Whether you’re a homeowner or a rental owner, you need to follow cleaning guidelines to ensure that your property is clean, safe, and COVID-19 virus-free. In this article, we’ll go over a few ways to clean and disinfect your house in the middle of the pandemic.
Cleaning Guide for Landlords
Landlords need to clean their investment property prior to tenant turnover. Due to the pandemic, however, there’ve been new protocols put in place by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Now, landlords need to pay attention to certain cleaning criteria, as well as be very careful when handling the previous tenant’s belongings.
Below, you will find a few of the reopening guidelines that the CDC and other agencies have outlined for property investors and property management companies to follow:
#1 Note the Seven-Day Rule
If your rental property has been vacant for at least seven days, you no longer need to do additional “COVID-19 cleaning”. You or your property management firm are free to conduct standard cleaning. However, if your new tenant is scheduled to move in not soon after the previous tenant has moved out, you need to do additional cleaning.
#2 Use the Right Cleaning Products
Not sure which cleaning products to purchase? Don’t worry – the CDC has prepared a list of tried and tested cleaning products that are effective against the COVID-19 virus. Alternatively, if you’ve hired a property management company that specializes in house cleaning and organizing, you can rest assured that they vet their vendors and partner only with the pros.
#3 Clean High-Touch Surfaces
The CDC puts great emphasis on cleaning high-touch areas such as light switches, countertops, and door handles. These areas need to be cleaned before the tenant moves in and after they move out. If your rental property is vacant, disinfect these surfaces after you’ve toured prospective tenants around the house.
#4 Follow Vacation Rental Cleaning Guidelines
Do you own a short-term vacation rental unit? If your short-term rental is on Airbnb, VRBO, or other similar sites, you’ll need to follow their cleaning guidelines. For Airbnb, for instance, hosts need to allocate at least 72 hours between bookings to make sure the unit is cleaned. VRBO, on the other hand, encourages hosts not to take back-to-back bookings. If you’re working with a rental property management company, they will likely follow the protocols that the Vacation Rental Management Association (VRMA) has put in place.
And while the tips below aren’t included in their guidelines, it would be a good idea to follow these, anyway:
- Add the word “disinfected” to your rental’s name to reassure guests that the property has been thoroughly cleaned.
- Consider offering free masks, cleaning supplies, and the like.
- Add pictures of the cleaning process on your website.
- Describe your cleaning policy on your website.
#5 Host a Safe Open House
Hosting an open house during the pandemic shouldn’t be the same as hosting one pre-pandemic. You’ll need to follow a few protocols to ensure that your potential tenants and team are safe:
- Don’t offer free food or coffee.
- Encourage guests and workers to wear a mask indoors.
- Wipe down surfaces in between showings.
- Open doors and windows to give way to natural ventilation.
- Switch on all lights to limit the times they’re interacted with.
- Replace seats with easy-to-wipe stools and chairs.
- Practice social distancing at all times.
#6 Switch to Web-Based Screening
Now isn’t the time to sit down with potential tenants. Instead, switch to web-based applications. You or your property management company should collect their application online, ideally through a tenant platform. Not only will this limit the face-to-face interaction, but it will also allow you to store their documents and access them as needed. Switching to a web-based screening process prevents the virus from transmitting through pens, paper, and other items.
Cleaning Guide for Homeowners
Not a real estate investor? We’ve got you covered with these five cleaning tips so your house always stays safe:
#1 Wipe Down High-Touch Surfaces
Wipe down the high-touch areas in your house, including the tabletops, countertops, staircase handrail, and chairs. Disinfecting these surfaces is your first line of defense against the spread of germs. Make sure to read the instructions printed on the back of the cleaner so that it works as intended. Don’t forget to wipe the surfaces dry, as damp areas can become breeding grounds for bacteria. When using a chemical cleaner, be careful not to allow it to stay on the furniture for too long because this can cause damage.
#2 Throw Away the Trash Daily
Throw out the trash daily so that it doesn’t pose a health concern. This is especially true if one of your family members has been throwing away coughed-on tissues for the past couple of days. If possible, buy a foot-operated bin so that you don’t need to open it with your bare hands. Always remember to wash your hands when throwing away the trash. The trash also needs to be sealed tightly so as not to attract critters that could cause other health concerns.
#3 Clean the Kitchen Constantly
The kitchen is one of the most used areas in the home, so make sure to clean it constantly. Start the day by wiping down the kitchen counters with baking soda. Then, thoroughly clean the appliances that you use the most, like the microwave, oven, and coffee maker. Avoid leaving dirty dishes in the sink, as this can pose a health risk.
#4 Leave Your Shoes at the Door
It’s a good idea to leave your footwear at the entryway. Your shoes can carry a lot of germs from the outside, so ensure that the germs don’t get inside by not bringing them in. Instead, wear flip-flops around the house. You could also disinfect your footwear with a disinfecting spray or wipe, or invest in an ultraviolet (UV) cleaner.
#5 Hire a Professional Cleaning Company
If you want your house to be as clean as possible, consider hiring a property management company that specializes in house cleaning and organizing. They will team up with professional cleaners to disinfect your house so that your family is safe from the COVID-19 virus. What’s more, they stay informed when it comes to the cleaning guidelines enforced by the CDC and other agencies.
At Luxury Property Care, we believe that following cleaning guidelines can leave a positive impact on your potential tenants. Partner with us today to ensure that you’re always aware of the new guidelines to establish trust with your tenants. If you’re a homeowner, you can also enlist our property management services to allow us to provide you with a house that’s always clean.