How to Clean Your House and Improve the Chances of Getting Your Bond Back
Living in an apartment is never the same as living in your own house. Having your place has its pros and cons, but one of the most significant downsides to renting a condominium or apartment is ensuring you don’t lose your bond. It can be hard enough to find a suitable property, let alone keep it clean and damage-free.
Fortunately, there are a few tips that you can use to improve the chances of getting your bond back when you move out. Whether you’ve been living in an apartment for one year or five, here’s how to kick-start your move-out with all the proper preparations:
Prepare a move-out lease cleaning checklist:
First, ensure you have a clear checklist of everything that needs to be done before moving out. This handy will let you maximise your time and avoid any last-minute issues with your landlord or property manager.
When creating your checklist, consider your apartment’s interior and exterior areas. Make sure you clean and polish the floors, toilet and bathroom areas, kitchen appliances and fittings, walls and mirrors, windows, air-conditioning units, fixtures (faucets), switches, plugs and cabinets—basically anything that may have been dirtied or damaged during your stay.
Start cleaning at least a week before moving out of the rental property
One of the best ways to ensure you get your bond back is by keeping your apartment clean and in good repair until the end. Most landlords and property managers expect tenants to leave their units as they were before they moved in, which means sweeping, mopping, and vacuuming before leaving.
Here are detailed lease cleaning tips:
Tip: Print this list and schedule each task at least two weeks before moving out.
Tasks (two weeks prior):
Speak with your landlord or property manager about the moving-out process
Don’t wait until 20 minutes before moving out to find out how it works! A simple chat with your landlord would save you a lot of hassles. Apart from confirmation that you are allowed to do specific tasks, your landlord or property manager might also be able to help you with any problems that may arise when moving out.
Clean your apartment professionally and thoroughly at least two weeks before moving out
As you would if you were doing it for a living, make sure that there’s no dirt on the surfaces of walls or windows, as well as in drawers and cupboards. This includes wiping down doors and windows for fingerprints and any other dirt. Wipe the grout of your bathroom tiles as well, if needed – make sure that everything is spotless before moving out.
Furniture: Clean all furniture thoroughly, especially those with upholstery and bedding
Contact a professional cleaning service to thoroughly clean your couch, chairs, and bedding. This also includes any other furniture with fabric, cushioning or soft surfaces that may collect dust and dirt over time.
Appliances: Clean all appliances thoroughly, especially those with easily-accessible areas
The inside of your fridge may be a huge potential issue regarding getting back your bond, so clean that out – including the freezer. Wipe any other appliances, such as ovens, stoves and dishwashers, down with disinfectant if needed. If you have a washing machine, wipe away any dirt or stains inside and outside your device before returning it.
Windows: Clean all windows with a window-specific product or cleaning solution
Depending on the type of window, clean them thoroughly to ensure that your landlord or property manager is satisfied with their condition. Ensure no streaks or smudges, and wipe off any water spots from windowsills.
Tasks (one week prior):
Clean all walls with a wall-specific product or cleaning solution
Depending on the type of surface you are using, be sure to wipe down your walls thoroughly to ensure that everything is clean and without fingerprints. Make sure that there are no stains or streaks as well. If you do have any carpets, make sure to vacuum them thoroughly.
Carpets: Vacuum all carpets at least one week before moving out
This applies to both the carpet itself and its underlay. If you have any rugs, make sure they are also clean and dust-free and free of holes or tears. Any stains that you may have noticed should be removed as well.
Wooden floorboards: Clean all wooden floorboards at least one week before moving out
Make sure your floorboards are free of dirt or dust and polish them if needed. If you have carpeted floors, remove them so that nothing from the carpet can come in contact with the floorboards.
Doors: Wipe down any doors that have glass panes at least one week before moving out
This includes all exterior and interior doors, including closet and cupboard doors. Be sure to not only wipe them down but ensure that there are no water stains or soap scum on them. Any doors with glass should be spotless before returning your keys.
