The End of Lease Cleaning Guide & Checklist – Bond Back
Let’s face it moving out & cleaning a rental property is often a stressful and difficult process, especially if you want all your bond back! This guide includes tips and an ultimate end of lease cleaning checklist that you can print out.
Moving out is an extremely stressful period in anyone’s life, especially if you live in a rental property. Then you worry not only about packing all your belongings and moving them to a new location, but you also have to worry about getting your bond back. You can’t give back the keys until you make sure the place looks spotless. At the end of your tenancy, your landlord will conduct a final inspection to determine the condition of the property. An official condition report will be filled during this inspection, and if you don’t meet the set expectations, you won’t be able to receive your security deposit back.
This is why it’s important to prepare for your end of lease cleaning in advance. Professional companies can take care of everything in a matter of hours, but if you don’t have the budget for that, it’s best to start preparing for the move out inspection early on.
What property damage are you responsible for whilst leasing?
One of the biggest difficulties people moving out face is determining what they are liable for in terms of damage. Fortunately, the tenant is not responsible for absolutely everything, as some types of wear and tear are out of your power. So, you are not responsible for damages that occur over time, such as fading and wearing of curtains, paint, furniture, floors or carpets.
These are the damages you are liable for, though:
- Any type of stains, burn marks, holes and tears on the carpets
- Scratches, stains and burns on floors
- Burns, scratches and cuts on countertops
- Stains, scratches and holes on walls
- Stains, damages, scratches on tables, sofas, beds
Do your best to avoid such types of damage, because their repairs are costly, and their presence will make getting your deposit back in full extremely difficult.
One month before moving out
Depending on how big the rental property is, you may have to start to vacate cleaning preparations up to a month in advance. If you live in a big house with a lawn, garage and other types of additional amenities, you have to start planning the process from there.
If you have a lawn and hedges in front of the house, you will have to trim them a week before the move-out. In case you don’t own a mower and don’t have the needed skills, it’s best to employ a professional gardener to take care of that for you.
Same applies if there are any pests in the property, you will have to take care of the infestation before the inspection, as in most lease agreements this is the tenant’s responsibility. Most landlords require a professional pest control company to be employed because they provide guarantees for all their spraying and fumigation services. However, if your lease doesn’t state this you may consider the DIY option, just ensure all dead bugs are cleared before the inspection is undertaken!
Ask about setting up any connections when moving eg: NBN, electricity etc..
Book the profesionals
In case you need a professional to take care of one of these tasks, it’s best to book your appointment around a month in advance, if you want to use the services of a reputable company. For any last-minute or budget options, you can always try Air Tasker.
All the other tasks can be left for around a week or two before you move out, depending on how much time you have for cleaning.
Take care of the outdoor area
How to clear the garden & balcony
First take care of all the weeds and trim back the bushes. Then mow the lawn and spray the entire area with a weed killer if needed. If there are any dead plants that shouldn’t be, it’s a good idea to replace them with new ones. Gather all the rubbish from the backyard, pack it in bags and discard of it accordingly. Pay special attention to any bottle caps, cigarette butts and other small pieces of trash that can be easily missed in the grass. If you have a balcony, ensure it has been swept and mopped and that nothing remains.
How to clean the garage
Once you’re done with the garden and everything is in pristine condition, you can move to the garage. If you’ve been using it for storage, then first you’ll need to remove everything from there. Sort the items, pack the ones you’re going to keep and order a council clean-up or donate the rest. Then you need to dust the entire space, remove all cobwebs, sweep and mop the floor. If you notice any grease or motor oil stains on the floor or walls, you will need to take care of them as well. A good way to remove oil stains from the garage is to spray the stains with some oven cleaner, wait for 15 minutes, then scrub the area with a wired brush and rinse with a garden hose on a high pressure. Then move to the driveway or patio, scrub down any dirt and make sure there are no oil spills or tire marks. If using a degreaser doesn’t work, you may have to employ a pressure cleaner.
