This is a guest post written by Chris Rooney. The views expressed in this article are not necessarily shared by Property Moose or DFI Financial Services.
Today I want to talk about cleaning. I know, but it’s an important part of managing properties. Especially when you’re doing tenant move outs and tenant move-ins. When your tenants move in, the condition that you give them the home is the condition that they’re supposed to give it back to you at the end of their tenancy. So you want to make sure it’s sparkling clean so you can expect sparkling clean when they leave.
There are five things that tenants seem to never remember to clean and you may even forget to check these things so when they move out you give them back their damage deposit, they move on and then you look around and go on my goodness this place is actually quite dirty. So what are those five things?
Alright, number one: baseboards. For some reason, some people don’t ever seem to wipe a baseboard for the entire time that they live in a house so when they leave there’s like a ¼” of grime on the baseboards. Really gross. I always carry Lysol wipes with me so that I can give them a quick wipe down.
Number 2: electrical outlets & light switches.
Light switches. Almost always in the kitchen areas, seem to have handprints on them. They have little grease marks. They also have the same little problem as the baseboards, a little layer of gunk on the top of the covers. You’re going to need to give those a wipe if your tenant has already moved out. These kinds of things are the things that make your property feel clean. You know when people walk in and they go “this looks good” That’s just a surface cleaning versus when they come in and are like “wow this place is clean, it sparkles”, and it’s because of these little details that over time can make a place feel dirty even though it doesn’t look dirty on the surface.
Number 3: cupboards & drawers.
I’ll actually clean all of the cupboards just because it seems like people don’t think to wipe the kitchen cupboards down on the exterior, but they certainly don’t remember to wipe the inside of the drawers and cupboards down, which is full of crumbs usually right? So you want to make sure that every single cupboard and every single drawer has been wiped out and the exterior of the cupboards have been wiped, especially the handles. Those handles get some abuse. Don’t tell me you’ve never grabbed a handle with dirty hands while you’re cooking looking for another dish. You pull on the handles with your dirty hands and never go back and wipe the handles off. That’s what I’m talking about.
Number 4: blinds.
If you have a place with blinds I can almost guarantee your tenants have not dusted or wiped them down since they moved in and now that they’ve moved out they still haven’t done it so you’re going to want to check this because this one is a pain. A feather duster can take a lot of the dust off, but if they have dirt or if a drink has been spilled on them they’re going to have to be wiped down, one by one, and it’s a pain. You can always take it off and put in the shower and clean it in your shower if you want and then dry it and hang it back up that can be at a faster way if you want to take it down and put it back up. Those things need to be addressed because that makes the house feel clean when the blinds are clean.
Number 5: refrigerator and stove.
This is one that I’m guilty of forgetting. It’s behind the fridge and underneath the stove, behind the stove. Moving those big appliances is tricky in some houses if they’re not on wheels, but that’s where a whole bunch of grossness lives. I can assure you, in my own house I’m astounded at the kind of dog hair back there than I even want to think about, but it is just one of those places that nobody looks, but it collects a lot of stuff. You want to make sure that they get moved and it gets cleaned underneath before your next tenants move in. When you care for your property like this you will attract great people who are going to care as well and when they move out you can expect them to have it at the same level of cleanliness that they moved into. So it’s that positive cycle verses if it’s a little bit dirty then it’ll be probably a little bit dirtier when they move out and it’ll just keep going down that road.
So hopefully that helps you get the five things to watch out for and to let your tenants know that these are things you’re going to be checking when they move out. We help sellers in Charleston all the time with these issues at Chucktowner. What do you think tenants always miss? I’d love to hear and of course, if you have questions or comments. I’ll see you next time!