Wax on, wax off

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rampage‘It’s cleaner now than when we moved in!’ If only I and every other Property Manager had a dollar for each time one has heard this. Spoken in hope, as a justification for areas lacking in cleanliness at the end of a tenancy? An excuse attempt? Perhaps sometimes an adequately accurate statement as to the condition at the start of occupancy? Whatever the situation, it’s such a common topic, I saw it printed on the back of T-shirts at an industry conference once.
‘Clean’ is defined as ‘free from dirt, marks and stains’. But what is deemed clean by one person may not be clean enough for the next person, to meet their standards.
The Residential Tenancies Act 1997 Section 65 states, (1) A Landlord must ensure that on the day that it is agreed that the tenant is to enter into occupation, the rental premises are vacant and in a reasonably clean condition.
What is reasonable? Reasonable can be defined by ‘as much as is appropriate or fair. Moderate’.
What ‘reasonably clean’ is, is therefore open to personal expectation and standards, interpretation and debate. Below is the Step Up Property property cleaning and general reminder checklist for vacating tenants and owners alike. If you follow this list, you should be generally in line with complying to what (our interpretation and expectation of) reasonably clean is. Renting or selling, bookmark this blog to use as a reminder the next time you move.
  1. The rangehood/exhaust fan, stove top and/or hot plates, griller, oven, oven door, all exterior surfaces and all racks and trays cleaned of grease and grime. The kitchen sink, dishwasher and benches cleaned.
  2. Clean internal filters of all split system heating and cooling appliances. Clean dust away from wall furnaces.
  3. All cupboards and drawers externally and internally cleaned and left free of personal items.
  4. All marks on walls, doors and ceilings to be removed. Sugarsoap works very well.
  5. Windows and windowsills cleaned and skirting boards dusted.
  6. All cobwebs removed both inside and outside of premises.
  7. All light fittings cleaned and any blown light bulbs replaced.
  8. The bath, shower, vanity, silicone, heat lamps, exhaust fans and toilet/s cleaned and left free of mould, dust and soap residue. Plug holes cleaned.
  9. The laundry trough and cupboard cleaned internally and externally.
  10. Curtains, drapes and blinds clean and free of dust.
  11. The carpets are professionally cleaned.
  12. All floors washed.
  13. The lawns mown, the gardens weeded and any rubbish removed.
  14. Garage, carport and garden shed swept, free of rubbish, dirt and cobwebs.
  15. Oil stains removed from driveway, garage and carport floors.
  16. All bins to be left out for collection and returned into the yard once empty.
  17. Notify Electricity, Gas, Water and Telephone providers or your new address and request your own final readings.
  18. Ensure all mail is redirected to new address and change Electoral role details.
  19. Lock all doors, windows and return all keys and remotes.
  20. Advise us of your forwarding address.
I often wonder (aka secretly hope) if there will be future legislation requiring residential property to be professionally cleaned upon each vacate. Sure would make for a far more pleasant exchange all round.
Wax on, wax off,