Take care of the bigger indoor tasks
Before you start tackling all the rooms in the house one by one, it’s a good idea to take care of some important elements, which are present in almost every room, but are often forgotten during the regular cleaning you perform:
How to clean walls and ceilings
Start with the walls and ceilings. You can dust them using a duster with a long handle for the ceiling, or a soft dry cloth, which you can place on a stick for the high areas. Once the dust is off, inspect every inch of your walls and ceilings for new cracks, holes and stains. If you notice any scratches or holes, you will need to fill them and paint over the place, so it can fit the colour of the room. Many people choose a handyman to do that, to avoid any mistakes, you can find independent handymen on Air Tasker or Service.com.au. If you notice any stains, you can easily take care of them using sugar soap or a sponge and a small amount of mild all-purpose detergent diluted in a bucket of water. Of course, it’s important to spot test on a hidden corner somewhere, to make sure the paint will stay intact. You can also use Sugar Soap wipes for the stains that will not move!
How to clean Air Conditioners & Extractor Fans
The air conditioner and ceiling fans also need to be cleaned.Get a soft cloth and wipe down the exterior parts, then take out the filters and gently wash them under running water. Leave them to dry in the sun and install them back. If you have a central air conditioning system, you will have to vacuum the ducts themselves, because dust often gets stuck in there. And don’t forget the kitchen, toilet and bathroom exhaust fans, they also have to be removed, washed and replaced if needed.
How to clean lights & electrical sockets
Then clean the light features & socketsYou need to remove the lights, wash them thoroughly, then dry and place back. A lot of dust gathers on those over time, and we clean them close to never, so it’s important to take care of that. Check if all the light bulbs are working, and replace the ones which are not. Then proceed to wipe all the light switches, electrical sockets, smoke alarms and any other elements. Another often forgotten part are the doors – make sure to wipe them top to bottom, remove any stains and fingerprints, and disinfect the doorknobs or handles.
How to clean blinds & curtains
Take a look at the curtains and blinds as well. If you notice any dust and stains, you’ll need to take care of them. Most aluminium blinds are good with some wiping using a damp cloth, but if you have Roman shades or some other type of fabric curtains or blinds, you will need to take them down and wash them according to the labels on them. If taking them down is not an option, vacuuming can help you remove any cobwebs and dirt, and spot cleaning stains with a sponge and soapy water can also do the trick. Some curtains can be steam cleaned without taking them down as well.
How To clean the windows
The windows need cleaning both from the inside and outside. First, make sure there are no cobwebs on the windows by removing them with a broom or a duster. Start the cleaning from the window tracks – remove any dirt and debris using a soft brush or another similar tool. After you dislodge the dirt, you can easily gather it with a vacuum cleaner. After that just wipe the tracks and the frames with a damp cloth and an all purpose cleaner. Gently remove any fly screens, dust them and them hose them down to remove any leftover dirt.
Once all these parts are clean, it’s time to proceed with the windows themselves. The best way to clean a window is to use a squeegee. Use a soft brush or a sponge to apply the soapy water onto the glass and dislodge the dust. Then slide the squeegee firmly down the window, starting from the top left corner. Wipe the squeegee blade with a cloth after each stroke, and continue this way until you clean the entire window. To avoid any streaks, you can overlap the squeegee a little after each stroke. Once you’re done with the whole window, get a clean towel and wipe the edges, to remove any leftover detergent and dirt. Wipe the frame once more, to make sure there’s no moisture left, and you’re done.
Bond cleaning room by room
How to end of lease clean the bathrooms
To be able to do a quality bathroom clean, first, you’ll have to vacuum the entire place. The vacuum will help you remove any hair and lose objects that the other cleaning tools usually miss. Scrub every tiled surface in the place, including the shower, the floors and the walls. Use a rough sponge and a mild abrasive to remove any soap scum, rust or mould. Pay additional attention to any corners, as well as the door frame and the door itself. Wipe the sink, the tap and the showerhead with a proper bathroom cleaner. Rinse the shower glass with water, then spray it with a window cleaner and clean it using a squeegee. And last, but not least, remember to check for hair in the drain before you cross the bathroom from your checklist.
How to clean bathroom grouts
If the tile grout is blackened, you can try to scrub it using a soft brush, to restore the original colour, however, if the grout is stubborn there are multiple products sold to tackle this, but it was discovered in this comprehensive guide of grouts that the best product consisted of products found around the home:
The best DIY grout cleaner –
Ingredients: 1/2 cup of baking soda, 1/4 cup of hydrogen peroxide, 1 tsp dish soap
Directions: Mix together the baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and dish soap. Spoon mixture into the grout, wait 5-10 minutes, scrub and rinse.
