When you sign up for a rental contract, you will likely part with some cash for a deposit. This is often one- or two months rent, depending on the value of assets within the property. Your landlord is legally required to put this deposit in a tenancy deposit protection scheme to safeguard the money until the end of the contract period. Should the property remain in good condition, you should get this figure back after you leave. As this is no small amount of money to part with, you may well want to do everything you can to ensure that you see it enter your bank account again.
One of the simplest ways you can do this is by making sure the property is sparkling clean when you hand the keys back. With our five tips, this renting chore will be a doddle.
Make two checklists: Most properties have marks, scuffs, or scrapes from previous tenants which can be classed as natural wear and tear. Note these down at the beginning of the tenancy on a checklist. Go through this with your landlord and have them acknowledge the existing damage by signing the checklist. This protects you from any existing issues being blamed on you later.
Before beginning your cleaning at the end of the contracted period, ask your landlord for a checklist of cleaning expectations. If they don’t provide this, create one yourself and ask for approval in writing that it covers all required areas.
Get cover: Even with the best of intentions, accidental damage can happen. Unfortunately, if you’re held liable, you may find yourself obligated to pay for repairs or replacement items. By taking out tenants’ insurance, you protect yourself against potentially costly reimbursements. At a time when every penny counts, this may provide priceless peace of mind.
Start in advance: Regular cleaning takes a deceptively large amount of energy and time, but this is doubled when you are doing a deep clean. Start your cleaning in advance of the end of the tenancy to make sure you’ve been able to complete every task on your list. If you can, go room by room to keep the task manageable.
Don’t overlook details: It’s easy to take a global view of your cleaning and forget the details. For example, when cleaning the kitchen, don’t forget to wipe the shelves on the inside of the cupboards. Ahead of vacuuming, be sure to dust skirting boards and door frames.
Take pictures: Before handing back the keys, take pictures of each room, including wide views and close shots. This way, if the return of a deposit is contested, you will have visual evidence of your comprehensive cleaning. For people in a shared tenancy, it’s especially important to demonstrate that you’ve fulfilled your portion of the obligations.