With a new year, comes new beginnings and challenges, but Harrison and Rowley are here to help. I’m sure it goes without saying that you wouldn’t say no to some extra cash to put towards new goals and plans for the future year. For those who are moving out of rented accommodation this year, the money from your security deposit could contribute towards these goals. However, unless your flat or house is spic and span, your landlord is entitled to withhold that from you to cover cleaning or maintenance costs. Be aware though, that your security deposit must be returned in full unless you have caused damage to the property or if the landlord has suffered financial loss by fault of you during your tenancy. If you believe you’re in the clear then all it will take is a bit of elbow grease and willingness to follow these simple 9 steps to ensure you get your money back!
- Don’t rack up unnecessary ghost bills – Once you know the date that you are moving out then make sure you leave plenty of time in advance to contact various water, electricity and gas companies to inform them of the date to turn off all the utilities in your name. This will make sure that you don’t get a nasty surprise this winter, receiving bills for heating in a home you’ve moved out of.
- Smooth over all cracks & holes – Doing this will ensure that fine details of the apartment are left as they were originally found. This includes removing all staples and nails where paintings or belongings may have previously hung on the walls, ceilings or doors and filling in any cracks or holes with foam filler.
- Scrub up a spotless Kitchen even Gordon Ramsay would be proud of
Fridge: The worst thing you could do is to leave your landlord with a smelly fridge that still has last Tuesdays Chicken Tikka in it! So once its been emptied fill up the sink with warm water and washing liquid, remove all of the shelves and drawers from the fridge and wash them thoroughly. Make sure you don’t forget to wipe down the interior and all compartments of the fridge and freezer once its defrosted.
Oven: If you’ve ever had the grisly task of cleaning an oven, you’ll know how much of an effort it can be. Don’t be disheartened though, grab some strong oven cleaner and get scrubbing! Be sure to read the safety instructions carefully beforehand as many oven cleaners require protective clothing (gloves & goggles) and strong ventilation. Use newspaper in front of the oven to stop cleaner from dripping on the floor and cover the inside of the oven, the grates and the boiler sheets in cleaner. Once you’ve scrubbed and scraped and feel as if your triceps are 10x bigger, let it sit for 24 hours and rinse with clean water the next day.
Perfect the final touches: Once you’ve tackled the hard tasks and made your fridge and oven sparkle, its time to add the finishing touches. Use a multi purpose cleaner to wipe down every surface in sight; interior & exterior cabinets, lighting fixtures, stove range and all counter tops! If you have a steel or porcelain sink, powdered cleaners work well to illuminate that shine. Lastly before you breath a sigh of relief and step out your kitchen door, remember to give the floor a mop too.
- Time to tackle the bathroom – Its a job that no one finds appealing and, in fact, cleaning the toilets can be put off for so long that its often the first place your landlord will look for dirt and mess. It’s time to slap on those rubber gloves and become best friends with that bottle of bleach. Thoroughly clean the sink, tub and shower, making sure you remove any build up in tricky areas. An old toothbrush will be useful for this. Use glass cleaner to polish the medicine cabinet, all mirrors and any vents or light fixtures before finally sweeping and mopping the floor.
- Tidy that bombshell of a bedroom – Once you’ve finally managed to tidy up your bedroom, removed the clothes off the floor and are looking at a bedroom, stripped bare to just fixtures and fittings, give it a quick once over with the duster. Wipe down any closets or shelves that were provided, clean all mirrors, splash a drop of carpet cleaner on that mascara stain on the carpet you’ve been meaning to sort for ages and finally, vacuum! If your landlord supplied any curtains or blinds at the beginning of your tenancy which are no longer there for whatever reason, be sure to get window measurements to replace them.
- Judge a book by its cover and get the outside of your home looking pristine as well – Unfortunately, after a gruelling day of cleaning, polishing and dusting its not quite time to settle down with a nice cup of tea. Instead, pull on your garden boots and step outside. Make sure that any balconies, patios and doors are all clear and remove the massive pile of rubbish bags you’ve accumulated throughout the deep clean. Be a bright spark and think one step ahead when it comes to making sure any outside lights that aren’t working are fixed or replaced. Additionally, if your garden lawn is looking more Amazon rainforest than Chelsea gardens, whip out the lawn mower for a quick spin.
- Put an end to any disputes over wear and tear with photo/video evidence – When you take up tenancy of a house or an apartment it is always a good idea to take photos or video evidence of the state of the property if your landlord hasn’t already done so. This gives you something to compare to when you decide its time to move on putting an abrupt end to any disagreements you may have over the state of the patio doors for example. At the end of the tenancy, go round each room and take pictures in the same places to keep for your records incase your landlord says you’ve damaged it. Send the photos and a written description to your landlord or property manager and get them to sign it off.
- Be sure to get a copy of the move out inspection for your records.
- Finally, return your keys & time to enjoy your new home!
If you have any advice, suggestions or even tricky experiences you’ve had with your landlord in a move out inspection, then please share your story below by leaving a comment: