Is it almost time to move out of your Loveland rental home? While you’re busy packing and making arrangements at your next place, make sure that you don’t forget to schedule time to thoroughly clean your rental before you turn in your keys. It may not seem like an important thing to do with everything else going on, but making sure to leave the rental clean is more important than you might think.
Why Clean Your Rental Before Moving?
Leaving the rental home in good, clean condition is actually an obligation listed under your lease, but it also plays a part in whether you’ll get back your security deposit or have a positive reference.
Security deposits are required for new leases to cover damages to the property left by the tenant. Your landlord or property manager has the right to charge you for any repairs or cleaning that must be done to get the home back into good, rentable condition. This may include everything from cleaning carpets through to repairing holes in walls. If you fail to leave behind a clean rental, you should not expect to get all of your security deposit back. However, if you take the time to carefully clean the house leaving it in as good of or better condition than when you moved in, you are more likely to receive deposit money back.
It is also important to leave the property in good condition so that you receive a positive referral down the road. You might not realize that when you put in an application for a new rental, the landlord or property manager of that property will likely contact your last landlord if not the last two or more. They are looking for information that will give them an idea of whether you will be a good tenant or not. If your previous landlord reports that you left the property in poor or dirty condition, you increase the risk of being dismissed from a prospective rental.
How Clean Should You Leave a Rental?
As a general rule of thumb, you should leave your rental just as clean or cleaner than when you moved in. Property managers have years of experience that allow them to identify what qualifies as a reasonable amount of wear and what goes beyond what is considered acceptable.
For example, you shouldn’t be charged for normal amounts of wear on the carpet, but you will surely be charged for leaving carpet stained or damaged. You may not be charged for fading paint, but you will likely be charged for food stains on the walls or large sections of chipped paint.
For your next rental, to help you determine how clean the rental was when you moved in, you might consider taking pictures of various areas of the home before you move in your furniture. Make sure pictures are time-stamped to offer proof of the condition of the house when keys were handed over to you.
What Should You Clean?
To clean an apartment for a move-out, you should prepare for a deep, thorough cleaning. A simple surface cleaning may not be enough. One of the best ways to help you make sure that your rental is as clean as it should be is to follow a move out cleaning check sheet.
Many property managers provide this to their tenants, but in general, you should make sure that you:
- Replace burnt out light bulbs
- Clean the inside of the refrigerator
- Clean the stove, oven, and microwave
- Wipe down kitchen and bathroom cabinets and drawers both outside and inside
- Clean the toilet bowl, seat, and around the base of the toilet
- Clean the bathtub, shower, shower doors, tile, sinks, and mirrors
- Clean windows and dust blinds
- Wipe down walls, doors, railings, and baseboards
- Dust off ceiling fans, light fixtures, shelves, and ceilings
- Sweep and mop any rooms with hardwood, tile or vinyl flooring
- Vacuum and steam clean all carpet
- Clean out laundry room, storage rooms, and garage
- Take out all trash
- Remove all of your belongings from the property
If you don’t have the time to thoroughly clean your rental home, you may consider hiring a cleaning service to come in and clean for you. The cost of hiring someone to clean the house will be worth getting a positive referral and the possibility of getting your security deposit back.