What Landlords Expect: The Ultimate End-of-Lease Cleaning Checklist

Cleaning Challenges

Moving out of a rental property can be stressful and time-consuming. You have to pack your belongings, arrange for removalists, and deal with the paperwork. But before you hand over the keys to your landlord, you also have to make sure that the property is clean and tidy. This is not only a courtesy but also a requirement for getting your bond back.

A bond is a security deposit that you pay at the start of your tenancy. It is usually equivalent to four weeks’ rent and is held by the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority (RTBA) until the end of your lease. To get your bond back, you have to meet the conditions of your tenancy agreement, which include leaving the property in a reasonably clean condition.

But what does reasonably clean mean? And how can you ensure that you don’t miss any spots or tasks that could cost you money? That’s where an end-of-lease cleaning checklist comes in handy. An end-of-lease cleaning checklist is a comprehensive guide that covers all the areas and items that you need to clean before you vacate the property. It helps you to organise your cleaning process and avoid disputes with your landlord or property manager.

In this article, we will provide you with the ultimate end-of-lease cleaning checklist for renters and tenants. We will also share some tips and tricks on how to make your bond cleaning in Melbourne easier and more efficient. Whether you decide to do it yourself or hire a professional end-of-lease cleaning service, this checklist will help you get your bond back in full.

End-of-Lease Cleaning

End-of-Lease Cleaning Checklist: General Cleaning

General cleaning refers to the tasks that apply to all rooms and areas of the property, such as walls, floors, windows, doors, light fittings, and so on. These are the basic things that you should do in every room before moving on to the specific cleaning tasks for each area.

  • Remove dust by wiping down all surfaces, including the entire wall, furniture, shelves, countertops, tables, chairs, etc.
  • Remove any cobwebs from the ceilings and corners.
  • Clean all light switches, power points, and door handles.
  • Clean all light fittings and remove any dust or insects.
  • Clean all windows, window sills, and window tracks. Wipe down any blinds or curtains.
  • Vacuum all carpets and rugs. If there are any stains or marks, treat them with a suitable carpet cleaner or hire a professional carpet cleaner.
  • Sweep and mop all hard floors. If there are any scuff marks or stains, use a suitable floor cleaner or hire a professional floor cleaner.
  • Clean all skirting boards and remove any dust or dirt.
  • Clean all doors and door frames. Remove any marks or fingerprints.
  • Clean all air vents and filters. Replace them if they are damaged or dirty.
  • Remove any nails, hooks, screws, or stickers from the walls. Fill in any holes or cracks with a suitable filler. Repaint the walls if necessary or required by your lease agreement.

End-of-Lease Cleaning Checklist: Kitchen Cleaning

The kitchen stands out as one of the most pivotal areas to focus on when undertaking the daunting task of moving out of a rental property. Simultaneously, it ranks among the most challenging spaces due to the multitude of appliances, fixtures, and items demanding thorough cleaning. Below, you’ll find essential steps to ensure your kitchen meets the requirements of the bond cleaning checklist and leaves your rental property in pristine condition:

  • Clean the Oven: Tackle both the inside and outside of the oven, eliminating any grease, food residue, or stubborn burnt-on bits. Opt for a suitable oven cleaner or consider enlisting the services of a professional oven cleaner.
  • Stovetop and Range Hood Maintenance: Wipe away grease, oil, or any lingering food splatters on the stovetop and range hood. A reliable stove cleaner or a professional stove cleaner can make this task more manageable.
  • Microwave TLC: Address both the interior and exterior of the microwave, wiping away spills or stains. Opt for a suitable microwave cleaner or hire a professional with expertise in microwave cleaning.
  • Dishwasher Detailing: Clean the dishwasher thoroughly, removing any food particles or debris from the filter and spray arms. Running a cycle with a dishwasher cleaner or hiring a professional dishwasher cleaner ensures comprehensive cleanliness.
  • Fridge and Freezer Care: Undertake a meticulous cleaning of the fridge and freezer, inside and out. Defrost the freezer if needed, remove any food items, and wipe down spills or stains. Utilize a suitable fridge cleaner or hire a professional fridge cleaner to meet bond cleaning checklist standards.
  • Sink and Taps Hygiene: Address limescale, soap scum, or mould on the sink and taps. Opt for a suitable sink cleaner or engage a professional sink cleaner to ensure compliance with the bond cleaning checklist.
  • Cupboards and Drawers Scrutiny: Clean the insides and outsides of cupboards and drawers, removing crumbs, dust, or dirt. Wipe down spills or stains using a suitable cupboard cleaner or enlist a professional cupboard cleaner for a comprehensive job.
  • Benchtops and Splashbacks Shine: Remove grease, oil, or food splatters from benchtops and splashbacks. A suitable benchtop cleaner or a professional benchtop cleaner can assist in achieving the desired cleanliness.

