More than a third of Americans rent their homes. The demand for housing has resulted in the growth of available rental housing, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that you need to make sure that your property is competitive in order to get tenants. One major way to stay competitive is to provide impeccably clean living spaces.
What do you do, then, when a previous tenant leaves your property in bad shape? Read on to read some critical end of tenancy cleaning tips.
- Require Cleaning in the Lease
If you want to minimize the amount of work you do once a tenant moves out, then you need to take a look at your current lease agreement.
Most standard lease agreements have a provision in them that requires tenants to return the apartment to the same condition in which it was received. This means that your tenants are responsible for thoroughly cleaning the property before turning over control of the premises. Failure to do so means that the tenant will have to relinquish some or all of their security deposit to cover cleaning costs.
The helps you by encouraging tenants to do the cleaning themselves, therefore saving you time in the turnover process. It also protects you in the event that a tenant does not clean before moving out and they contest any cleaning charges.
- Document the State of the Property
If you are planning on charging your former tenant for any part of the turnover process, then you should plan on being meticulous about maintaining documentation of everything that needs to be done.
The first step in doing this is to take detailed photographs of the property once the tenant has turned over possession. If there is anything beyond normal wear and tear, take a photo of it and save it for your records. This way, if the tenant contests anything that was done, you can show them the photographs and even take them to court, if necessary.
- Clean or Replace the Carpet
There’s nothing worse than moving into a home that has a dirty carpet. Giving your property’s carpet the once over with a vacuum between tenants is simply not enough. Opt for a thorough carpet cleaning between each tenant to maintain cleanliness and the integrity of your carpet.
Did you know that carpet has a lifespan?
With proper maintenance and care, carpet has an average lifespan of 10 years. It’s important to maintain records of when the carpet was last installed in your property. This will help you determine when it’s time to replace the carpet entirely.
- Refresh the Paint
Just like carpet, the paint on the walls of your rental property has a lifespan. A good paint job will last approximately five years before you need to repaint.
That doesn’t mean that there aren’t times when repainting is necessary, however.
Examine the current condition of the paint in your property when the tenant moves out. Consider touching up the paint or repainting the space entirely if there are multiple holes in the wall or a lot of scuff marks.
It’s a good rule of thumb to pro-rate the cost of the paint based on the amount of time the tenant lived in your property.
- Thoroughly Clean the Kitchens and Bathrooms
Kitchens and bathrooms are the biggest contributors to strange smells in a living space. That’s why it’s super important that these spaces are cleaned thoroughly between tenants.
Unplug the refrigerator and air it out for a few days before giving it a deep cleaning. Clean all the nooks and crannies where debris can build up and cause a stink. Don’t forget to clean behind the toilet and along the floorboards, too!
- Spruce Up the Outside Spaces
Outdoor spaces are just as important as indoor spaces. This is especially true if your property has a patio or a yard.
Make sure that the front door is free from dents and scratches. Refresh any exterior paint and clean exterior windows, too.
Mow the yard immediately before new tenants are set to move in or visit the property. Sweep away any leaves or cobwebs on patios and in exterior light fixtures. If there are any pest issues, now is the time to tackle them.
- Outsource the Work
It’s no secret that cleaning your property between tenants is a lot of work. This is especially true for independent landlords who don’t have a ton of maintenance workers on staff to do the work in-house.
If you want to save yourself some stress and a lot of time, then you can outsource the work. Look up the best end of tenancy cleaning services in your area to learn how much they charge and what kind of work they do. Don’t be afraid to ask for references, too!
- Send Receipts
If you’re charging your former tenant for any of the work you’ve done, then it’s a good rule of thumb to send them copies of receipts. This will bolster your ability to counter any argument that they may have about the work that was done.
At a minimum, break down the costs for anything that was done in-house. For example, if you charged for cleaning and repainting, then break down the charges on their move-out statement. If you hired someone to do the work, attach a copy of the receipt to the move-out statement.
Are You Ready for Your End of Tenancy Cleaning Duties?
As a landlord, end of tenancy cleaning is mandatory if you want to stay competitive and attract high-quality tenants. Creating a routine that includes the same elements will make this process easier over time. Don’t forget to save your receipts and even send copies of them to your tenants to back up any deductions from their security deposit.
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