Bond Clean Checklist: The Ultimate End of Lease Cleaning To Do List
Now that you’ve finalised the arrangements for your impending move, you’re probably all excited about getting to know your new neighbourhood. However, after setting your move date, there are still many things to do before you can finally relax in your new place.
One of your biggest tasks as a soon-to-be-former tenant is accomplishing your end-of-lease cleaning checklist. Also known as a bond clean checklist or tenant move-out cleaning checklist, this all-important catalogue of tasks enumerates and details all your responsibilities as a tenant who is ending their tenancy.
The primary objective of a house cleaning move-out checklist is to ensure you are able to restore the property’s original condition at the start of your tenancy. By fulfilling your one last big responsibility as a tenant, you can make a request for the return of the bond in cooperation with the real estate agent or lessor.
How clean does a rental need to be when moving out?
For you to have no issues with the lessor or their agent during the end of your tenancy, the key is to ensure the property is in the same condition (except for reasonable wear and tear) as when you first moved in.
What the law states:
To have an official record of the appearance and quality of the property during the start and end of a tenancy, the Residential Tenancies Act has made property condition reports a mandatory form for all residential tenancies.
This means that during the end of your tenancy, both you and the lessor or their agent will have a clear, official document you can use as a basis to assess your compliance with any clause detailing your move-out cleaning obligations.
Therefore, anything that was clean on your move-in property condition report (PCR) should also be clean during the final inspection. Conversely, what wasn’t clean on the PCR need not be left clean during your exit. If your rental comes with fully functioning appliances, all of these should also be working properly during the final inspection.
If, during the inspection, it is found that you have failed to uphold whatever end-of-tenancy cleaning clause is included in your contract, the lessor can claim a portion or all of the bond money you paid at the start of your tenancy.
The bond money will then be used to cover the cost of cleaning what you should have cleaned yourself (or hired cleaners for). It can also be used for repairing defective appliances or any broken items that you should have left working or intact.
Am I required to have the carpets cleaned professionally?
If your lease has a clause obligating or requesting you to have the carpets cleaned professionally at the end of your tenancy, you need to check if the clause is enforceable in your location.
Some real estate agents ask tenants to have professionals do the carpet cleaning before they vacate the premises. However, your only obligation is to ensure the place is in the same condition as you found it, so if you can clean the carpets yourself, it shouldn’t be a problem. But if you expressly agreed to this condition in the tenancy contract, then you will need to have those carpets cleaned professionally.
Now that the basics are out of the way, it’s time to go over your exit house cleaning list by room.
Living Room and General Bond Cleaning Checklist
For the living room and general interior areas, make sure you cover the following on your cleaning to-do list:
- The walls should be dusted, clean and free of nails, wallpaper remnants, spots, marks, stains and cobwebs.
- The doors must be dusted and wiped clean from top to bottom, and polished so they are free from any stains, marks and fingerprints.
- All windows and window handles are wiped clean and polished from top to bottom.
- Window sills and ledges must b wiped properly and thoroughly cleaned.
- Corners in all areas or sections of the house or apartment must be dusted and free of cobwebs.
- Framed wall pictures must be dusted and thoroughly cleaned. Those with glass frames should also be clean and polished to a shine so there are no marks, spots or smudges.
- Mirrors should be dusted, polished and spotless — with no marks, smudges or fingerprints.
- Light fittings, shades, switches, plugs and sockets should be dusted and wiped clean.
- Dado rails, skirting (this includes skirting boards behind furniture), spindles, banisters, stairs and curtain rails should be dusted and wiped clean.
- The fireplace and everything else around it must be wiped and totally free of dirt and dust.
- Radiators need to be wiped clean from behind and from top to bottom.
- Entire flooring should be vacuumed, wiped and left stain-free. This includes areas under the carpets, tables, beds, sofas, chairs, etc.
- Sweep and mop hard floors.
- Carpets everywhere need to be vacuumed, too, and stain-free.
- Vacuum upholstery, including those sections behind and underneath the cushions.
- Shelves, cupboards and drawers must be cleared out, dusted inside-out and then polished.
- All wooden furniture has to be dusted, wiped and polished.
- Ensure the washing machine and all its component parts are clean. These include the rubber seal, filters and detergent dispenser. Do the same with the tumble dryer and clean the handles, rubber seal and filters.
Bedroom End-of-Lease Cleaning Checklist
Include the following tasks in your bedroom exit clean checklist:
- Beds must be clean and orderly. Any glass, wood or metal parts must be cleaned and polished to a shine.
- Mattresses have to be vacuumed on both sides to ensure dust, hair and other debris are removed.
- All bedroom storage units (e.g., night tables, drawers, cupboards, wardrobes, etc.) must be emptied and cleaned inside-out. All parts — whether made of glass, metal or wood — must be polished.
- Make sure all reading lamps are spic and span.
- Waste paper baskets must be emptied and left clean.
Kitchen End-of-Lease Cleaning Checklist
During the implementation of your kitchen cleaning list, ensure you pay extra attention. Remember, the kitchen is one of the busiest parts of a home and most likely to be among the dirtiest, too.
