It is rare for tenants to leave the rental unit spotless when they move out. Unless the lease agreement obligates them to do the deep cleaning, chances are that they’ll only do the basics, such as throwing out the trash or mowing the lawn. That’s why you or your property management company should always do a deep clean in between tenancies.
Spruce up your property to create a unit that can attract potential tenants. Remember, your next tenants expect to move into a pristine unit — not a lived-in one. Here’s how you can ensure that your rental unit is rent-ready, according to our property managers:
#1 Conduct a move-out inspection
The move-out inspection is an essential step since it’s where you and your tenant will sort out who has to pay for what. Scan the property for signs of damage and agree on which repairs are your renter’s responsibility. As a rule of thumb, your tenant should be liable for the repairs that are due to neglect. For instance, if they failed to clean the unit during their occupancy and as a result, rats entered the home, they should shoulder the cost of pest control.
It’s worth mentioning that you shouldn’t charge your tenant for wear and tear, such as faded paint and carpets. Wear and tear is expected, hence it should be excluded from their liabilities.
Pro Tip: Tenants need to return the unit to its original condition. To make sure that they do this, conduct a move-in inspection. Take photos during the walkthrough and use these to compare the property’s post-occupancy condition to its pre-occupancy condition. To avoid disputes, consider enlisting the services of a property management company.
#2 Clean one room at a time
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to cleaning, but however you choose to do it, at least be organized. To do this, clean one room at a time. Start with the upstairs rooms, such as the bedrooms and bathrooms, and then work your way down. Make sure to take pictures so you can keep a visual record of what the property looks like before your tenant moves in. You can use these to compare the “before and after” of your property when they eventually move out.
Bedrooms and Living Room/s
- Use a damp cloth to get rid of dust and cobwebs from doors, windows, curtain rails, etc. When wiping inside a wardrobe, allow it to air-dry by leaving the door open.
- Use a vacuum to clean the carpets, curtains, and mattresses.
- If your rental unit has hardwood floors, wipe it with a mop. Restore its shine by using a store-bought polish.
- Deep-shampoo the carpets. If the carpets have stubborn stains, consider replacing them.
- Get rid of dirt, soap scum, stains, etc. from the sink, shower, bathtub, and toilet.
- Scrub the grout using a stiff-bristled brush.
- Empty the shower of items such as shampoo, soap, etc. Get rid of hair from the shower drain.
- Wipe down the shower walls with a microfiber cloth.
- Wipe down the pipework.
- Wipe down the tiles on the walls with dish soap.
- Scrub down the floor using vinegar or a chemical cleaning agent.
- Clean the mirror using a combination of water, dish soap, and vinegar.
- Clean the inside and outside of all appliances, including the oven, stove, microwave, etc.
- Soak the burners of the gas hob in water with dish soap. This should get rid of the grease.
- Defrost the freezer. If the tenant has left some food, feel free to toss it out.
- Clean the rubber seals inside the fridge.
- Clean all of the countertops. You can use baking soda to get rid of scratches and stains on work surfaces.
- Scrub the sink. Sprinkle some baking soda to remove the stubborn water marks.
- Clean the garbage disposal by pouring baking soda and vinegar, and then flushing it with cold water.
- Clean the dishwasher by putting a bowl with white vinegar inside it. Run the dishwasher on a hot water cycle.
#3 Clean some more
Think the rental unit is clean? Think again. Unless you hired a professional cleaning company, there’s a good chance that you forgot to clean a thing or two. Check all of the rooms, starting with the kitchen — keep in mind that a dirty kitchen is a dealbreaker, so make sure that it’s spotless. Make sure that the gas hob has been degraded, and that the appliances have been wiped down. For the bathroom, check behind and underneath the toilet and sink, as grime can be a huge turn-off for tenants that are touring your rental unit.
#4 Inspect the plumbing
Water damage is one of the worst things you can deal with as a property owner. All it takes is one leak to ruin your rental’s structural integrity. Hence, when you’re in between tenancies, you should use the opportunity to inspect your rental’s plumbing. Preventive maintenance is still the best way to protect your investment.
If your tenants DIY-ed the plumbing, you should consider calling in an inspector to ensure that your rental unit complies with the local building code.
#5 Do some gardening
Enhance your rental property’s curb appeal by paying attention to its landscaping. While you don’t have to turn your yard into a miniature Gardens of Versailles, you should spruce it up by growing low-maintenance plants. You could also consider landscaping upgrades that result in high returns, like a patio and an outdoor kitchen.
If you don’t have a green thumb, your best bet is to hire a property management company. They can hire professional landscapers for you, and they can stay on top of landscaping maintenance throughout the tenancy.
As you can see, all it takes is a bit of elbow grease to make your property rent-ready. If you haven’t got the time, hire a property management company such as Luxury Property Care today. As your full-service property management company, we’re committed to preparing your property for your potential tenants. We’re here to ensure that it attracts as many tenants as possible. When you hire us, you don’t have to lift a single finger.