The trick to a hassle-free exit from your lease is organising your cleaning regime within a proper time frame.
Use these tips to make your next bond clean a success.
One month before your lease ends
- In most cases, your lease agreement will include a term that says your carpets must be professionally cleaned before you vacate the property. Now is the time to book in a professional carpet cleaner to arrive the day before you hand the keys back to the agent/landlord. Remember to keep a copy of the invoice!
- Your lease agreement may also specify that you need to have pest control done on your property (especially if you’ve had pets). As a tenant, you’re responsible for leaving the property pest-free. Use the next few weeks to organise a professional pest control operator to spray your property.
- Does your property have lawns? If so, make sure they’re mowed in the final week of your tenancy. If you don’t own a mower to do this yourself, book a gardener/handyman to mow the lawns for you.
- Cancel your utilities (where appropriate).
Seven days before your lease ends
Clean outside your rental property
- Clean and sweep out your garage. Does your floor need de-greasing? Remove any leftover cobwebs and spray the outdoor area with insect spray.
- Remove all weeds, cut back your bushes, mow the lawns and spray the area with weed killer (if necessary). Do you need to replace any dead plants?
- If you have any leftover rubbish in the backyard, keep an eye out for cigarette butts and bottle tops left around the garden and remove them before you leave.
- Scrub down your driveway and pay special attention to any residual oil spill or tyre marks from your car.
Clean inside your rental property
- Remove and wash your light fittings, then dry and replace. Check your light globes – are they in working order? Change and replace any globes that have blown.
- Look at your curtains and blinds. Can you spot any dirt, dust or marks? If you have Venetian blinds, it’s a good idea to wipe them clean slat by slat. Some curtains may be able to be washed. If not, vacuuming may help to remove any leftover dirt and dust.
- If you have an air conditioner or ceiling fans, wipe them clean (and the internal filters). Same goes for your smoke alarms. Remove the exhaust fans in the kitchen, toilet and bathroom and then wash and replace.
- Are there any fly spots or inspect spots on your ceilings? Use sugar soap or a mild detergent in a bucket of warm water with a sponge. (But test a small spot first to ensure your paint stays intact).
Three days before your lease ends
Clean your windows
- Get your windows in top shape by clearing all the cobwebs outside the house with a cobweb remover or broom.,
- Have a look at your window tracks and clear them of dirt and build-up by carefully running a screwdriver along the tracks to release any dirt. Get in there with a vacuum (the narrowest nozzle you have) and then wipe clean with a damp cloth.
- Place a screwdriver under the screen, lift up and slide it to the left or right, before pulling it out and removing the fly screen. Don’t force your screens because they will bend easily. Hose down the fly screen if necessary.
- Handy tip: Flyscreens too tight? Or do you have security screens or second-storey windows? The sliding windows will generally come out from the inside. Just check to see if you need to loosen the screws at the top of the window (but don’t forget to tighten them back up).
How to squeegee a window
- Use a scourer sponge to soap up your window and remove all dirt and build-up. Now the window is all wet and soapy, wipe the top edge with a dry towel to help reduce streaking. Slide your squeegee down the window with a firm, steady pressure.
- After each stroke, dry your squeegee blade and continue until you’re finished. To avoid lines, make sure each stroke is slightly overlapping the last.
- Finally, dry the edges and remove any remaining marks on the windows with a clean towel. Wipe the frame and the window ledge.
- Handy tip: Your internal windows can be cleaned the same way – use less water on your sponge and place a towel under the window to prevent any internal water damage. (You can apply this technique to large mirrors and shower screens too!)
Two days before your lease ends (your final day of cleaning)
Clean your toilets
- It’s time to disinfect and clean all parts of your toilet, together with the fittings, cistern, behind your toilet and the pipes. The best practice is to use a spray disinfectant, paper towel and some disposable gloves (this keeps everything safe and hygienic).
- Clean your wall tiles with the spray disinfectant and a cloth and wash any dirty walls down. Finally, scrub the inside of the bowl with toilet bowl cleaner and a toilet brush.
Your living areas, bedrooms and corridors
- Vacuum your wardrobes and cupboards and wash with warm, soapy water before drying. Remove any personal hooks, posters or sticky tape as well as residue. Any cobwebs or marks on your walls? Consider washing them down with sugar soap or a mild detergent in a bucket. Pay close attention to your light switches.
- To clean your oven, remove all parts (range hood, stove, and knobs if they come off). Soak in hot, soapy water overnight. Scrub with a firm scourer until clean. Clean your oven glass as per oven cleaner directions. Pay special attention to the glass.
- To start your bathroom clean, vacuum your bathroom. This will remove any hair and loose objects before you get started. Wet down your shower with a crème cleanser and a scourer sponge. Pay special attention to the corners, door frame and top of shower until there’s no soap scum, mould or rust stains. Check to make sure your drain is hair free! Rinse your shower with water and squeegee your shower glass.
- Your laundry sink may have a calcium or rust build-up. You can remove this with a crème cleanser and scourer sponge. Check your laundry cupboards, you may need to apply the same process here. Wipe down all tap fittings and surrounding wall tiles. Scrub any final marks off the floor with the crème cleanser.
- Finally, vacuum your entire house. This will make sure it’s ready for the carpet cleaner to arrive tomorrow. Sweep any hard floors and, as a last step, mop. Don’t leave any hair or debris on the floor. Do a final sweep of your patio.
One day before you return your keys
Your carpets should be professionally cleaned today. Once it’s completed, do a final walk-through with this checklist to ensure your property is in the correct handover state to avoid any tenancy disputes with your rental bond.
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