9 Tips for Cleaning Your Rental Between Tenants

9 Tips for Cleaning Your Rental Between Tenants

3 min read
Larry Alton

Larry is an independent, full-time writer and consultant. His writing covers a broad range of topics including business, investment, and technology.

Experience
Larry started his career with Demand Media. There he contributed to and edited nearly every type of business-related content from real estate investing to software and digital media.
Since then, Larry has worked as an independent, full-time writer and consultant. His writing covers a broad range of topics including business, investment and technology. His contributions include top-tier publications like Entrepreneur Media, TechCrunch, and Inc.com.

When he is not writing, Larry assists both entrepreneurs and mid-market businesses in optimizing strategies for growth, cost cutting, and operational optimization.

As an avid real estate investor, Larry cut his teeth in the early 2000s buying land and small single family properties. He has since acquired and flipped over 30 parcels and small homes across the United States. While Larry’s real estate investing experience is a side passion, he will affirm his experience and know-how in real estate investing is derived more from his failures than his successes.

Education
Larry graduated in the top 2% from Iowa State University’s Ivy School of Business Management.

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One of the biggest stresses that comes with owning a rental property is when the tenant moves out. At this time, it’s your responsibility to check the property, order maintenance, and clean everything for the next tenant. Sometimes, this process is a breeze. Other times, you’re left with a lot of work on your hands.

Even if it’s a pain to achieve, a clean property yields many benefits. A pristine rental comes with higher rent prices, so it’s very important to actually get things clean after a tenant moves out. What’s more, cleaning the property thoroughly between tenants adds longevity to each unit. To reap the rewards, try some of the following tips.

1. Require Tenants to Clean Thoroughly

Give your tenants a detailed checklist covering both the major items and the smaller details you expect them to take care of. Ideally, providing a checklist minimizes the amount of cleaning you’ll have to follow up with. If your tenants follow your checklist to the letter, your final walkthrough will be a breeze.

2. Replace Old Furnishings and Appliances

You can clean things for awhile, but after a certain point, it’s simply better to replace them. Refrigerators, stoves, dishwashers, and other appliances should be replaced once they start to become grimy and difficult to keep clean.

If you have furnishings in your apartment, it’s a good idea to consider replacement items. A mattress, for example, can only be cleaned so many times. If it’s old and dirty, you’ll have a harder time showing properties and collecting a decent amount of rent.

Related: 3 Practices Landlords Should Use During the Move-In Inspection

3. Stock Up on Magic Erasers

Magic Erasers work miracles. When your tenant doesn’t clean something to your standards, a Magic Eraser can shine things up in no time.

As a landlord, you can also stock up on a number of industrial cleaning supplies. These commercial supplies work much better than what you can get over the counter, but they’re not readily available to the general public.

young woman cleaning sunblind on white pvc window

4. Hire a Company to Clean the Blinds

It’s good for tenants to dust the blinds before they leave, but you’ll want them to be careful. It’s easy for blinds to break, depleting your reserve savings. You could spend hours working on the blinds yourself, but a blind-cleaning company can do them in no time with special equipment, and they’ll be much cleaner in the end.

5. Check for Maintenance Needs

Before the next tenant arrives, quickly check your property for any maintenance needs: think repair damage (such as holes in the walls), broken window locks, or leaky sinks. It’s rare that a tenant will leave a property in perfect condition, and you want it as clean and inviting as possible.

6. Consider an Inspection

Depending on certain factors, like your city’s laws and the last tenant that resided in the unit, you may want to have an inspection done. An inspector will look for health and safety concerns and certify that things are in good condition. At the end, the inspector will issue a certificate of occupancy, which can make your property more marketable.

Modern condominium or apartment high rise building with blue sky clouds in background

7. Clean Forgotten Places

Even if tenants follow your meticulous checklist, they’re likely to forget a few places. It’s understandable for tenants to miss a few things, but if these spots are not cleaned, grime will build up over time and make the property less attractive to renters.

Check places like outlets and light switch covers, under the lip of the counter top, the tops of the baseboards, and other nooks and crannies. A careful inspection of the property can reveal these missed areas.

Related: Tenant Turnover Can Wreck Your Profits: Here’s the Simple Solution to This Costly Issue

8. Don’t Forget the Outside

The property’s exterior is often just as important as the interior, especially if you’re renting a single family home or a small apartment building. Dirty sidewalks, driveways, porches, gutters, siding, windows, and doors can leave a bad impression. Rent or buy a pressure washer to handle the outdoor grime and keep the landscaping fresh and neat.

9. Clean Carpets and Paint

Although you may not need to paint or clean the carpets after each tenant vacates the property, you should do so regularly. Carpet can collect germs that can be hazardous to your next tenants. Paint will also cover marks on the walls, tiny holes, and other wear and tear common with rental properties.

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Do you have any tips for cleaning your rentals that I forgot to mention?

Share them in the comments below!