End of tenancy decoration and cleaning

End of tenancy cleaning and decorating might sound like hard work, but landlords who spend a little time and money on revitalising their property are often rewarded for their efforts in the long-run.

IMG - RESP - Family Painting a room

While no landlord wants to have a void period for long, professional end of lease cleaning and redecoration is a good use of time between tenancies. Here are some reasons why end of tenancy decoration and cleaning is a smart idea.

Why end of tenancy decoration is a good idea

Being a landlord is an ongoing commitment, even if your letting agents carry out the day-to-day management of your property. All tenancies come to an end eventually, and even the best tenants will build up some wear and tear over the course of their stay, so at some point you’ll need to consider your end of tenancy decoration plans. By making the effort to decorate your home between tenancies, you can make your property more attractive to prospective tenants, retain your home’s rental value and save money from reduced void periods. While there is a financial cost to carrying out redecoration, if you’re able to find tenants more quickly and retain them for the long-term then you could end up saving money.

5 ways to decorate your home between tenancies

Here are five cost-effective tips for end of tenancy decoration:

1) Replace the carpets

You may be able to salvage your dirty carpets with professional end of tenancy cleaning. Carpets tend to get dirty when people don’t take off their shoes, and through accidental spillage and exposure to pets. But even high-quality carpets get worn-out over the course of time. Carpets are one of the first things tenants notice during a viewing, so paying for replacement carpets will make your home feel like an inviting place to live from day one.

2) Paint the walls

Painting your walls is a chance to leave a strong visual impression on anyone that comes to view the property – a sense of freshness and brightness is likely to appeal to would-be tenants. You can save costs by applying the paint yourself, or you can pay a professional. It might cost you time and money in the short-term, but a freshly painted home could help you find tenants more quickly.

3) Replace the windows

New windows can be expensive, but your prospective tenant will notice if your window frames are in poor condition. Quality double-glazed windows will keep your tenants warm and improve the visual appearance of the property inside and out. If you don’t wish to replace your windows, you could clean, sand and paint the frames, or upgrade the curtains to enhance the home’s aesthetic.

4) Upgrade your appliances

Old cookers, washing machines and fridges look unattractive to tenants, and come with the risk of continual repairs. You have a responsibility as a landlord to ensure your appliances are in good condition, and while it may cost money, high-quality appliances show that you’re serious as a landlord. Moreover, it should be easier to determine whether any damage to a new appliance has been caused by a tenant or is simply a product defect; old appliances are more likely to break, and your photographic evidence at the start of a tenancy may not be enough.

5) Get new tiles

Getting new bathroom and kitchen tiles is one of the best ways to make an immediate, positive visual impact during your end of tenancy decoration. Even a tired kitchen or bathroom can be enlivened by new backsplash tiles at minimal cost, especially if you know how to tile yourself.

The benefits of end of tenancy cleaning

One of your landlord responsibilities is to ensure your tenants live in a comfortably habitable space, free from hazards in a safe environment . So getting professional end of tenancy cleaning is one way to meet your basic obligations as a landlord, and ensures your next tenants will have a comfortable start to life in your home. If your tenants settle into a sparkling clean property it will enhance your reputation and potentially earn you some goodwill should any future problems arise. A good end of tenancy deep clean should take place when the tenants aren’t present. While it will cost you money, you may be able to save on new carpets if your cleaners can remove any stains.

End of tenancy cleaning checklist

When it comes to cleaning an apartment after your tenants leave, your checklist should cover:

  • Carpet cleaning
  • Oven cleaning
  • Bathroom sinks, toilets and bathtubs
  • Showerheads
  • Kitchen cleaning
  • Windows – inside and out
  • Scuff marks on walls
  • Door handles and locks
  • Dust around furniture
  • Cobwebs in the ceiling
  • Polish for light fittings

How much does end of tenancy cleaning cost?

The cost of your end of tenancy cleaning will depend on the size of your property. Studio flats can cost as little as £100 for end of lease cleaning, whereas a large house with multiple bedrooms will cost hundreds . You may be tempted to clean the property yourself, but remember that a cleaning company will bring their own equipment and cleaning materials, so hiring professionals could save you time and money.

Deposit deductions for end of tenancy cleaning

In most cases, if your tenants breach their tenancy agreement and leave the property in a filthy state, you can make deductions from the deposit and pay for professional end of tenancy cleaning. This applies if your property is left in an excessively unclean state, rather than just showing signs of reasonable wear and tear. Acceptable wear and tear  includes desilvered mirrors, general carpet wear and faded wallpaper.

An unacceptable state means deterioration caused by the tenants’ negligence, abuse of the property or carelessness, such as an accumulation of dirt and filth from a lack of cleaning. Once you’ve cleaned the property between tenancies, it’s a good idea to take photographic evidence in case you need to justify your deposit deductions at the end of the tenancy should the tenants leave it in an unacceptable condition.

Always be cautious when undertaking any task that you're not fully familiar with as you could injure yourself or those around you, seek professional help where required.

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