Can I do end-of-lease cleaning myself?
Can I do end-of-lease cleaning myself? Or do I have to hire a professional cleaner?
The end of your tenancy has come, and it’s time to move out of your rental. But before you can get your bond back, you’ll need to make sure the property is in the same condition as when you moved in. And that’s going to require some serious elbow grease.
The question, then, is this: Should you save your hard-earned money and tackle end-of-lease cleaning yourself? Or are you better off calling in a professional? Let’s find out.
Moving out of your rental property
In New South Wales, tenants are responsible for “leaving the property as near as possible to the same condition as when they started living in it.” Other states and territories have similar requirements.
At the end of the lease, the state of the property is measured against the property’s original condition report. Remember walking through the rental at the start of your tenancy and jotting down any marks, scuffs, and other imperfections? Anything outlined in that condition report is not your responsibility, and neither is “fair wear and tear.”
Related: Wear and tear or accidental damage?
You are responsible, however, for “negligent, irresponsible or intentional actions that cause damage to the property.”
At the end of your tenancy, the landlord or property manager will carry out a final inspection of the property. You can attend this inspection, but if you don’t show up, the exit condition report will be completed without you.
How clean is clean?
Everyone has their own standard of cleanliness, so it can be difficult to determine whether or not your cleaning efforts will satisfy your landlord or agent.
According to the RTA, you must clean the property “thoroughly” before moving out, including the kitchen and bathrooms, all indoor areas, and all outdoor areas. Rubbish must be removed from the property, too.
Thoroughly is a vague and subjective term, which is why many agents will recommend preferred end-of-lease cleaners. These cleaners achieve a standard of cleanliness that ensures tenants on their way out get their bond back and tenants on their way in are happy with the property.
Hiring a professional vs. doing it yourself
If you are short on time or don’t particularly feel like giving up your weekend to clean, hiring a professional is probably a good course of action.
Many cleaning companies offer a specialised service specifically for end-of-lease cleaning, with some offering a full bond back guarantee. This means that if the agency is unhappy with the results, the cleaners come back free-of-charge.
Related: Find local businesses
What’s more, professional cleaning companies typically have public liability insurance. If they damage the rental property during the cleaning process, the cost of repair is covered.
That being said, professional cleaners will probably cost you a couple of hundred dollars – and you can’t be 100 per cent sure they’ll do a good job. If you have the time and desire, getting stuck into end-of-lease cleaning yourself can save you money.
Often overlooked details
What usually gets missed in an end-of-lease clean? Whether you’ve opted for the DIY route or have hired professionals, be sure to double-check the following overlooked details:
- Window frames, blinds, and handles
- Baseboards and skirting boards
- Air vents
- Ceiling fans
- Light switches
- Doorknobs and handles
- Tops of kitchen cupboards
Looking for a new rental?
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