In my last place, I had a ~pesky~ property manager and I was SO worried about losing my deposit. Even though I didn’t *technically* have to deep clean my house before I moved (legally), I knew it was a good idea to make it easier to get my full deposit back, and that I should follow an end of lease cleaning checklist to cover my behind with my property manager.
That’s why I’ve compiled this end of lease cleaning checklist, which is the exact one I used for my last flat to make sure I got my deposit back quickly and in full at the end of my tenancy.
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Before we get into my end of lease cleaning checklist, here are my top tips for cleaning to make sure you get your deposit back!
1. Make sure you take pictures of the finished product.
Dust can accumulate between when you move in and when your tenancy officially ends and you shouldn’t be responsible for that.
2. In addition to pictures, keep a log (like this checklist) of what you’ve done cleaning-wise.
This will help provide evidence should there be any disputes (which, usually the deposit holding company would mediate in the first instance).
3. Deep clean even if they have a professional cleaner coming.
It’s a lot of work, but it’ll make it easier to get your deposit back.
If they say it needs to be professionally cleaned (and you don’t live in the UK, where they can no longer require you to pay for it), DON’T TRY TO CLEAN IT YOURSELF INSTEAD. Just pay someone to do it and make sure you get a proper invoice from them as proof. Seriously, you’re asking for a fight with your landlord over your deposit if you try to do it on your own. You want to remove as many roadblocks as possible to getting your full deposit back.
4. Do a final light clean on the day your tenancy ends.
Make sure you pick up any loose hairs or anything that might’ve accumulated as you’re walking through the final time. (Literally, in my friend’s building, the property managers tried not to give someone’s deposit back because there was a piece of hair on the floor so they said it wasn’t cleaned).
5. Consider specially buying super heavy duty cleaning products for the job.
For day to day cleaning, I was using a lot of natural products, but bought the good stuff for my final clean. Just make sure you ventilate the area (I definitely almost passed out trying to clean my tiny bathroom with mould cleaner oops!). Here are my top cleaning product recommendations: