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How to Properly Clean Your Rental Home Prior to Listing

How to Properly Clean Your Rental Prior to Listing

Preparing your rental property for the next tenant is critical to the success of your rental property business. Every renter does, and should, want to move into an impeccably clean home. However, even before that, prospective applicants do not want to tour a dirty property. After all, first impressions are lasting ones! So, presenting a clean and well-maintained property at all times is essential. Therefore, continue reading below as we reveal expert ways to properly clean your rental home before listing – and of course, tenant move-in.

Expert Cleaning Hacks for Your Rental Property

There are a ton of cleaning products on the market that can clean any surface in your home. That said, some old-fashioned ingenuity can sometimes do an equal, if not better, job. Let’s look at a few examples below –

Cleaning a Microwave

One of the best ways to clean the inside of a microwave that has been neglected is to:

  1. Spray the interior with multi-surface cleaner, enough to cover the entire inside surface generously
  2. Turn on the microwave for 30-60 seconds
  3. Once finished, wipe everything away

Bonus Tip: Avoid cleaning stainless steel appliances with harsh chemicals that contain ammonia, scouring pads, powders, or anything else abrasive. These may scratch or damage the surface of the appliance. Instead, use a soft cloth and mild dish detergent to remove grease and food spots.

Freshening the Kitchen Sink

When it comes to the kitchen sink, a great tip for making sure everything is immaculate, pipes and all, is to:

  1. Run the faucet on hot for one minute
  2. Pour 1/3 cup of baking soda down the drain
  3. Follow up with ½ cup of white vinegar
  4. Let this mixture sit for 5 minutes
  5. Run the hot water again to clean the drain from any smells and debris

Tips for Cleaning Walls and Painted Surfaces

Walls in a rental property can suffer a lot of abuse – far more wear and tear than a typical owner-occupied home. So, to clean off the walls in between repainting, consider the following helpful hints.

How to Clean Markings Off the Walls of Your Rental Property

  • Pencil Markings – A simple mixture of all-purpose dish soap and water will help remove light pencil marks.
  • Ink Markings There are several ways to get ink off of walls. Typically, you can use an alcohol-based solvent such as rubbing alcohol, hairspray that contains alcohol, a mixture of baking soda and water (mixed into a paste), or a mixture of ammonia, lemon juice, and detergent.
  • Marker or Crayon – One of the best things you can do to remove marker or crayon is to use a Mr. Clean’s Magic Eraser. However, be sure to test it out before scrubbing away, as it may remove or damage the wall’s paint.

Creating a Cleaning Plan for Your Rental

Efficient and effective cleaning practices require landlords to be organized. So, it is best to take time and go room by room. This is essential to not wasting time but also to not missing any details. That said, let’s review a few key areas and the tasks associated with getting them ready for showings and a tenant move-in below.

The Kitchen

Expert Ways to Clean Your Rental Property Kitchen Prior to Listing

The kitchen is the heart of any home and a huge selling point for potential renters. Therefore, it needs to be presented in tip-top shape. A few of the cleaning tasks needed for the kitchen area includes –

  • Check cabinetry and refrigerator for any leftover items from previous tenants.
  • Replace any burnt-out bulbs
  • Wipe down all surfaces, including countertops, cupboards, windowsills, and shelving
  • Clean all appliances and verify they are working properly. If needed, schedule service.
  • Sweep and/or mop the floors


How to Clean Your Rental Property Bathroom Prior to Listing

 A dirty bathroom is enough to turn any prospective tenant away from wanting to lease your rental property. Our property managers recommend the following steps to ensure your bathrooms are sparkling clean –

  • Wash the walls, light switch plates, outlet plates, doorknobs, and baseboards
  • Check for any mold or mildew, and handle all issues immediately
  • Replace any burned-out light bulbs
  • Clean the sinks, countertops, and faucets
  • Dust windowsills and ledges
  • Clean the inside and outside of all cabinets and drawers
  • Use a generous amount of toilet bowl cleaner, and let it sit for at least 10 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing.
  • Wash the tub and shower and wipe down any glass to remove water spots
  • Use a mixture of baking soda and white vinegar in the tub and sink drains
  • Sweep and mop the floors

Bedrooms, Living Room, and Dining Room

The bedrooms, living area, and dining room have much the same features that require similar cleaning. Therefore, the tasks below could apply to any of these spaces. So, to get the rest of your rental property ready for your next tenant, follow along with the steps below –

  • Ensure no items were left by previous tenants by checking cabinets, shelving, or closets
  • Dust and wipe down windows, windowsills, and any ledges
  • Replace any burned-out lightbulbs
  • Dust and wipe down ceiling fans
  • Use the tips above to remove marks from walls as much as you can
  • Sweep, mop, or vacuum the floors and deep clean carpets as needed

Exterior Spaces

Clean the Exterior of Your Rental Property Prior to Listing

When a potential tenant arrives at your Philadelphia rental for a showing, the first thing they see is the exterior of your home. First impressions are lasting ones, and boosting curb appeal is essential to attracting quality applicants. Therefore, consider the following outside clean up efforts before your first showing –

  • Remove any debris, fallen limbs, or trash from the yard or landscaping
  • Mow the lawn and pull any weeds
  • Trim all bushes, trees, and hedges
  • Clear out the rain gutters
  • Sweep walkways or porches
  • Consider adding additional foliage, shrubbery, or colorful flowers to liven up the landscaping where needed.
  • Wipe down any outdoor furniture
  • Ensure all light fixtures are in good working order
  • Clean the outside of the windows

Do Not Forget the Garage

In addition to the front and backyard, it is important not to neglect the garage – if the property has one. This is an often-forgotten section of the house when it comes to tidying up a rental. That said, be sure to clean the walls, shelving, and floors thoroughly. Also, if there is anything in the garage, such as trash cans (make sure they are empty), landscaping tools, or a lawnmower, tuck them neatly to the side. That way, potential tenants get a full idea of how large the garage is – clutter-free.

Get Your Property Market Ready – the Easy Way!

Just as owners expect tenants to clean a property upon move-out thoroughly, new tenants expect landlords to deliver a spotless property upon move-in. So, thorough cleaning before the property hits the market can go a long way to attract a healthy pool of tenants.

If you own a rental property, hiring a Philadelphia property manager can help streamline the make-ready process. Therefore, setting your property up for success to attract a high-quality tenant pool. Bay Property Management Group has experience in how best to design your vacancy ads, the resources to advertise your vacant property across multiple highly trafficked platforms, and a strict tenant screening process in place. So, if you are looking to maximize both profits and peace of mind, contact Bay Management Group today.