The hassle of organising a move makes it tempting to approach with a minimum-effort strategy: packing up your stuff, giving the place a quick once over and heading on to pastures new without a second thought. But it’s worth bearing in mind that waving goodbye to your old accommodation without giving it a thorough clean most likely means waving goodbye to a sizeable chunk of your deposit as well.
Tenancy agreements often specify that the property should be left in the condition in which it was found. Without a doubt, the best way to ensure you aren’t penalised is to call in a professional cleaning company who know what they’re doing. Prices are generally very reasonable, especially when weighed up against the proportion of your deposit you may have saved by relying on the pros.
But if you’re determined to do it yourself, there are lots of online cleaning tips dealing with the problems you're likely to encounter tidying up before you move on. This guide covers the jobs that often slip under the radar – use these points as the basis of your own end-of-tenancy cleaning checklist:
Tackling the living room & communal areas
Carpets – Even the most careful tenants will find that carpets easily succumb to stains, burns, muddy footprints and so on, but have no fear:
1. Vacuum up loose debris, remembering to lift up the furniture and use extendable attachments to get into hard to reach corners.
2. Apply professional carpet shampoo (caution: check the label to ensure the product is suitable for your carpet fabric).
Furniture and light fixings – If you’re leaving furniture behind, check down the sides and back for anything lost (you might even find a small windfall!) and then vacuum to remove months of grime.
Tidying up the kitchen can present something of a challenge. Add the following jobs to your cleaning checklist:
- Empty all cupboards before wiping them down with warm, soapy water.
- Clean the oven using a specialist cleaner (or baking soda) to dislodge stubborn grime. Pay equal attention to the hob and other appliances.
- Take everything out of the fridge and freezer before you leave. When you’re done, place an open cup of baking soda inside and leave overnight to impart a fresh scent.
- Wipe the sideboards using a spray bottle filled with water and household detergent. Choose a scented brand to leave your kitchen smelling meadow fresh.
- Finally, give the floor a good clean with a mop and soapy water, or a steam cleaner for particularly stubborn grime
It’s especially important to make sure your bedroom is in great condition before you leave, as deductions could be made from your deposit for any mess that can be traced directly back to you. Don’t forgot the following:
- Remove all bedding, and turn the mattress to give it an airing.
- Empty all cupboards and drawers, and then dust and clean.
- Give the doors a wipe down, including the frames.
- Wipe the interior windows.
- Use a long feather duster to remove any cobwebs from the corners of the room.
Top tip: Although not essential, little touches can make all the difference when it comes to a landlord inspection. Give light fittings and interior windows some TLC for an extra sparkle.
It goes without saying that bathrooms are a breeding ground for bacteria. This means a deeper clean involving bleach or powerful disinfectants may be required. After a thorough clean, check you haven’t forgotten any of these points:
- Remove hair and other debris from plugholes.
- Throw away the toilet brush and holder.
- Empty cupboards of used toiletries.
- Polish the mirror, door handles, and toilet flush handle.
- Use an old toothbrush to clean the seals of the taps, front and back.
Remember: Try any new cleaning products on a small, inconspicuous area of your surface before use to avoid damage to fabrics and other surfaces.