Sue Grafton once said:
“When all else fails, cleaning house is the perfect antidote to most of life’s ills”
When it comes to moving there is a lot to organise. Finding and booking removalists you can trust, getting all the materials you need to pack, getting the new place ready for you to move into and so much more. If you are renting the space you are leaving there is also the move out cleaning to handle. The best way to ensure you do not forget anything and as a result lose your bond money is to use an end of lease cleaning checklist. Renters can use the following tips to restore the home or apartment they were living in, to a condition at or close to its original condition. A tenant move out cleaning checklist is something all landlords wish their tenants referred to when it comes time to leave. Knowing exactly what you need to do in terms of vacate cleaning allows you to leave time to complete it so you are not stressed on the day
How clean does a rental need to be when moving out?
Different states have different rules, but in general, in order to get your full bond back you need to leave it in ‘a reasonable condition’. Using a vacate clean checklist is the best way to ensure this happens. Unless you specifically agree to certain conditions, reasonably clean is all the requirement they should have. You do not have to hire professional cleaners. You can have someone else handle it, but it is not a requirement. Unless you agreed at the time of moving in that you would use professional cleaners!
The only time this might not be true is if you had pets. Then using a bond clean checklist might not be enough and at least the carpets might need professional cleaning. Keep in mind that the process of moving can leave the place in less than a reasonable state, muddy boots on the carpeting, scuffed walls or skirting boards, then the cleaning involved might take a bit more effort than your usual house clean.
It also comes down to the difference between fair wear and tear and actual damage to the property. This is something that causes a lot of dispute. Fair wear and tear is damage that has happened over time to the property from being lived in, while being looked after. Cracks in the walls fall into fair wear and tear, holes in the walls from pins and nails is damage. As you use a moving out cleaning checklist for renters these are things you can consider.
What the Law States About Bond Cleaning Requirements
As mentioned the law might vary from one state to another but in NSW for example, once the tenant has made an official application for the bond refund, the agent has 14 days to pay it or contest. Should they not do either then all of the bond is to be repaid. It is the landlord who has the burden of proof not the tenant but a move out house cleaning checklist is still useful.
Four things you can do are;
- Look at the property condition report – When you move into a rental you should complete a report including pictures about the condition of the rental. When you leave, do the same thing after doing the cleaning with the house cleaning move out checklist. This is your evidence should a dispute happen.
- Keep your records and stay calm – If you do cause damage let the landlord know and keep copies of it. Avoid escalating arguments.
- Real estate agents are not neutral – They work for the landlord so remember when they tell you something they are working from the interests of the landlord.
- Find an advocacy group – Every state has them and if you have more questions they are a great place to start with concerning the end of tenancy cleaning.
Breaking it down legally under the Residential Tenancies Act, you must leave the rental the same way you found it. What was clean when you moved on must be cleaned when you leave. Use your PCR (property condition report) to help with your bond clean checklist. But check your lease in case there are any cleaning clauses. Things like having carpets professionally cleaned are sometimes added. In some states that is legal, but in some like NSW it is only enforceable if you kept pets. When the landlord or agents do a final exit inspection checklist if they try to claim the place is not clean enough you can refer to your PCR and photos and make a claim for your bond money.
Am I Required to Have the Carpets Cleaned Professionally?
There are a lot of landlords and agents who will tell you the carpets have to be cleaned professionally when you heave as part of your move out cleaning routine. But still legally, you are responsible to leave them in the condition you found them in, taking into account general wear and tear that comes if you have been there a few years. If when you moved in the carpets had been professionally cleaned for your arrival, then you should do your best to do the same in your vacate cleaning. If you agreed in your lease at the start of your rental period that you would hire carpet cleaners when you leave then you have to do it.
Without further ado, here is more on the tenant move out cleaning checklist.
Bond Clean Checklist – Preparation
Cleaning should wait until the house is as empty as it is going to get. It is the easiest way to make sure you clean everything properly and it gives you room to work once your house movers are on their way. Alternatively you could organise the move so that you can come back the next day to handle what is on your cleaning list. To prepare before you start your moving into a new house cleaning checklist you need to do the following;
- Give yourself a lot more time than you might think. If you think you could get it all done in an hour, give yourself two. There is a lot more to do than you think in end of tenancy cleaning.
- Clear out the home. Some rentals will have been furnished or partially furnished so obviously leave any of that but take out everything else that is yours.
- Get all the cleaning supplies and equipment you will need and put them somewhere making sure you do not pack and move them! You would be surprised how many people pack their vacuum cleaner and then realise they cannot vacuum the floors for the clean. Vacate clean checklist supplies might include;
- Mop and bucket
- Steam cleaner for tiling and floors
- Vacuum cleaner
- Rubber gloves
- Glass cleaner
- Oven cleaner
- Soap, scouring pads, sponges, wipes, bleach
- Something portable to carry supplies in so it is easy to move around the house
Move out house cleaning checklist cleaning tips – Start with the dry tasks such as sweeping, vacuuming and dusting and then move on to the wet jobs, surface wiping, mopping, cleaning. If you have pets make sure you have completely cleaned and deodorised after them before using your apartment move out cleaning checklist. Plan on how you are getting rid of garbage including any prohibited or hazardous items that your removalists cannot move.
