Tips for pre-lease cleaning
One of the first things most prospective tenants notice is how clean the rental home is, so don’t leave that first impression to chance. A clean rental home implies good maintenance and reliability on the part of the landlord and the tenants who’ve come before, setting a precedent to respect the property. Here are some tips on how to be sure you send the right message to your perspective tenants.
Hire a professional
Using a professional cleaning service is often a necessity for landlords with more than one property, but in any case, having someone else do the work is often an invaluable time saver. Always check references and get referrals from other property owners so that you hire a reputable service. Whether your previous tenants did a super cleaning job before they left or not, make sure to ensure the following areas are clean before you show your rental home to prospective tenants.
Dirty carpet can be an immediate turn off to a tenant, so have carpets cleaned by a service or with a rentable unit from a home improvement store. If tiles in the floor are cracked or missing, replace them and repair obvious hard wood damage. All uncarpeted floors should be thoroughly cleaned and swept.
Walls and ceilings
Dingy paint is another depressing sight for potential renters, so if it’s been a while since the walls have had a fresh coat, now is the time. Also be sure to repair any nail holes or gashes left by previous tenants.
Address any water stains in the ceiling by making repairs if necessary and painting over. Also make sure all ceiling bulbs are working and that light fixtures are dusted.
Clean all windows inside and out and make sure that the locks and screens all work properly. If your property comes with window treatments, they should be clean and in good working order.
Check the vents in each room to make sure they are working properly. Also, all intake and room vents should be free of dust.
Do a thorough scrub of all kitchen appliances, including the oven and range, refrigerator and dishwasher if there is one. Also wipe down the exteriors of the washer/dryer if they are present.
Cupboards and closets
Make sure that all storage space is free of the previous tenant’s belongings and is wiped down, swept or vacuumed.
Tub and shower
Nothing says neglect like a mildewed bathroom. Be sure that all grout is scrubbed and reapplied, if necessary. Get the bathtub and shower as clean as possible, install a new shower curtain and consider replacing or resurfacing if needed. Toilets and sinks should also be thoroughly cleaned.
Even if yard maintenance will be the responsibility of your new tenant, start them off with a mowed lawn, clean porches and a carport/garage free of any extraneous items left by you or earlier tenants.
Be sure that your prospective tenant’s first experience with your rental property is one that leads to them to say, “I’ll take it!” Having a clean rental home is a major part of curbside appeal and lets your tenants know that you care about your house and expect them to do the same.