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Tips for end of tenancy cleaning

13 November 2014

Moving home is considered to be one of the most stressful life events, according to the Holmes & Rahe Scale, so it should come as no surprise that, when tenants are packing up and moving into a new residence, cleaning is the last thing on their mind.

That’s why many tenants opt to use cleaning agencies for the ‘big clean’ – it’s one less thing for them to worry about. However, it’s important to remember that end of tenancy cleaning is different to an everyday tidy up. Any area that isn’t up to scratch could mean that tenants don’t receive their full deposit back, leaving them out of pocket. 

End of tenancy cleaning is all about going that one step further to make sure that the property is as clean today as it was on day one. It’s about focusing on those small, hidden areas that tenants may have neglected during their stay – areas which the landlord will be sure to check. Here are some cleaning tips for keeping both tenants and landlords happy on moving day:

Cleaning the kitchen

Whether the tenants were keen cooks or not, the kitchen is likely to be one of the most challenging areas to clean, so it makes sense to start here. As well as all the usual tidying and cleaning tasks, here are some things that you should focus on when doing an end of tenancy clean:

  • By now, the tenants should have packed up all of their belongings, leaving the cupboards and drawers practically empty. This is a great opportunity to get the insides of these cupboards clean, and remove any perishables that have been left behind. Use an all-purpose kitchen cleaning spray or cream for this, as it will remove any germs and bacteria that may be growing in the dark conditions. 
  • If the kitchen has wall tiles, wipe your finger across them to check for greasy residues. This can cause bad odours in the kitchen that the landlord won’t be happy about. To remove the grease, wipe with a mix of warm water and dishwashing soap, then wipe with a clean, damp cloth to remove any soapy residue. Buff to bring up the natural shine of the tiles. 
  • Be sure to clean anything that is to remain in the property, as this will belong to the landlord and will need to be in good working order for the next tenants. This includes any crockery and cutlery belonging to the landlord (it’s a good idea to ask for a copy of the inventory), and also appliances like the washing machine and dishwasher. These vital appliances can easily be cleaned by running an empty cycle while you work on other tasks. 

Cleaning the Bathroom

Like the kitchen, the bathroom is also full of areas that tenants may have neglected to clean properly during their time at the property, so it’s important to focus upon these to ensure the property passes inspection:

  • Greasy wall tiles are another common problem here, as they can be covered in layers of shampoos and hair conditioners that contain oils and waxes to coat the hair and leave it soft, silky, and strong. The best way to tackle this is through a mix of warm water and dishwashing soap that cuts through the grease.
  • Floors need to be cleaned thoroughly after tenants move out to ensure they are sanitary. Bathroom floors can hold fungal bacteria and dead skin from the feet, so use a good quality floor cleaner with disinfectants to remove any germs. 
  • Although tenants should have been cleaning their toilet regularly, they may not have been successful at removing the thick scale that builds up underneath the waterline. To tackle this, remove as much water from the bowl as possible before adding a thick, gel-like cleaning solution and allowing to sit for a while before flushing.

Cleaning the bedroom

Cleaning the bedroom is typically much easier (and much more pleasant!) than cleaning the kitchen and bathroom. There tend to be fewer hiding spots, so tenants are usually quite good at keeping the bedroom clean and tidy. There are, however, a few areas that need a little extra attention:

  • If you can do so in a safe manner, move any light furniture like lamps and end tables to clean underneath. Furniture is often kept in the same position for long periods of time, meaning that dust can easily build up. As dust is a major allergen, it’s important to remove as much a possible to ensure a healthy environment for future tenants. 
  • The insides of cupboards and wardrobes are usually not cleaned during a tenancy due to difficult access. However, once clothes have been packed away and the cupboard is empty, cleaning is much easier. Most cupboards need little more than a polish, but an all-purpose cleaner may be required if the cupboard contains mould growth. 
  • One area that is almost guaranteed to be dirty is the top of the door. Wiping your finger across the top of the door and the door frame, you’ll probably find a huge build-up of dust. Fortunately, this is easy to remove with a soft cloth. Don’t forget to check other doors in the room too, including cupboard doors, balcony doors, and doors to the ensuite bathroom. 

End of tenancy cleaning does require a little more time and focus than a standard, everyday clean, but it’s really not difficult. It’s simply about identifying areas that have gone unnoticed by tenants, or areas that tenants are likely to have neglected, and focusing on these areas in particular. By getting these areas up to scratch, we can ensure that landlords stay happy, and that tenants receive their deposit back in full, lessening the stress of their move. 

Written by Jen Watts, on behalf of cleanipedia