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  • Person cleaning stove top

    End of Lease Cleaning Checklist

March 2019

Just how thoroughly do you need to clean your house at the end of a lease? Use this handy checklist to find out.

If you’re about to move out of a rental property, you want to get your bond back, right? Cleaning the house from top to bottom is one of the things you should do to make sure that happens.

In most states, you’ll find that landlords have the right to withhold some of your bond if you don’t leave the property in a reasonably clean condition, similar to its condition when you first moved in (apart from fair wear and tear). While the rules can vary slightly from state to state, it’s pretty safe to say that you’ll need to roll up your sleeves, get out the mop and bucket and set aside a day to do some cleaning.

What’s ‘fair wear and tear’?

As homes get older, things can start to deteriorate. As a tenant, you are not expected to pay for fixing this deterioration – that’s usually the owner’s job. So, working out the difference between fair wear and tear and damage caused by your living habits is important when deciding what needs cleaning or fixing at the end of a lease.

Here are some examples of fair wear and tear:
  • Faded, chipped or cracked paint
  • Cracks in the plaster caused by movement in the foundations
  • Worn kitchen benchtops
Here are some examples of damage you may be held responsible for:
  • Paint discolouration from candle smoke
  • Holes in the plaster from hammering nails into the walls
  • Burns or cuts in the bench tops

If you’re unsure, check your tenancy agreement or have a chat with your landlord. Sometimes, issues can’t be resolved with the landlord, in which case matters can be taken to court.

Cleaning checklist before you move out

As a minimum, follow the below checklist when moving out and you shouldn’t have any troubles in satisfying your agents and landlords requirement that the property is left ‘reasonably clean’. Aim to do this final clean after all the boxes and furniture have been packed into the moving van – just remember to leave out your cleaning gear!

Bedrooms and living areas
  • Wipe the inside and outside of cupboards and drawers
  • Dust curtain rails, light fittings, window sills, skirting boards
  • Vacuum carpets (and mop if you have floor boards)
  • Remove dust and grime from ceiling fans with a damp cloth and disinfection spray (wear a pollution mask for comfort)
  • Wipe the inside and outside of cupboards and drawers
  • Wipe down sinks and benchtops
  • Give the oven, stovetop and rangehood a thorough clean, as well as the fridge (if it’s staying)
  • Vacuum and mop the floor
  • Wipe the inside and outside of cupboards and drawers
  • Scrub soap scum and scale from the laundry sink and tapware
  • Clean in and around where the washing machine/dryer sat (if appliances are staying behind, wipe them out thoroughly and clean the filters)
  • Empty out and clean the cupboards
  • Give all surfaces a good scrub with disinfectant to get rid of any residue grime, mould or soap scum
  • Clean the mirrors
  • Clean and disinfect the toilet, shower and bath.
  • Vacuum and mop the floor
  • Give this a thorough sweep
  • Use oven cleaner to tackle any big oil stains that have been left behind by your vehicle
  • Clean all the windows, inside and out
  • Sweep hard surfaces
  • Brush away any cobwebs
  • Mow the lawn
  • Get rid of weeds
  • Clean the barbecue (if it remains)
  • Wash out the household bins

What about end of lease carpet cleaning?

Some lease agreements include a clause that says you have to pay for carpet cleaning or steam cleaning at the end of your lease – often, this only appears if the carpets were professionally cleaned just before you moved in.

Check with your landlord early on so that you can factor this into your moving costs.

The final word

By following the end of lease cleaning tips above, your rental property should be clean and tidy when you move out. This keeps your agent and landlord happy and should put your bond money back in your pocket.

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