Here’s a handful of handy advice in an exclusive comment by Freddie Green – a professional housing cleaner: These DIY end of tenancy cleaning tips from a professional cleaner will surely help tenants figure out how to do end of tenancy cleaning on their own.
When you lease is about to expire, move out cleaning can be an overwhelming and hard to complete task. If you want to restore your rental property inventory to a condition eligible for a full deposit refund, you as a tenant have to put in a decent chunk of time and effort in order to ensure your deposit refund.
Tip 1: Start your end of tenancy cleaning no less than a week before you have to leave the property.
A move out clean is far more complicated than handling average domestic chores!
If done by a single person it would take you 3, 4 hours per day for a week!
Professional teams often consist of up to 6 highly skilled technicians!
In order to receive your FULL deposit, the rental property has to meet its initial condition prior to you moving in, of course – with some fair wear and tear applied, but generally – as if you’ve never been there. Although your landlord CAN NOT bully you to hire a professional company, some will try to mislead you in order to guarantee themselves a clean property, they can afterwards immediately list back for rent.
Depending on how big the property is, I would advise you to start a good two weeks ahead, so you don’t rush nor push yourself too hard.
Tip 2: Go through your move-in inventory report.
In order to avoid tenancy disputes, landlords and tenants are highly advised to make an initial inventory inspection (before renters move in), so there are no grounds no arguments afterwards.
You could either use an independent third party company, which will issue an eligible report, (which WILL hold as proof in court, in case you end up in a legal dispute), or make one yourself (which in many cases might not do the job in case of a legal dispute).
In case you do not have a copy of your initial property inventory, make sure to ask your landlord or leasing agent to provide one for you. They are bound to have a copy of themselves.
The other tenant-DIY way is for you to literally film your newly rented property top to bottom via smartphone or camera and thus ensure you have proof of its condition prior to you moving in.
Bare in mind that it is in your landlord’s interest to have the best property condition possible!
If you really put the time and effort into doing everything yourself, make sure everything is well-documented, or in other words – ensure a clean and steady picture of furnishing condition, carpet condition, bathroom and etc.
An important tip is that fact, that in case you have to – you CAN provide a 2hr video as proof! No time limitations for your check-in video report, so make sure you do it conscientiously. There should be no reason for anybody to question nor neglect it!
Tip 3: Prepare an extensive cleaning checklist and make sure you keep your focus on track.
There are quite a few checklists published out there. My advice would be to invest a good half an hour of your free time and make sure you’re fully aware of what you have to actually cleanup.
Which are the most important areas?
- Hallways are crucial! First impressions count the most! Look out for stains, fingerprints and marks
- Kitchens are really tricky! You’ll definitely need more than hot water. Focus on kitchen sinks/wet areas, any countertops or work areas (usually full of smear and dirty spots), appliances (mark my words – good oven cleaning is a lot of scrubbing), you should also wipe all furnishing inside and out (cupboards, drawers, including TOP of units)
- Bathrooms are next! Grout, grease, MOULD – there should not be even the tiniest of signs that any of these ever being present! Mirrors should be wiped perfectly, including frames and tops. The same applies to any shelving or cupboards, inside and out, etc.
- Bedroom, living and dining rooms. It is important to take care of furnishing, upholstery, flooring beneath those if possible, along with curtains, shelving and windows internally.
These are just a few of the important areas, but you get the point. The whole property has to be as clean as if “you’ve never been there”.
Tip 4: Get proper cleaning gear.
A professional end of tenancy clean is done by cleaning technicians, rather than regular domestic cleaners. This means that professionals come with high-end steamers, vacuum cleaners, cleaning detergents and etc.
If you want to clean yourself, I would highly advise you to hire proper steam and vacuum gear. I doubt you would otherwise achieve proper upholstery / carpet cleaning results with average household vacuuming (and you can bet landlords will be as picky as possible).
Tip 5: Find a conscientious company if you can’t clean thorough yourself.
Make sure to always, always, always take your time and research before you choose your cleaning company. Reviews, insurance and guarantees are what set us reputable providers apart.
Carefully read what companies say for themselves and compare to what clients have on their end. Make sure to look for social media reviews and forum threads. Although there are a ton of fake reviews (both positive and negative), it is still possible to see who’s conscientious and who isn’t.
The important part about landlords is to list the rental property back on the market as soon as possible. The cleaner and more appealing a property looks and feels like, the faster it will find new renters.
When is the best time to hire professionals when leaving a rental office space?
Without the shadow of a doubt, the best time to hire cleaners at the end of an office tenancy is during weekends. That’s when employees are not present and cleaners can handle the job properly. Depending on what the business is, we also serve early mornings and late afternoons.
Tip 6: Consider the benefits! Hire professionals cleaners.
- Cleaners use high-end gear most of which is not available to the average person, i.e. high-end vacuums and steamers, that I could proudly say, not all cleaning companies have (actually a few manage to keep up with trends).
- High-end cleaning solutions, most of which are not available to the public. We use pro carpet cleaners and high-end hot water steamers.
- Fast and efficient job completion. End of tenancy cleaners come with in-depth know-how and a sharp eye for detail, not to mention teams can take up to 6 technicians.
- Reputable companies come with a 72 hour re-clean guarantee, in case clients are not happy, so this is definitely a huge benefit.
- Aa “what was cleaned checklist”, so everything is as transparent as possible.
- Conscientious companies like value regular clients with special discounts and promotions.
- A good company will offer landlords to option of returning the property key. It depends on how the rental property is.
Freddie Green is a professional housing cleaner at the end of tenancy department of Fantastic – a cleaning company operating throughout central London, north London and most parts of greater London. All statements and advice are based on the author’s sole experience and opinion.