When you move out of a rental, you need to leave it clean in order to get your deposit back. However, if you are a student or a first-time renter, you may not know where to start. Basically, you need to clean everything, but if you want to reclaim your entire deposit, here are five helpful tips to keep in mind:
1. Make a Record of Messes, Damage and Stains When You Move in
The first step of end-of-lease cleaning happens when the first day you move into your rental. Look carefully over your rental and take as many picture as possible. In addition to any damage in the rental, document carpet stains, grout discolouration, bathtub grime or any other dirt you find.
You only have to leave your rental as clean as you found it, and if it is dirty when you move in, you cannot be held responsible for it being the same level of dirty when you move out. However, this is impossible to prove without pictures.
2. Do Not Forget to Clean Out-of-sight Places
It is easy to forget out-of-sight places when you are cleaning, but these places collect some of the worst dirt and grime. In addition to cleaning your floors, walls, windows, countertops and other visible places, remember to clean the inside of your oven and the floor underneath your oven and refrigerator.
3. Look for a Carpet Cleaning Clause on Your Lease
Some leases stipulate that you have to get the carpet professionally cleaned at the end of the lease. If you don't have a copy of your lease, contact your landlord to see what his or her expectations are. If you need to have the carpet professionally cleaned, you may need to have all of your stuff out a day or two earlier so you have time to bring in a carpet cleaner.
4. Remember to Empty and Clean Extra Areas
While frantically cleaning the inside of your rental, it's easy to forget extra areas. If you rent a house, remember to mow the lawn and clean up any leaves or debris outside. Also, remember to clean the garage or your parking stall if you have a space in a shared parking garage.
Similarly, if you live in a complex that has storage areas for the tenants in the basement of the building, remember to empty and sweep that unit. In addition to cleaning fees, most landlords charge a removal fee if renters leave anything behind.
5. Consider Hiring Help
If you truly want your deposit back and you have been hard on your rental, consider hiring outside help. There are professional cleaners who specialise in end-of-leasing cleaning (such as Bras Cleaning Pty Ltd), and they clean everything to ensure you can reclaim your deposit.