When moving out and into a new home, there are a lot of details and extra little things to pay attention to beyond normal cleaning. Your landlord will be expecting a thorough clean so that a new tenant can take over. Moreover, you need to do it properly and in line with your inventory and tenancy agreement. Here are 8 handy tips for when you are in this situation and are hoping to get your deposit back.

  • Stock up on Cleaning Supplies

Before you start, you need to stock up on items such as detergents, cleaning sponges, and microfiber cloths. At a minimum you are going to need things like:

  • Inventory

  • Cleaning checklist

  • Bin sacks and liners to remove rubbish

  • Detergents such as antibacterial cleaner, polish, and bleach

  • Dusters

  • Cleaning sponges

  • Bucket and mop

  • Vacuum cleaner

  • Inspect All Areas around the House

As we all know, every bit counts, whether it is the garage or outside areas or old storage spaces under the stairs. Some of the crannies and nooks are easy to forget, for example, light fixtures such as the wall scones, chandeliers, and lamps. They tend to get really dusty with time. To remove dust, clean the light fixtures with a damp cloth, including the interior and the light bulbs. The molding and baseboards might also escape your attention, especially when you have plenty to do. As they stick out from the walls a little, the baseboards collect a lot of dust. They are often overlooked as they are close to the floor. This also holds for the molding on top of the cabinets and the trim around doors.

The curtains and blinds can collect a lot of dirt and dust, especially if you have pets that require daily walks. If you have a cat sitting in the windows, the curtains will collect a lot of hair. Use the upholstery attachment to vacuum the curtains and remove pet hair and dust that accumulates over time.

Don’t forget the pulls, handles, and knobs that you touch countless of times every day. Use an all-purpose disinfectant to wipe these spots down.

You also need to clean the dishwasher and washing machine before moving out. Disinfect the dials, lids, and surfaces on the outside of your household appliances and clean the bleach and fabric softener dispensers. If you have a dishwasher, disinfect all the filters and traps.

Finally, you need to inspect the walls for dirt, general damage, fingerprints, and scuff marks. Remove stains where possible. If you find badly affected areas, consider painting them.

  • Don’t Forget the Rubbish

Rubbish tends to mount up, especially when you start sorting through the storage areas and cupboards. You may have cardboard boxes and old furniture in addition to the usual bin bags. If you find yourself in a situation where you have too much rubbish to dispose of, you may want to consider recycling. The items that can be recycled include small electrical appliances such as:

  • Radios

  • Clocks

  • Irons

  • Hair straighteners

  • Shavers

  • Electric toothbrushes

  • Small DIY tools

  • Hairdryers

  • Kettles

  • Electronic toys

  • Digiboxes

  • VCRs

  • Remote controls

  • Chargers and phones

Just put these in your mixed recycle bag. If you have large or bulky items to dispose of, don’t just dump them in front of your house for someone else to deal with. There are different ways to get rid of fridges, sofas, mattresses, and other large items. You can book a bulky waste collection service for items such as wardrobes, tables, beds, cookers, fridges, and washing machines. Another option is to take those large items to a household waste recycling centre. A third option is to contact your local charity shop or a charity such as the British Heart Foundation or RSPCA to remove good quality items.

  • Create a Checklist

As you are sorting out baggage around the house, you may also want to create a checklist to help you figure out what needs to be completely replaced or fixed. What you can also do is ask your landlord or letting agent for a list of items they are normally looking out for on the day of the final inspection. A property inventory typically includes things such as baseboards and cabinets, refrigerator, stove, outlets, sink, and curtains and blinds. If there is something small that needs to be fixed such as a chipped tile or broken lights, you can do it yourself. You should inform your landlord for problems that are more significant, however.

  • Sort Problems You Can Be Held Liable for

You can be held liable for poor hygiene and home maintenance, especially if it results in serious problems like:

  • Damaged items
  • Rodent and pest infestation
  • Mildew and mold
  • When Should You Clean?

If you are currently renting a single room or a small house, you may want to clean by yourself. You should also clean if:

  • You are generally good at cleaning and have sufficient time
  • You have been deep cleaning on a regular basis
  • The property is unfurnished

You may want to contact a professional service if:

  • You lack experience and the required equipment
  • You cannot invest effort and time
  • You have asthma or allergies from cleaning solutions

Whether you contact a local service or try to clean by yourself, your landlord will normally expect you to remove any signs from rust and limescale as well as any spills, smudges, fingermarks, grease, and grime. Dispose of any leftovers, food deposits, and debris and remove all stains, dirt, fur, and hair.

  • Prepare all Paperwork for the Final Inspection

Make sure you prepare all the paperwork that you need, including video and photo documentation of the property before you moved in, receipts of utility bills, receipts of rent, and a copy of your tenancy agreement. Additionally, you need to bring receipts of all professional services that you paid for, including gardening, cleaning, and repairs.

  • Scams to Be Aware of

Unfortunately, rental scams do happen. Research by RentProfile shows that about 4 percent of renters in the UK fell victim of scams. Some estate agents and landlords act as affiliates to cleaning services or repairmen to get a commission for the job done. Double-check any company that they highly recommend. In some cases landlords offer to clean or do repairs by themselves instead of hiring professional cleaners or handymen.  If this is the case, you should ask for and keep the receipts. Also, landlords must use a deposit scheme for your rental deposit but some landlords would still try to trick the system. You should always double-check. Just visit the scheme’s website and enter your name, deposit amount, tenancy start date, and property postcode.

Some landlords would argue that the deposit amount covered administrative fees. You should never pay in cash. Rogue landlords also charge hidden or excessive fees like fees for inventory inspections. This is something you should never agree to as there are no legal grounds for doing so.

If you believe you have been conned, you should notify your deposit scheme as soon as possible. Always ask your landlord or letting agent for a written proof (receipt) for any fees or charges that you covered during your lease. A receipt is all you need to show that you paid for something, whether cleaning charges or your monthly rent. Some landlords may give you a fake receipt, however. Double check the details to confirm that they are consistent with your rental agreement and the rest of the documentation.

Final Words

When moving out of a property you need to give yourself ample time to clean throughout. Some high traffic areas and commonly used surfaces such as the countertops or oven take more time to clean.

To cut out the stress, pack all of your personal belongings and make a list of what needs to be cleaned. When you are done packing, it will be much easier to spot dirt and dust without all the books, magazines, photos, and knickknacks lying on shelves around the house.  Also, you may want to move all boxes in one room or transport them to your new home. This way it will be easier to tidy and clean without bumping into boxes and other stuff packed for the final move. Once you have moved your belongings to your new home, you can clean the room where you stored your belongings.

When cleaning, you want to start from top to bottom. First remove dust and cobwebs from the ceiling and top of doors, cabinets, and other furniture. It is a good idea to wear a mask or scarf because all the dirt and dust will become airborne. Wipe down the walls after you dust the ceilings. If you spot any stains on the walls, use a damp cloth to remove them. Then clean the windows, soft furnishings, appliances, and carpets. Clean the bathrooms last. And off you go, you are done cleaning and ready to move out.