Grout cleaning hacks – If this fails, there is also some “hacks” on the market, grout paint is the easiest way of quickly hiding the mould, just ensure that you choose the correct colour. This might not be the best option if you have meticulous agents.
How to clean the toilets
The toilet will require a deep clean, and not only of the toilet bowl but also of all the surrounding fittings. This means that you’ll have to disinfect the cistern, the pipes and the space behind the toilet as well. For the inside of the bowl, first, empty the water, then apply a generous amount of toilet bowl cleaner, wait for half an hour, then scrub thoroughly using the toilet brush. After that spray, the walls and floor around the toilet with some disinfectant and wipe clean with a cloth. Remember to wear disposable gloves while you clean the toilet because the detergents are harsh and can damage your skin.
Kitchen end of lease clean
How to clean the oven
This is the most important part of cleaning the kitchen because this appliance harbours a lot of grease and burnt food particles inside it. First remove all the parts, like the range hood, the stove and the knobs, if they come off easily. Soak all those in some hot and soapy water overnight. In the morning, scrub them with some scourer powder and a firm sponge until you remove all the dirt.
Best oven cleaning products – For inside the oven and the oven glass, you can either use a strong oven cleaner or a mixture of white vinegar and baking soda. Leave the solution of choice overnight, and then scrub and wash away in the morning. Pay special attention to the glass and be careful not to scratch it.
Best oven cleaning product – After some extensive research, the best Australian oven cleaner I could find is “oven pride complete oven cleaner” which has over 500 reviews on Catch, there is a video guide on using this product here.
Once the oven is ready, all that’s left are the cupboards and the sink. Dust the cupboards with a clean cloth and remove any fingerprints using some all-purpose cleaner. Use a mild abrasive detergent and a sponge on the sink and the tap, then rinse with lots of water and wipe with a soft cloth, to avoid any watermarks.
How to clean bedrooms and living areas
These areas are usually completely emptied by the time of move out, and the only thing left in there are the floors, walls, the wardrobes and dressers. Vacuum and cupboards and wardrobes, then wash them with a clean cloth dipped in warm soapy water and leave everything to dry in good ventilation.
Don’t forget the mirrors! Vinegar and water work best once sprayed clean in a zig-zag motion and buff out with a dry cloth.
How to clean the laundry area
Rust and calcium build-up are common problems which appear in the laundry areas, especially around the sink and the laundry cupboards. You can take care of these stains using a scourer sponge and some mild abrasive cream cleaner. Once the stains are gone, wipe down all the tap fittings and the nearby wall tiles. Then scrub off any floor and wall stains using the same abrasive cleaner, wipe clean all the upper surfaces, then mop the floor and leave everything to dry. Afterwards, if you notice any water stains on the walls, you can polish them off with a clean soft cloth.
Carpet & floor end of lease cleaning
Floors are the final part of the move out clean. They need to be in perfect condition, so you can’t allow any walking on them after the final clean. First, vacuum the entire house thoroughly. In case you have carpets, this will help you prepare them for the carpet cleaning technician or carpet cleaner. And if you have hard floors, you need to sweep them, spot clean any stains, and then mop. Make sure there are no debris or hair left anywhere on the floor, including the corners and the space behind or below furniture. You can also sweep near the front door and wipe the front door itself before you give the keys away.
In case you have carpets in the property, you might require end of lease carpet cleaning, you should have a clause in the lease agreement, which requires you to steam or dry clean them before you vacate the property.
Diy carpet cleaning options – If you are not required to hire professionals to undertake the carpet cleaning, there are really easy options for hire machines, most Bunnings stores and even select Woolies/Coles stock carpet cleaners that can be rented for 24 hours for under $40, they also stock all the required carpet cleaner products, make the most of this cleaner and rent the upholstery wand for an extra $5, this will allow you to have your furniture in near new condition for moving into the new place, there are multiple guides on using the carpet cleaning machines, just ensure you clean thoroughly!
End of lease cleaning checklist
Guest author: Jane Wilson is a blogger and the marketing manager of Fantastic Cleaners Melbourne, which is a local cleaning company, providing a wide range of services for households and businesses.