Important End Of Tenancy Cleaning Checklist - Commonly Overlooked Spots

You’ve packed up everything into the boxes and the moving truck and are ready to go, your mum is taking care of the dog and the kids while you do the cleaning up, and you’ve got yourself organised with lots of rags, rubber gloves and cleaning sprays. We’ll assume that you haven’t made the common mistake of packing up your cleaning tools like the vacuum cleaner and the mop and sending it ahead to your new home like I did once! This is an advertorial.


However, in your enthusiasm or, more likely, your desire to have the whole flipping lot over and done with, you may easily overlook some of those spots that are out of sight and out of mind. Every house has places that get forgotten during the end of tenancy cleaning. Usually, time pressures have a lot to do with this, but you sure end up kicking yourself when the landlord points out the forgotten spots and you lose some or all of your deposit money.

You could, of course, call in a team of professional house cleaning specialists. After all, trained professionals usually have a checklist and because every house or unit is new to them, they see and notice things and places that you don’t. 
What’s more, if you can produce that a receipt from a moving out cleaning company, landlords tend to be a bit happier and more satisfied – and you get your deposit money back. 

What Do Inventory Clerks Definitely Check? 



However, if you’re still keen to do the job yourself, you need to think about these commonly overlooked spots so you can do your end of tenancy cleaning properly.

The Garden Shed

If your house has a garden and it’s got a shed (I have hardly ever seen a garden that doesn’t have some form of a shed somewhere) then the shed often gets overlooked. You might make sure that you take the kids’ bikes and the lawnmower out of it, but there are all the other bits and pieces in the dark corners – and whatever you’ve got stashed behind the shed as well. Although cleaning out the garden shed isn’t something that landlords fuss about too much, some can. In the case where you’re selling your home, the new owners will appreciate the garden shed being clean and free from your old junk.

The Cupboard Under the Stairs

Thank you, Ms Rowling. We now refer to this sort of cupboard as the Harry Potter cupboard, or at least we do in my house. This seems to be the hiding place of all those things that don’t belong outdoors but need to be kept somewhere. This is often the ideal spot for storing cleaning equipment. When you’re doing your end of tenancy cleaning, you will certainly take the vacuum, the mop and the buckets out from the cupboard under the stairs but once they’re out, don't forget to clean it thoroughly.

The Lightbulbs 


Lightbulbs are something that we use to look at other things; we don’t usually spend time looking at them unless they’re some sort of feature. Even so, light fittings are often overlooked during the end of tenancy cleaning – in fact, this one thing that picky landlords can often get bugged by. Mostly this is because light fittings and lightbulbs tend to be collectors of fly spots, dust, cobwebs and dead moths. The amount of dirt they can collect is quite astonishing.

Toilets

Yes, of course, you’ve remembered to scrub out the toilet bowl and give the seat and the top of the tank a good wipe down with disinfectant. However, when you’re moving out, you need to really deep clean the toilets. This means getting into all the weird little nooks and crannies. It may mean unscrewing the seat and lid so that you can get rid of all the old dried-on pee that will inevitably have collected under there if it has ever been used by a man (in other words, all toilets anywhere except the ones in a convent that aren’t used by visiting priests and nephews). 

You’ll need an old toothbrush to do the job really well – this is something that professionals just about always do! Don’t forget the outside of the toilet and around the back on the floor.

Washing Machines

If you own your own washing machine, well and good. It’s up to you whether you clean it or not. However, if a washing machine was one of the appliances provided by the landlord, then it’s going to have to be cleaned as well. It may seem counter-intuitive (the fancy way of saying “totally bonkers”) that something that’s designed to get things clean can actually get dirty. However, just go and have a look at your washing machine. Look around the sides of the interior, in the detergent dispenser and under the lid – and look down the back! The good news is that most of the gunk is pretty easy to wipe off. You can also try running a cycle with the machine empty on a hot cycle and a generous dollop of white vinegar instead of detergent to make it super clean.

Blinds


Yes, we know that cleaning blinds can be a right pain in the 'you know where', especially cleaning Venetian blinds. However, they are still absolute dust magnets, and flies and spiders love all those little hiding places in a nice sunny location.

For roll-up fabric blinds, unroll them completely and have somebody hold it out for you while you use the upholstery attachment on your vacuum cleaner. In the case of Venetian blinds, you may need to get one of those special tools that slide between the slats to get the dust off – or improvise with an old sock slipped over your hand. 

If the blinds are in really bad condition, it might be worth your while replacing them – you’ll probably be able to find something that fits more cheaply than your landlord can, so you’ll end up better off buying a new blind than if you forfeit your deposit money. Just make sure that it fits and is the right colour.

Walls

You would think that a smooth vertical surface wouldn’t get dirty, but the odd coffee spill, artistic scribble from a toddler, fly spots and scuff marks can mean you definitely need to wipe over your walls.  You can bet that your landlord will see all that as well, especially in a well-lit room  At least glossy and semi-gloss paint is fairly easy to wipe down with a damp cloth and a bit of detergent or your favourite cleaning product.  Don’t forget baseboards, dado rails, skirting boards and architraves. An inventory clerk will definitely have a peak there.

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