The first and most obvious step when preparing to leave a property is to place yourself in the inspector’s mindset. Most level-headed property managers simply want a hassle-free changeover, without any excess cleaning or damage to repair.
Of course, as many households can attest, not all property managers are quite so level-headed! Either way, it can’t hurt to go that extra mile.
Remember: a first impression can be a lasting one stove repair los angeles. Good or bad, it can set the tone of the rest of the inspection. Consciously or subconsciously, a sparkling window, mopped floor or well-ventilated room could make all the difference between a hassle-free inspection and an exercise in frustration.
Doors and Windows
In this area, it pays to be pedantic. Go out of your way to look for potential problem areas, no matter how obscure or trivial they seem. This includes checking for dust around door frames, windowsills, light switches, picture frames and sliding door/window tracts – all problem areas frequently overlooked on even the cleanest rented properties.
Clean windows can make a powerful first impression. Happily, no complex solutions are required here. Simple supermarket window cleaners are effective, affordable and generally free of lasting odours.
Wall marks are always a major problem area, but in many cases they can be removed with simple home ingredients.
Pencil erasers can work wonders for basic scruff marks.
For painted walls, try baking soda with a light damp cloth or sponge.
Proceed with caution – make sure you aren’t accidentally removing paint or damaging wallpaper in the process. Even if using a professional spot cleaning product, leave a little room for error by starting on very small and obscure areas.
Solutions will vary from wall to wall. If in doubt, many professional cleaning services will be happy to provide quick phone or email advice. (Some even advertise it!) Alternatively, the internet is full of useful advice and forum discussions from people who have been in similar situations, so the answer could be a simple Google search away!
From a property manager or real estate agent’s perspective, a clean kitchen is essential, as it’s one of the biggest deciding factors for prospective tenants and buyers choosing a new home.
Inspectors will often pay close attention to stoves and ovens, which you will need to clean thoroughly inside and out with relevant supermarket products.
Check cupboards and pantries carefully for mould and mildew. Dust, dead bugs and old spider webs can easily gather unnoticed in the hardest-to-reach corners, or in unseen areas underneath shelves.
Exhaust fans are another frequently-missed area. A dust-free vent is unlikely to be noticed, but a dusty one almost certainly will.
This is another room prospective tenants and landlords alike will take a very keen interest in. Sparkling sinks, mirrors, glass screens and tiles are a must.
Check for leaks around the sink or toilet. These can often catch tenants unaware, going completely unnoticed until the inspection.
Pay particular attention to the “hidden” dangers. Look carefully for buildup of mould, mildew or other residue between tiles. Check that your sinkholes and drains are free of grime.
Wash your shower curtain with bleach, or replace it outright if necessary.
Obviously, more care will have to be taken if pets are a factor. Consider professional fumigation for fleas. (In many cases, this will be a strict requirement.)
Make sure your lawn has recently been mown, overgrown plants or trees have been trimmed, and that the garden is free of weeds.
Don’t forget to look up! The ceiling (especially corners) can easily gather mould, dust and spiderwebs.
Avoid a last-minute rush! By getting in early, or performing your cleaning over several sessions, you’ll avoid the telltale overpowering scent of cleaning products.
Open your windows and replace any broken bulbs – a well lit and ventilated area will make a much stronger first impression.
Don’t hesitate to seek further advice. Read as many checklists as you can. Ask your real estate agent – some actually provide clear vacate checklists. If you get along well with your landlord, you may even wish to simply ask.
There is no shortage of great advice out there. Combined with a little common sense and forward-thinking, you’ll be well on your way to a straightforward, hassle-free inspection!