Whether it’s been weeks, months, or years, it’s time for your current tenant to move out—and another to move in. Of course, they can’t just hand each other the keys and carry on with their lives. You have to make sure the place remains in good condition, even after housing a tenant for an extended period.
Mainly, that responsibility will entail ensuring your rental is spic and span for the next person who will call your property “home.” So, before you hand over the keys, grab your cleaning supplies and go to work. Here’s how to scour your property between tenants.
Have the Tenants Start the Process
When tenants move out, they have a responsibility to present the property as they found it. If you scoured the place before they moved in, then they should clean up, at the very least.
You can make a checklist for your tenants (1) to ensure they do their part in the process. This option will make the final walkthrough a breeze. If they follow the list, then the place should be up to your specifications, and they’ll get their deposit back. Better yet, your cleaning won’t have to be as extreme if the tenant has done their part.
Perform Necessary Maintenance
Not every tenant will follow the checklist you provide. Even if they do, though, they might have caused damage to the property that you have to fix. So, inspect your space for holes in the wall, leaks, faulty locks or doorknobs, and so on. You’ll have to repair all of that before a new tenant arrives.
To that end, check out the property’s appliances, too. If you have trouble maintaining the cleanliness of your property’s appliances, you might just want to replace them. The same goes for furnished apartments—you can only sanitize and clean a mattress so many times before you have to buy a new one for a new tenant.
Erase Scuff Marks
Even a tenant’s rigorous cleaning regimen can’t get rid of such blemishes as scuff marks. So, stock up on Magic Erasers—or make your own (2) —and get rid of all the imperfections around the house. Not only can you fix walls without paint, but you can restore bathrooms to an even brighter shine.
On that note, take advantage of your role as a landlord, too. You should be able to purchase stronger, commercial-grade cleaning supplies because of your profession. These solutions will make it easier to get the place clean and ready for your next tenant.
Attack Lingering Mold
An imperfect bathroom cleaning regimen may have left mold behind on the walls or in the shower. Mold can be toxic, so you need to slip on a mask so that you don’t inhale any dangerous spores. Then, spray the area down with a mixture that’s one part bleach, eight parts water (3) and keep a fan running throughout the process to clear the air.
Once the mold’s removed, implore your new tenants to squeegee the shower after each use to remove excess water. You might install or enhance the ventilator fan you have in the bathroom to keep air flowing. Stagnation and moisture cause mold, and you don’t want to have to deal with it every time tenants move in and out.
Examine the Outside, Too
Whether you’re renting a single family home with a backyard or a condo with a balcony, you want to scour those outdoor areas, as well. Of course, this step doesn’t just mean that you mow the lawn and move on. You should perform a full clean-up of the property’s exterior.
Empty the gutters of any build-up and power-wash the walkways and driveway. If the property’s covered in siding, be sure to give that a rinse, as well. It’ll be worth all of the extra steps to spruce up your property’s exterior—curb appeal can help seal the deal for your potential new tenants.
Clean the Carpets and Refresh the Paint
Finally, as a courtesy to your new tenants, you should finish your deep clean with the walls and floors. Rent a carpet cleaning machine—or hire a professional to helm the process. Vacuuming alone won’t release deep-set dirt and germs from the flooring, so you’ll need to add this step to your cleaning regimen.
The same goes for paint—depending on where you live, it might be required of you as a landlord to re-paint with the departure of every tenant. Either way, refreshing the walls is a nice touch for those who move in, as it makes the place feel even fresher and cleaner.
Maintain a High Standard
Some landlords might do a superficial cleaning so that they can usher clients in and out with haste. However, this method will do you no good. Without deep cleaning, dirt and grime build up over time, and you can’t expect your tenants to take care of it if you don’t.
So, set a high cleanliness standard when tenants move in, and keep it that high for every further renter. That way, your property will stay in mint condition, and you can continue renting it out for years to come.
If you’re a landlord, is there anything else you’d add to the list above?
Share in the comment section below.