Moving is almost always stressful as there are tons of things to plan and do.
Getting your security deposit back in full is a great way to relieve some of that stress.
However, that entails cleaning the property to your landlord’s satisfaction, which begs the question: where do you even begin?
Let’s read on to find out which are the best strategies for getting your money back.
Make a plan
The entire DIY end of tenancy cleaning project can be quite hard without making a proper plan. Creating a blueprint for approaching that big task can make you much more effective while saving you a lot of time.
First, it’s highly recommended you start cleaning at least a week and a half before moving out.
Plan how you’re going to break down the task into small manageable chunks so you don’t get overwhelmed by doing everything at the last moment.
Doing a little bit every day is what’s usually best, and if you work from a checklist, checking off the various tasks as they get done will give you a feeling of accomplishment. That’s an excellent way to reduce moving anxiety and avoid feeling overwhelmed.
Another great thing you could do is rent professional cleaning equipment to save time and effort. There are plenty of rental companies where you can hire just the right machinery for your individual needs.
Using professional equipment to clean the property will provide excellent results and be faster than using conventional methods. That will maximise the likelihood of your landlord giving you your security deposit back in full.
Don’t forget to plan some time for any last-minute cleaning, as there are things that need to be cleaned just right before you go. Doing that will ensure you don’t miss something accidentally, plus it won’t give the landlord an excuse to charge you and keep some of your deposit for themselves.
Check your lease
The best source regarding your move-out cleaning is located in your lease. Re-read the part that specifies what has to be done and in what condition you are expected to leave the property before you vacate it.
Ideally, you’re expected to leave the property in the same condition as when you moved in.
Since everyone’s standards of cleanliness are different, it’s also a good idea to speak to your landlord and ask them directly. That can set a good tone of communication and increase the likelihood of you getting your security deposit back in full.
Take photos and videos of all your hard work as proof because that can be extremely useful should any disputes arise.
Moving is a big event that’s almost always stressful. That’s why sometimes it makes much more sense to hire end of tenancy cleaners who can do all the hard work for you. That will not only significantly ease your moving anxiety, but cleaning using high-end professional equipment can maximise the likelihood of you getting your safety deposit back in full.
Before you proceed, it’s first best to do some general cleaning. That will ensure that things will be much more manageable when deep cleaning starts and speed up the process quite a bit.
Protip: always clean top to bottom, as that saves time by eliminating the need to clean fallen dust and dirt twice.
Here’s a quick checklist of what general cleaning must include:
- Removing all nails and screws from the walls and then filling up the holes;
- Cleaning the interior and exterior sides of windows and wiping ledges;
- Dusting everything, including ledges, fans, and baseboards;
- Sweeping, vacuuming, and mopping floors;
- Removing all personal items and donating or selling the unnecessary stuff;
- Emptying out cupboards and drawers and cleaning them from the inside.
To save time, start with low-traffic areas and leave high-traffic and wet areas (kitchen and bathroom) for last.
The bedroom should be the easiest to clean, and it’s recommended that you start there. Vacuum the floors and then mop them if needed. Wash the windows, dust the blinds and clean any mirrors spotless.
Next, you can do the living room, which should also be relatively easy, especially if you’ve cleaned regularly.
Here’s what to focus on in the living room:
- Vacuum the carpet and any area rugs (if you have pets, make sure to clean all their hair too);
- Mop hard surface floors (after you’ve vacuumed them first);
- Dust everywhere and clean any cobwebs in ceiling’s corners;
- Clean closet fronts and insides;
- Clean all mirrors spotless.
After you’re done with that, you are left with two rooms that make the most impression on the landlord: the bathroom and the kitchen.
The kitchen cleaning checklist includes the following:
- Defrost the freezer;
- Degreasing and washing the walls;
- Wiping all kitchen and appliance surfaces clean;
- Wash the sink, and clean any mineral deposits off of the tap;
- Clean the fridge and the oven both from the inside and outside;
- Clean and refresh the garbage disposal;
- Don’t forget to take out the garbage.
A sparkling-clean, fresh-smelling kitchen can go a long way to impress a landlord and ensure they return your security deposit back in full.
The same goes for the bathroom.
Here’s what to focus on when cleaning it:
- Clean and sanitise the toilet;
- Remove soap scum off tiles;
- Wash bathroom walls thoroughly;
- Remove any mould, and bleach the grout;
- Clean any bathtubs, showerheads, and taps
- Wipe the mirror spotless;
- Ensure the bathroom drawers are empty and wipe them from the inside;
Don’t neglect the outdoors–an unkempt garden or lawn can make a terrible impression and cost you money.
If you’ve got a garden, remove any fallen leaves and weeds. Check whether any pests have made nests and if that’s the case, inform your landlord.
Don’t forget to mow the lawn, sweep the area around the front door, and remove any cobwebs around it.
If you’ve got a shed or a garage, ensure they’re clean and empty.
So, you’ve got all the cleaning out of your way and are ready to move into your new home.
If you’ve done everything thoroughly, there’s only one last thing you need to do: don’t forget to celebrate when your landlord gives your security deposit back in full.
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