Windows: Wipe down any windows with a window-specific product or cleaning solution at least one week before moving out
Be sure to wipe down your windows and ensure no streaks or smudges. If you do have any carpets, make sure to vacuum them thoroughly.
Bathroom: Clean your bathroom thoroughly at least one week before moving out
Open all windows and doors for ventilation; if possible, have a fan on to collect any remaining dirt or dust lingering in the air. Clean all shower screens, basins, baths and toilets thoroughly with a special bathroom cleaner. Use a multi-purpose product such as borax to remove any stains or marks on your bathtub or sink that may have been caused by hair dye or makeup.
Kitchen: Clean your kitchen thoroughly at least one week before moving out
Open all windows and doors for ventilation; if possible, have a fan on to collect any remaining dirt or dust lingering in the air. Clean your appliances – such as your fridge, oven, stove and washing machine – using disinfectant if necessary. Wipe down cabinets, floors, and other items such as light fixtures and fans.
Check for damage and fix it
The last thing you need is to pay for furniture that’s been damaged just because you didn’t get a chance to check them before moving out. To ensure everything is in the best shape, dedicate one last day to checking every piece of furniture, equipment and appliance in your apartment.
Mark down any damage or scratches on paper, then take photos of these items. Ensure that the landlord or property manager has a copy of this list. Doing so will make it easier for you to claim these damages when you move out—and save money in having to buy new furniture!
Get the right tools and equipment
One of the biggest mistakes you could make when cleaning is to use the wrong tools and equipment. While it’s true that parts of your checklist can be cleaned using simple materials, some areas–like floors and windows—would require more special treatment. To ensure that you’re getting the best results, get the right tools and equipment from a reliable cleaning company.
Try out eco-friendly cleaning products
As much as possible, try to use only eco-friendly cleaning solutions that won’t damage the environment and your health. For instance, you can get plenty of eco-friendly cleaning products from most supermarkets and online retailers. You can also hire a professional cleaner who is already using greener alternatives and can still keep the rented property perfectly clean.
Check if you have enough cleaning supplies
As much as possible, try to avoid replacing your cleaning tools and products when moving out of your apartment—especially if these are your landlord’s! For example, you can grab all the necessary supplies from shops. Additionally, you can check online retailers to see if they have more affordable alternatives for items on your cleaning checklist.
Be sure to return any items part of the apartment to their original spot
If you were given a few kitchen appliances or if you have your furniture, be sure to return everything at least two weeks before moving out. This gives your landlord enough time to do a pre vacate inspection on the apartment and deal with any issues that may have occurred during the lease period. All of these will have an effect on you getting your bond money back, or your bond refund.
Create a schedule for moving out and work with property owners
Moving doesn’t take just an hour or two – it can take days. If you have enough space, it’s best to start packing as soon as possible so you won’t be overwhelmed on moving day. This way, you won’t rush to move out of your apartment and leave everything in a mess.
Once you’ve packed all your belongings, keep everything organised so that when the time comes for a thorough cleaning, mopping or vacuuming, there are fewer things to organise after the move-out and waiting to get back your security deposit.
Hire professional cleaners to secure your rental bond
Most apartments require their tenants to keep the place clean and ready for any inspection conducted when they leave. If you want to ensure that your landlord is happy with how well you’ve taken care of their property, it’s best to get a cleaning service or hire a maid. They’ll ensure that everything is as clean and well-maintained as possible, leaving your landlord satisfied and with no cause for concern.
If there are any damages, be sure to work with your landlord or building manager to sort things out – stay calm and cooperate with them throughout the final inspection and be confident that you will be able to get what is due you from your lease agreement.
While it can be easy to forget the main reasons you won’t get your bond back, taking these simple steps for end of lease cleaning pays off in the long run. Of course, it is also worth confirming with your landlord that there are no other problems you may not have noticed yourself.
We hope this helps! Please feel free to contact us at Royal Sydney Removals if you need any assistance in moving house or want to hire professional cleaners, and we will be able to assist you.