Walls, Floors & Upholstery End of Lease Cleaning Checklist
The following is a house cleaning list by room so you have a clear idea of what needs to happen with general cleaning, and room by room. Here is a moving out cleaning checklist for renters for walls, floors and upholstery.
- Check your walls for scuff marks and spot clean them. Things that are staying should be moved forwards so you have clear access to all the walls as you use your house cleaning checklist. A mix of soap, sugar and warm water should do the job. Avoid scrubbing or scouring as that will damage the walls. Make sure to do behind everything.
- Vacuum all the carpets and if it is part of your complete house cleaning checklist have them professionally cleaned. Alternatively hire a steam cleaner or do some spot cleaning.
- Vacuum clean all the window tracks, sliding door tracks and any upholstery you are leaving behind that was there when you moved in. Consider other options for upholstery cleaning depending on the condition it was in when you moved in.
- Sweep all the hard floors and mop all the tiled floors as part of your house cleaning list.
Kitchen End of Lease Cleaning Checklist
One of the harder places to clean on your house cleaning list by room is the kitchen, especially if you are leaving behind appliances. Using a moving into a new house cleaning checklist you should;
- Use some soapy water to clean the grime and then some window cleaner to get the streaks off, or some paper and vinegar.
- Another point on your house cleaning move out checklist for the kitchen is to take out any nails used to hang things on the wall like clocks or pictures and fix the holes left behind.
- If you are leaving appliances behind make sure you have pulled them out to clean behind and the floors underneath.
- Clean your oven. If you prefer not to use an oven cleaner you could use baking soda and water. Take care of any stains, and also clean the range hood, the filters and check the light.
- Clean the dishwasher and use a small cup of bleach to kill any bacteria in it.
- Next on this house cleaning checklist is to clean out debris from the sinks, clean them and clean the taps and draining board. To get it shining if it is stainless steel use a little mineral oil with a sponge.
- Clean the garbage disposal.
- Remember to clean inside as well as outside the microwave.
- No apartment move out cleaning checklist would be accurate without reminding you to wash out all the cupboards and drawers, benches, surfaces and countertops.
- Finally on the kitchen moving house cleaning checklist is to use the vacuum on the extractor fan.
Living Room & General Bond Cleaning Checklist
Next on the end of lease cleaning checklist is the general use rooms and living room. This tenant vacate cleaning checklist includes;
- Windows, cleaning and then removing streaks as well as the tracks and sills.
- Removing nails and repairing damage in the walls.
- Make sure all shelving and drawers are cleaned.
- On this house cleaning list don’t forget to look up, clean the light fittings, make sure bulbs are working and clean the switches.
- Clean skirting boards, picture rails and doors.
- Clean out any vents, air conditioning, fan blades and such.
- Use a duster or your vacuum to clean the ceilings and corners of cobwebs and dust.
- Next on the move out house cleaning checklist clean out the window blinds, some might just need dusting, but some might need a good soapy water clean. If the curtains were there when you arrived, wash them and re-hang them.
- Clean any furniture, chairs, tables and such and place them in the original position for the agent or landlord and their exit inspection checklist.
Bathroom, Toilet & Laundry End of Lease Cleaning Checklist
To clean the bathroom and toilet, you need to consider this on your tenant vacate cleaning checklist.
- Clean the bath, shower, toilets and basins and disinfect them all.
- Make sure you also clean out hair from the plug holes, clean screens, showerheads and taps.
- Next on the bathroom moving house cleaning checklist is to use a paste of vinegar and baking soda on the glass walls and shower doors to remove the film.
- Wash all the tiles and the grout in between, have products ready on your cleaning list for things like mould.
- Make sure you also give the mirror a clean and shine and clean the ceiling fan.
Bedroom End of Lease Cleaning Checklist
Your bedroom tenant move out cleaning checklist is likely a lot easier than some of the other rooms.
- If you have taken the bed, wardrobe and such with you this room is likely pretty empty but you might have more wall damage to repair.
- Clean the windows and window tracks, skirting boards and such.
- Vacuum the carpet and clean if needed.
- If you are leaving the mattress vacuum it and remove any stains.
- Last on the bond clean checklist is to clean and dust any shelves and wardrobes.
Around the House & Garage Cleaning Checklist
Some other end of lease cleaning checklist tips for around the house and the property include;
- Clean the BBQ, patio furniture and such if you are taking it with you.
- On the house cleaning move out checklist consider removing dust and cobwebs around the garage area and patio area.
- Make sure any damage done by pets is repaired.
- Clean out the compost bin and letter box.
- Sweep the garage and drive and paths. Make sure all your rubbish and belongings are cleared out of the shed and garage.
- Hose down the garage doors.
When everything is cleaned, what’s next?
After you have used your end of tenancy cleaning checklist template to clean the whole place make sure you take pictures of everything. Remember you clean to the standards you yourself moved in to. As long as you have pictures of your move in, and then pictures of your move out, using the bond clean checklist should get you your full bond back.
When you need help moving sometimes the best option is to hire professional removalists. Experienced house movers can help you with all aspects of moving out of a rental, in some cases some even offer packing services and cleaning services too. Whether you choose to use them or a rental cleaning checklist pdf comes down to the time you have and your budget. So give some reputable options a call, get a quote and see what you can work out!