Once your tenants no longer occupy your rental property, it’s up to you to maintain the property while it’s empty. While your lease undoubtedly had a stipulation that the previous tenants had to clean the property before they left, the fact is that some people are more thorough in their cleaning than others. While some property owners may hire a cleaning service to care for their multifamily properties, for those with a single-family property or without the resources to hire a service, you will need to perform these cleaning duties yourself.
Even the most detail-oriented cleaners sometimes miss a spot though, and the last thing you want is for your new tenants to find your previous tenant’s mess. Before you lease out your property to a new family, make sure you double check these commonly missed spots.
Your Light Switches
In some ways, your light switches are the unsung heroes of your home. Used almost every day without fail, your light switches quickly accumulate dirt and debris. While we may not recognize this at first glance, careful inspection will reveal packed-in grime in the smallest details of the switches. As you clean the room, make sure the last step is to clean out your light switches by scrubbing the switch itself and the base plate using a disinfectant product. With just a little effort, you’ll notice the entire switch itself brightens and becomes one shade lighter.
Your Washing Machine
If your rental property comes equipped with a washing machine, it’s important that you clear this out before the next tenant moves in. It might seem strange that you have to clean something that is designed to clean other things, but washing machines are breeding ground for mold, mildew, and bacteria. When they are not allowed to air out after a load of laundry, washing machines can quickly develop mold. This means that your laundry comes out smelling like dirty gym socks even after a few rinses with soap.
Fortunately, cleaning your washing machine is a fairly simple process. By using some baking soda and vinegar or a specialty product, you can clean out your washer and enjoy fresh and clean loads of laundry again.
The Area Behind the Toilet
Perhaps because they are the most visible part of the fixture, many people are simply content to wipe down the tank and scrub out the bowl of their toilet. This is usually enough to pass the “10-foot rule” of inspection for visitors, but potential residents will be carefully inspecting the cleanliness of the bathroom. The area behind your toilet is notorious for accumulating dirt, dust, hair, and other matter. You’d be surprised how quickly the appearance of your bathroom changes by simply wiping down this area with a mop or sponge and a little bit of cleaning soap.
The Spaces Near Your Appliances
The size and design of most appliances throughout your home means that they are often tucked in the corners, nooks, or designated spaces. As such, the area around your appliances is generally overlooked by departing residents. To make sure that your kitchens and laundry rooms are free from piles of leftover food, hair, and dust, make sure you pull your appliances away from the walls and thoroughly clean these areas. It’s not uncommon to find that there is a pile of trash under a refrigerator. Under stoves and cooking ranges, you’re likely to find crumbs and grease. Simply cleaning up these spaces is a great way to care for the kitchen as a whole, making it a more pleasant space to spend time in.
The Tops of Doors, Frames, and Baseboards
When your residents move out of the space, they’re very likely to wipe down doorknobs and even the sides of doors to remove any signs of fingerprints or dirt. Often, however, the cleaning activities for your doors ends there. The tops of your doors and the frames quickly develop a layer of dirt and dust, and if it’s left unclaimed, it can quickly become an eyesore. A damp cloth with a little bit of cleaning agent on it is all it takes to quickly clear away the dirt and debris on your door tops and frames.
Additionally, it’s easy to forget about the condition of your baseboards when you’re worried about your hardwood or carpeted floors. However, your baseboards suffer from the same wear and tear as your floors do, often displaying marks from shoes, the movement of furniture, and more. To remove scuff marks, use a cleaning product and a soft cloth to wipe it away. You’ll notice that the built up grime and dirt lifts easily. Chips, cracks, and dings from furniture will need to be addressed with either paint or a refinishing product.
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