OK, most of us have heard about the end of tenancy cleaning – that mad rush around the house once all the furniture has been taken out, wiping around cupboards and skirting boards, getting the carpets steam cleaned, wiping all the grime off the door handles, etc. You’re either doing it because you want your bond money back from the landlord or because you want the place to look decent when a prospective buyer comes into your old house. If you’re really pressed for time, you get a professional in to do it, as it’s just another job to do when you’re trying to get yourself, your family and all the things you own to a new place, with the family cat yowling its head off in a crate on the way.
When a Clean is Necessary
However, sometimes you find yourself moving into a house that didn’t get properly cleaned before the old tenant moved out. Perhaps the previous tenant died. People don’t usually have the chance to give the place a good going-over before they leave this life, although there are rare exceptions, such as clean freaks who have a terminal illness and who don’t want to leave a mess behind for other people to tidy up. The best way to find a local service is to search online for your area, for example; tenancy cleaning Wandsworth. The other case is where people have just up sticks and left, not caring about getting bond money back or just planning to sell the home “as is, where is”. Whatever the situation, there you are, moving into a new place and it’s not quite as clean as it could be.
This doesn’t always happen, thankfully. Sometimes, real estate agents or landlords give the vacant place a good scrubbing from top to bottom – or, more likely, they hire a professional end of lease cleaning company to do the dirty work for them. But it does happen. It has happened three times to this writer.
So, what do you do if you find yourself moving into a house that hasn’t been cleaned for a while? Where do you start? It really depends on a number of things. What sort of housekeeper was the previous occupant – diligent or neglectful? How long has the house been vacant? In any scenario, you will need good end of tenancy cleaning tips and advice.
Diligent Moved Out Not Long Ago
If the previous occupant was diligent and the house has been vacant a short time (best case scenario):
The chances are that all that you’ll find is a little bit of dust and some stale are, and possibly some cobwebs. There might be a bit of grime in the cupboards, and the bathroom and toilet might need a good scrub, but it won’t be too arduous. It won’t be any worse than a good spring clean. Perhaps getting the carpets cleaned before you put in your heavy furniture might be a good idea.
If the previous occupant was a slob and the house has been vacant a short time:
There will be a lot of work to do getting rid of all the old dirt. Fortunately, there won’t be much in the way of new dirt. You will have to crack out the cleaning products and get busy, and it will take some time. It’s probably best to do this before you move the furniture in, as you don’t want to put your stuff in on top of grub. This writer has dealt with a house like this, and it required a fortnight of early mornings with rubber gloves and the radio on, plus lots of hot water. You might prefer to call in a pro cleaner to give you a hand getting the place looking its best. Again, a carpet cleaning company is probably a must (and will make the place smell a whole lot better, too).
Diligent, Moved Ages Ago
If the previous occupant was diligent and the house has been vacant for ages:
You will have a lot of cobwebs to clean out along with heaps of dead flies and bits of moth wing in odd corners. The windows will also be in severe need of a clean. If you are really unlucky, the water in the loo might be getting stagnant. Another thing that might happen if your luck is running low is mice or other vermin may have decided to move in. However, most of this sort of dirt is only on the surface and once you’ve got rid of the pests squatting in your place, it’ll come up a treat. You may need some professional help for pest removal, window cleaning or doing the carpets and curtains over.
The Lazy Git
If the previous occupant was lazy and the house has been vacant for a long time (worst case scenario):
You really are going to have to hire a professional in. Maybe more than one professional, as a dirty home that hasn’t been lived in for a while is probably going to have its fair share of vermin. Don’t try to tackle this one on your own unless you have heaps of time or experience, or if you are a professional cleaner of some sort yourself. Alternatively, just redecorate. It might be easier and cheaper, in the long run, to repaint/repaper and put down new carpets.