliances and clean around their circumference, washing the walls and floor beneath them. Once the surrounding areas of your appliances are spick and span, it’s worthwhile cleaning the inner parts of these devices. Make certain that the washing machine’s soap tray is cleared of any debris and, if applicable, the dishwasher filter is void of waste. Once emptied and cleaned, leave your fridge door open and turn it off at the mains – this will prevent any mould from forming on the inside of the fridge and will ensure your toiling is recognised by your landlord when it comes to a move-out inspection.
Other bacteria-harbouring appliances are the oven and hob. If not frequently cleaned, the oven can build-up thick layers of burnt-on grime and grease. The oven will most likely take the most time to clean and will require effective cleaning products.
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Living Room cleaning
This room will heavily rely on aesthetics as well as cleanliness. Particularly for tenants with children, this room will have experienced heavy footfall from both families and guests for social get-togethers and play dates for children. The living room will require extensive vacuuming and polishing to meet landlords’ specifications and there are many aspects to consider within this highly social room.
The living room’s furniture is a good starting point. If your landlord has permitted pets in your tenancy agreement, it’s probable your furry friend’s fleece will have adorned every corner of the property in the duration of your stay. Fur can be relatively tricky to remove from fibres and, while your pet may not be granted the privilege of taking a seat on the couch, these hairs float freely around a home and settle down on any available surface. Landlords will expect their upholstery and any other wooden furniture to be in the same condition as they were prior to your move-in, and to comply with your landlord’s expectations there a few faults you should look out for. Firstly, as aforementioned, ensure any fur is removed from the upholstery, a dry wash solution can be an effective treatment to remove both fur and any odours. Secondly, for wooden furniture such as dining tables and chairs, be extra vigilant for any scuffs and scratches that may have occurred during your stay. A good polish should shape up any furniture in need of special attention.
How clean should the bathroom be?
The bathroom is yet another bacteria-ridden space within a home. Upon your departure, confirm that you have removed soap scum and limescale from all sanitaryware, including basins, taps and, of course, the toilet. Scrub everything from the tiles, floor and bath to the toilet and shower as well as any other inclusive accessories. Additionally, inspect the drainage of the bath and sink and remove any hair that may be preventing a clear drainage run – this will include checking the shower head isn’t clogged up with limescale.
Walls and Windows
Again for those living with children, the walls will be an area that will perhaps require more attention from grubby hands. Look for any dirty marks and scuffs in every corner of the house and try to gently rub them off – without removing the paint. If any marks are proving difficult to remove, you can paint over these with the same paint your landlord has used. If you find any mould while inspecting your walls, it’s vitally important to alert your landlord rather than painting directly over these areas. With your walls in good shape, it’s time to turn your attention to the windows.
Again, look for any scuffs or dirty marks – as well as cracks – and clean the internal side of the windows – this should be reasonably straightforward for those with PVC-U windows as they will wipe clean. If you are unable to clean the exterior of the windows yourself, arrange for a window cleaner to do this for you. While your attention is focused on the windows, remove any curtains and, if they are machine washable, follow the care instructions or take them to the dry cleaners for a thorough clean and return them to their position. If the residence has any Venetian blinds, dust both sides of the slats and, if applicable, repair or replace any blind that has become unusable.
Cleaning Carpets and rugs
A steam cleaner is a great way to bring carpets and rugs up like new. If you don’t have access to a steam cleaner, they’re relatively cheap to hire and include various attachments to ensure every corner of the property will receive its required attention. If you opt not to use a steam cleaner, bear in mind that the minimum cleaning required will be an extensive vacuum and a scrub with a wire brush throughout the entire property – pay particular attention to any staircases and hallways that experience heavy footfall.
Tidying the garden and shed
If you’re lucky enough to have a garden and shed in your rented property, you’ll have to leave the outside area of the home in a well-kept condition. This will include sweeping away any leaves, hosing down any decking, mowing the grass – where applicable – and making sure the flower beds are in good order. If the garden accommodates a shed, you’ll have to remove any personal property upon your departure. Remember, gardens are often tough work – dependant on size – so leave enough time to clean out both the house and its garden. With all your rooms in check, meeting your landlord’s specification, you can ensure your departure and end of your tenancy agreement will be plain sailing.
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