How to Ensure You Get Your Rental Deposit Back

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When you rent out a property, it is your legal obligation to undertake basic checks on how the home is looked after and return the property in the same condition you received it. This can be a big responsibility for tenants, but it’s important to realize that landlords are responsible for ensuring the property is returned to good condition. Here are a few tips to ensure you get your rental deposit back.

Common cleaning tasks overlooked by tenants

People usually remember to clean basic things like windows but often forget about the details, like the frames or the handles, or the side of the window that has the closing mechanism. The window blinds are also often forgotten. The metal blinds can be dusted, and they’re fine, but the blinds made from fabrics need to be washed accordingly.

Other often overlooked spaces are the baseboards – they catch a lot of dust and dirt over time, are present in almost every room, and are often forgotten. The same applies to air vents and ceiling fans. It’s important to clean the air vents regularly because otherwise, they can pollute the indoor air. And the ceiling fans are often forgotten because they are located high, but they also gather a lot of dust and need to be cleaned if you’re moving out. The realtor won’t be happy if they turn on the ceiling fan in front of clients, and it spreads dust all over the room. But be careful. Cleaning things located this high carries all kinds of dangers.

Other often underestimated areas are door knobs, various handles around the house, switches, cords, and sometimes even the doors themselves if their color covers stains and marks easily.

Regular cleaning tasks tenants can undertake to keep the property clean

Regular dusting of the house helps prevent dirt build-up in various corners.

The oven cleaning can also prove to be a difficult task because many people don’t clean spills regularly, and the grease can stick in there for good after some time. It’s a good habit to wipe a spill right after it happens, after the oven cools down, of course.

Taking the good and regular care of the carpeted areas is also a good idea. It’s recommended to have those dry or steam cleaned at least once or twice a year. Taking timely care of spills and stains is also a plus because otherwise, they can reach the padding, which makes removing them even harder.

Also, try to avoid any burn marks, stains on walls, and scratches on the floors. They are very hard to fix when the tenancy ends. If the property comes with some upholstered furniture, consider placing protective covers over the pieces to keep them safe from spills and stains.

Is it worth hiring a tenancy cleaning service? 

There are many advantages to hiring a professional company to handle your end-of-tenancy cleaning efforts.

Tenants are responsible for the good condition of the property during the tenancy, so once it ends, they need to leave it in the same condition it was in the beginning. The landlord or leasing agency prepares move-in and move-out condition reports, and every new stain, scratch, and mark can be deducted from the security deposit. And since most deposits cost around two months’ rent, it’s essential to get that money back.

The tenants themselves could try to clean the property to a perfect condition, but it’s a very long list of tiring tasks, and not everyone has time for that. By hiring a company to do it, they save a lot of time and effort. A team of two or three licensed technicians can take care of even big properties in a matter of hours. They work according to strict agency-approved checklists, which allow them to cover every hidden corner, surface, and spot that most people rarely even think about. The entire cleaning process is extremely organized, and these services are usually not limited in time, which means that the cleaners stay until the job is done to a satisfactory level. They also use professional equipment and detergents to help them on the job, like industrial vacuums and carpet and upholstery steam cleaning equipment to get rid of stains and refresh these areas.

Another advantage of hiring a company to handle these types of cleanings is that the technicians who perform these services are usually insured with public liability. This means that if something gets damaged during the cleaning, they have insurance to cover it. While if you try to clean something yourself and damage it, you just move one step closer to losing that deposit.

Also, most companies that provide end of tenancy cleaning also provide a bond back guarantee. If the landlord is unhappy with the results, the company will return to re-clean for free until the needed results are achieved. Of course, there are additional terms. Some companies provide a guarantee for 48 hours after the cleaning and others for 72 hours or more. It depends on many factors.

If your realtor or agency recommends you a cleaner, it may be a good idea to check them out. Many rental agencies work with particular companies regularly. It could be easier because these companies are already familiar with their specific requirements.

Room by room end of tenancy cleaning checklist

Cleaning service A cleaning service is ready for work

 

Throughout the property and bedrooms

  • Dust through and polish all the woodwork
  • Remove all cobwebs from ceilings
  • Clean all spots off the walls if possible
  • Clean mirrors and pictures
  • Clean top of picture frames
  • Light fittings and shades
  • Clean all switches
  • Wipe all skirting boards
  • Wipe the top of all doors, door frames
  • Clean floors edges
  • Wipe curtain rails
  • Wipe fireplace and surrounding area
  • Wipe and dust the wardrobe inside, and outside, and the top
  • Wipe and dust the cupboards – inside and on the top
  • Clean any door marks
  • Clean the inside of the drawers

Windows

  • Clean inside
  • Wipe down window sills
  • Wipe doors, remove fingerprints
  • Clean the top of the door

Drawers and shelves

  • Clear out
  • Dust through and polish

Furniture

  • Wipe down tables
  • Remove fingerprints
  • Remove cushions, hoover inside sofa
  • Move beds and drawers, clean underneath
  • Move the sofa, clean underneath

Carpets

  • Vacuum through to edges
  • Move furniture for access
  • Steam clean if needed

Hard Floors

  • Wash down and polish
  • Check for residual hair and dust
Kitchen 

Cupboards and drawers

  • Clear inside out
  • Clean handles
  • Clean marks around handles
  • Throw away any unneeded items
  • Dust the rubbing bin – clean the top, beneath it
  • Clean the soap dispenser

Sink

  • Clean
  • Descale
  • Polish
  • Clean and throw away any food /dirt/dust deposit around the sink drain

Wall tiles

  • Clean and dry

Appliances

Fridge

  • Remove all grime, mildew, and food deposits
  • Wipe door handles
  • Clean the rubber seal
  • Clean the top of the fridge

Freezer

  • Clean inside and out
  • Wipe door handles if sticky

Dishwasher

  • Remove all grime, mildew, and food deposits
  • Check filters
  • Clean the soap dispenser drawer
  • Washing machine
  • Wipe down inside and out
  • Check the rubber seal
  • Clean soap dispenser drawer

Microwave

  • Clean inside and out
  • Clean the inside and top of the oven

Tumble Dryer

  • Wipe inside and out
  • Clean dust and lint filters
  • Check handles and rubber seal

Oven

  • Clean and degrease oven, hob, and grill
  • Clean grill pan and oven racks
  • Clean the inner top of the oven
  • Wipe clean the rubber seal
  • Clean behind the oven if accessible

Toaster

  • Clean and remove any leftover crumbs

Extractor

  • Wipe clean beneath and the top if sticky
Bathroom

  • Clean taps and fittings, remove all lime scale, and polish
  • Clean soap dispenser
  • Wipe and polish the radiator and towel rail

Bath, WCs, bidet, shower cubicles

  • Check for hair around the drainage
  • Remove all limescale
  • Polish tiles with dry cloth or paper

Mirrors/glass

  • Clean and polish
  • Clean the toothbrush glass

Extractor fans

  • Wipe clean from dust and dirt
  • Wipe on the top

Pipework

Floors

  • Hoover and polish
  • Clean floor edges
  • Dust all radiators – between and outside

Conclusion

Rental deposits are a pain to manage and a nightmare to get back. With the average tenant in the UK owing their landlord over £1,000 in unpaid rent and bills, it’s becoming increasingly important for tenants to plan the retrieval of their security deposit in advance. By keeping the property in good condition on a regular basis, you are one step closer to getting your funds back without any disputes. 

About the author

Learn More About Being a Survivalist. My name is Jack and my blog is a great way to get new and useful tips on how to get your house ready for anything, whether its a terrible storm or a really long power outage.

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