End of Lease Cleaning Checklist: Bathroom Cleaning

The bathroom is another area that requires special attention when moving out of a rental property. It is also one of the most prone to mould, mildew, limescale, soap scum, and other unpleasant substances that can affect the hygiene and appearance of the room. To ensure that you leave the bathroom in a clean and satisfactory condition, follow this checklist:

  • Remove all personal items and rubbish from the bathroom, including toiletries, towels, mats, bins, etc.
  • Scrub the shower, bathtub, sink, and taps with a suitable cleaner to remove any dirt, stains, or soap scum. Rinse well and dry with a cloth.
  • Clean the shower screen or curtain with a glass cleaner or vinegar solution to remove any watermarks or limescales. If the curtain is washable, put it in the washing machine and hang it to dry.
  • Clean the toilet bowl, seat, lid, and cistern with a disinfectant cleaner and a toilet brush. Wipe down the outside of the toilet with a damp cloth.
  • Clean the mirror and any other glass surfaces with a glass cleaner or vinegar solution. Wipe dry with a microfiber cloth or paper towel.
  • Clean the tiles, grout, and any other surfaces with a suitable cleaner to remove any mould, mildew, or dirt. Use a toothbrush or a small brush to reach any hard-to-clean areas.
  • Sweep and mop the floor with a disinfectant cleaner. Make sure to clean under and behind any furniture or fixtures.
  • Check for any damages or repairs that need to be reported to the landlord or property manager. Replace any light bulbs that are not working.
  • Ventilate the bathroom by opening the windows or turning on the fan. This will help to prevent any odours or moisture from building up.

End-of-Lease Cleaning Checklist: Bedroom Cleaning

When you are moving out of a rented property, you need to make sure that you leave the bedroom in a clean and tidy condition. This will help you avoid any disputes with your landlord or agent and get your bond back. Here are some tips on how to clean the bedroom for the end-of-lease inspection:

  • Dust and wipe all surfaces, including furniture, shelves, window sills, skirting boards, light fixtures and switches.
  • Vacuum and mop the floor, paying attention to the corners and edges. If the floor is carpeted, you may need to steam clean it or hire a professional carpet cleaner.
  • Wash and dry the curtains or blinds, or dust them if they are not washable. Make sure they are free of stains, tears or holes.
  • Clean the windows and mirrors with a glass cleaner and a microfiber cloth. Remove any marks, fingerprints or smudges.
  • Remove any cobwebs from the ceiling and walls.
  • Empty and clean the wardrobe and drawers. Remove any personal belongings, hangers or rubbish.
  • Clean the door, and the door handle with a disinfectant spray and a cloth.
  • Check for any damages or repairs that need to be done, such as holes in the wall, broken furniture or missing items. Report them to your landlord or agent as soon as possible.

Meeting Landlord Expectations with Ease

In this comprehensive bond cleaning, don’t forget to consult your moving house checklist, especially if it’s tailored to meet the requirements of your next move. This meticulous approach, especially when accompanied by reliable end-of-lease cleaning services, is crucial for safeguarding your bond money. Your real estate agent, during the final inspection, will pay extra attention to details like the state of kitchen appliances, inside cabinets, and any marks or build-up on floors and walls.

Remember, a professionally cleaned kitchen, by the cleaning clause of your lease agreement and the Residential Tenancies Act, is not just a requirement but a commitment to leaving the property in the same condition it was at the beginning of the tenancy. Whether you’re moving from a studio apartment or a large house, investing time to finish the job to the highest standards is the key to a successful relocation. Consider using newspapers for environmentally friendly cleaning, especially for items like ceiling fans and baseboards. Create a paste for stubborn stains and use an old toothbrush for detailed bond cleaning in areas that need extra attention, such as barbecue grills.

As you embark on your next move, keep in mind that leaving the property professionally cleaned is not just a legal obligation but a courtesy to the next tenants. This not only ensures a smooth transition but also avoids any potential disputes over the cost of cleaning. Whether you’re relocating to Perth, Brisbane, NSW, or elsewhere, the universal rule is to leave the property in the same condition you found it, and that includes paying meticulous attention to your kitchen.

In conclusion, a meticulous approach to end-of-lease cleaning is the key to meeting landlord expectations and securing your bond refund. Pay attention to the specific cleaning tasks outlined in the checklist, and consider professional help for a stress-free transition. Remember, leaving the rental property in its original condition not only satisfies your landlord but also sets the stage for a positive reference in the future. Happy cleaning!

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