Is The Tenant Responsible For Moving-Out Cleaning? Have you ever moved to a new dwelling and walked into a nightmare of a mess left by the previous tenants? In this article, we will dive into it is the tenant is responsible for moving-out cleaning.
Before we go down the path of who the moving out cleaning actually belongs to, let’s talk about the “Golden Rule”. If you want to arrive at your new residence and not have to clean the previous tenant’s mess up, it’s best to practice what you preach.
Leaving a residence the same or better than when you arrived is just being a great tenant! Moreover, you’re also being mindful of the new tenant’s arrival.
While living in a rental property, you must understand that the property is a business for the landlord/owner. As soon as your lease is up, that property is on the market to be rented again.
A standard rental agreement has a specific section to state exactly what the landlord/owner is expecting from you as a tenant upon your moving out. Some landlords will even assign a monetary value to certain tasks that aren’t completed upon your move-out date, e.g. not cleaning the oven = $25. This is typically true when living in apartment homes and condos.
It’s standard to be charged for leaving your rental in disrepair or dirty, which can make moving to your new dwelling more expensive. Landlords incentivize their tenants to do the moving-out cleaning by deducting money from the security deposit. Should the residence be in total shambles, they may ask for additional monies to cover the repairs and cleaning needed.
While you live in a rental, you will also want to be mindful of the appliances provided, floors, walls, and fixtures. If there is normal wear and tear, that is to be expected. However, if the landlord feels that the issue is more than normal wear and tear, that could also be subtracted from your returned security deposit.
If you really want to get your entire deposit amount back, then keeping up with basic maintenance and repairs throughout your stay will work in your favor when you move.
Thousands of folks that sell their homes every year and the rules are a little different. There may not be someone looking over your shoulder saying that if you don’t clean out the cabinets or bathroom, for example, you will be charged a certain amount.
However, if you leave a mess behind for the new owners, that could mean they will demand that you pay for the cleaning bill.
Leaving a home that you’re selling in disarray is not being considerate to the new tenants. Just as you would like to arrive at a spotless new residence, the buyers of your former home have those same feelings.
While there may not be a “clean it” clause, it’s always best to provide a turn-key experience to the amazing folks buying your home. After all, you wanted to move…and they helped you achieve your dream of moving.
Moving-out cleaning isn’t on anyone’s list of awesome things to do… unless cleaning brings you joy. As we have discussed, it is the tenant’s responsibility to leave the residence in the same or better condition than when they moved in.
Common things to make sure you clean are;
Removing all of your items is also key as many landlords will charge for removing personal items.
Usually, landlords follow the letter of the law when it concerns tenant relationships. However, you may happen upon a landlord that has blatantly been unfair or is not concerned with landlord-tenant regulations.
Being well-versed in your rental agreement will help tremendously in these situations. You can also check out the many resources online to see if your landlord has acted against those regulations or seek representation.
For example, your landlord may feel that you didn’t clean well enough. In order to get your full deposit back, you will always want to take pictures of the property and provide those to legal counsel or the landlord’s boss (i.e. if the landlord manages an apartment complex).
Life happens and we may need to relocate or have the exciting benefit of upgrading to fancier digs. Even when there may not be a “clean it” clause, have the good manners to leave the dwelling sparkling clean for the new tenant.
If you’re running low on time or energy, hiring someone to help clean will assist you in getting your security deposit back. Furthermore, it will give you a glowing referral to any new residence you move to.
Lastly, it will make the landlord’s job, your move to your new home, and the new tenant’s move-in go smoothly.Happy moving, my friend.