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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 Philadelphia rental property for your next tenant is extremely important to the success of your rental property business.

Typically, prospective tenants are expecting a spotless rental that is ready for them to move all of their personal belongings into right away.

And, don’t think that interested tenants will not notice if the property you are showing is dirty.

Providing a sparkling clean Philadelphia rental property when it becomes available is not only the right thing to do as a property owner – doing this also provides you a great opportunity to make an exceptional first impression on your prospective tenants.

Thus, today we are going to share with you ways to properly clean your rental home prior to listing (and of course tenant move-in), so that you impress anyone that shows interest in your property.


4 Expert Ways to Clean Your Philadelphia Rental Property Before Listing It

One of the easiest ways to ensure your rental property is cleaned properly is to follow a cleaning checklist.

To make things even easier to follow, we will separate this list according to room type.


1. Kitchen

Expert Ways to Clean Your Rental Property Kitchen Prior to Listing

Before beginning your cleaning work in the kitchen, our Philadelphia property managers recommend doing a quick run through and make sure everything from the previous tenant has been removed from the cabinets, drawers, and refrigerator.

From there, it is time to start wiping down the following:

  • Cupboards
  • Oven
  • Microwave
  • Refrigerator
  • Counter tops
  • Window sills and ledges

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

  1. Spray some multi-surface cleaner inside (make sure you spray enough to generously cover the entire inside surface)
  2. Turn on the microwave for 30-60 seconds
  3. Once finished, simply wipe everything away

Avoid cleaning stainless steel appliances with harsh chemicals that contain ammonia, scouring pads or powders, or anything else that is abrasive.


Because this will not give you the cleaning you’re after, and will also scratch the appliance while you’re at it.

Your best bet is to use a soft cloth and some mild dish detergent to get grease and food spots off.

When it comes to the kitchen sink, a great tip for making sure everything is completely clean, 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, and then run the hot water again to clean the drain from any smells and debris

And, when all the above is complete, do a thorough sweep and mop of the floors.


2. Bathrooms

A dirty bathroom is enough to turn any prospective tenant away from wanting to lease your rental property.

How to Clean Your Rental Property Bathroom Prior to Listing

Our property managers in Philadelphia recommend the following common steps to make your bathrooms sparkling clean:

  • Use a generous amount of toilet bowl cleaner, and let it sit for at least 10 minutes
  • Use the same baking soda/white vinegar mixture from the above kitchen checklist on the tub and sink drains
  • Use a tough shower cleaner to clean the walls and shower door that will erase all water spots
  • Check for any mold or mildew, and handle all issues immediately
  • Wash the walls, light switch plates, outlet plates, door knobs, and baseboards
  • Replace all burned out light bulbs
  • Clean the sinks, countertops, and faucets
  • Dust window sills and ledges
  • Clean the inside and outside of all cabinets and drawers
  • Get back to the toilet and scrub away, including the outside of the bowl
  • Sweep and mop the floors


3. Bedrooms/Living Room/Dining Room

We have combined these rooms into one category, because they have similar features that should be cleaned in similar ways.

The first step in these rooms is to make sure your previous tenants did not leave any personal belongings behind. This is especially true in the closets, where things are easily forgotten or left behind.

Next, dust any ledges and windowsills, and get rid of any cobwebs. Make sure to pay special attention to the ceiling corners.

In addition, dust the ceiling fans. This is one of the most neglected things in any household, so the chances your previous tenant cleaned them are slim.

How to Clean Markings Off the Walls of Your Rental Property

To clean off the walls consider the following tips. For:

  • Pencil Markings. Use a simple dish soap and water mixture.
  • Ink Markings. There are several ways to get ink off the walls. You will likely need an alcohol-based solvent such as rubbing alcohol, or even hairspray that contains alcohol. You may also be able to use 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. Just make sure to test it out before scrubbing away, as it may remove you wall’s paint.

Once the walls, outlets, light switch plates, and ledges are cleaned, you can move on to cleaning the windows and floors.


4. Exterior

Clean the Exterior of Your Rental Property Prior to Listing

When a potential tenant pulls up to your Philadelphia rental for a showing, the first thing they see is the exterior of your home.

That’s why it is crucial you make sure to clean up both the front and backyards before showing your property.

  • Mow the lawn and pull any weeds
  • Trim all bushes, trees, and hedges
  • Clear out the rain gutters
  • Sweep walkways or porches
  • Add foliage where needed to make it look fresher
  • Clean the pool, decking, and any pool accessories
  • Wipe down any patio furniture, including the tables and chairs
  • Ensure all light fixtures are in good working order
  • Clean the outside of the windows

In addition to the front and backyard areas, it is important you not neglect the garage.

This is an often forgotten section of the house, by both previous tenants and property owners, when it comes to tidying up a rental.

Make sure to thoroughly clean the walls, shelving, and floors.

Also, if there is anything in the garage, such as trash cans (make sure they are empty), or landscaping tools, such as a lawnmower, tuck them neatly to the side so potential tenants can get a full idea of how large the garage is.

Just as you expect tenants to thoroughly clean your property upon move-out, you can believe that new tenants will want a spotless property upon move-in.

And, the best time to clean up your property is before you even list it as available.

That way, when interested tenants make appointments with you or your Philadelphia property manager to see your property, it is ready to go, and tenants are impressed from the start.


If you own a rental property in the Philadelphia region and need help with advertising your sparkling clean rental property to a high-quality tenant pool, contact Bay Management Group today.

With 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, you can rest assured we will have the perfect tenant placed in your rental within 30 days of being listed.