To ensure you fulfil everything in your move-out house cleaning checklist, make the thorough sanitation, scouring and scrubbing of this area a top priority.
- Get rid of cobwebs, dirt and dust from kitchen walls and fixtures.
- Sanitise your kitchen from top to bottom. Give special attention to clearing and cleaning kitchen storage units (cupboards and drawers). Then make your way down until you reach the countertop and appliances.
- Remove dust, dirt, grease and grime from the ceiling fan, kitchen exhaust and sink. Descale the sink and taps.
- Ensure the drains and garbage disposal are working properly and sanitised.
- Clean walls, baseboards, doors, and other sections of your kitchen to get rid of stains, mould, grease and grime.
- Vacuum-clean and wipe all corners of the kitchen.
- Sweep or vacuum and mop the floor.
- Empty, clean and sanitise all rubbish bins.
- Clean the microwave, fridge, freezer, dishwasher, toaster, kettle and other kitchen appliances inside-out.
- Hobs and grill must be clean and polished.
- Degrease the stove and oven, and polish any chrome and glass parts.
Bathroom and Toilet Bond Cleaning Checklist
Aside from the kitchen, the bathrooms are also amongst the busiest spaces in a home. Therefore, no thorough house cleaning checklist will be complete without accomplishing the following bathroom cleaning tasks:
- Get rid of cobwebs and make sure you dust the entire space.
- Ensure the wall tiles are clean, descaled, polished and free from any mould.
- Descale, clean, dry and polish the basin, taps and fittings, bathtub, shower screen and shower head.
- Clean the tissue and soap dispensers, towel rails and radiator.
- Polish the toothbrush glass and mirror to a high clean, ensuring there are no smudges and fingerprints.
- Descale, clean and disinfect the bidet, toilet and toilet seat and the floor, making sure there’s no mould present.
- Empty the cupboards and shelves and ensure they have no mould infestation. Also, polish the glass or chrome parts.
- Ensure the extractor fan is clean, mould- and grime-free.
- Spot-clean the walls, baseboards and doors.
- Wipe the fixtures and countertops.
- Sweep and mop the floor.
- Sanitise and disinfect all other parts of the bathroom.
Around the House and Garage Cleaning Checklist
Your house or apartment move-out cleaning checklist also involves making the exterior look presentable and clean. You can do this by:
- Doing the necessary yard work, such as mowing the lawn, weeding the garden, trimming all trees and sweeping paved areas.
- Cleaning and hosing down all outside sections. Make sure you also get rid of cobwebs and clean outdoor kitchen appliances, such as grills and barbecues.
- Sweeping and mopping all exterior floors.
- Emptying and cleaning any oil marks or dirt, removing cobwebs and cleaning the garage door.
- Dusting everything else, including the windows, patio area, walls and railings.
- Cleaning the letterbox so it’s free of any dust and debris.
- Clearing all entryways, footpaths and steps by getting rid of leaves, rocks, etc.
- Getting rid of debris in the pool and spa area and changing the filter.
- Removing animal messes and repairing any damage caused by your fur babies.
- Emptying, washing and drying all rubbish bins.
When everything is cleaned, what happens next?
When you’ve ticked off everything on your moving house cleaning checklist and you’ve inspected the outcome, have another walkthrough around your soon-to-be-former home.
If you are satisfied with the outcome, take several clear photos or videos that’ll help you in case any disputes arise between you and the lessor.
Your next steps will generally include the following:
- Provide a forwarding address (postal or new residence) in writing. This is important because if you fail to do this, you may end up paying a $5,000 fine.
- Hand back the keys to the lessor.
- The lessor conducts a final inspection with you in attendance.
- The lessor provides you with a PCR ASAP or within 14 days of the tenancy ending.
- In case further cleaning is required, the lessor may allow you to access the property and do the cleaning. However, the lessor is not required to do this and they have the option of hiring a cleaner to perform the task. You are also not obliged to do the cleaning yourself. The lessor can include the cleaning bill to any amount you are deemed to owe.
- If there are no disputes over the PCR, you can then request for a bond return with the cooperation of the lessor by signing a Joint Application for Disposal of Security Bond form. An alternative to this would be the lessor or agent sending you a bond disposal eTransaction. You may simply approve this if you agree to the amount of bond money (stated in the form) to be returned to you.
- Once the form is submitted to the bond administrator, all you have to do is wait for the bond money to be sent by cheque or direct transfer.
There are also cases of disputes over the PCR or the bond amount to be returned.
If you have fulfilled your role as a tenant from your move-in date and adhere to the exit inspection checklist clause in your tenancy contract, there’s no reason for disputes to arise.
But if a dispute does come up, you can use the photos and videos you took as documented evidence of your adherence to the bond clean clause.
Here’s to a Smooth Turnover and Move!
The thought of moving to a new address or neighbourhood and starting fresh could be quite exciting.
However, keep in mind that there’s a moving-out cleaning checklist for renters that you would need to fulfil. So, to ensure you don’t miss a thing and get your bond without any extra stress, use this end-of-lease cleaning checklist as your reference.
If you need expert removalists and help with cleaning your old home, please contact Relocations WA.
We’re not only local and international moving professionals but also trained cleaners.
Get in touch today!
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