Many tenants are leaving their apartments for rent in Windsor Ontario as they are jumping on the home buying bandwagon. Once you leave an apartment, and to ensure that you get your cleaning deposit back, you must leave your former home in “broom swept” condition. In other words, it should be as spotless as possible. Check with your landlord and see what they will be doing with your apartment once you move out. They may plan to repaint or put in new carpeting, so some cleaning may not be necessary. Get it in writing though so you will not be held responsible if they change their minds on making these improvements.
No doubt, cleaning an apartment after you have spent a good amount of time moving is exhausting, but don’t use this as an excuse to leave an apartment messy or dirty. If it is physically impossible for you to clean after you move, then hire a cleaning service. It’s one less thing to think about and will be well worth it in the long room to avoid any disagreements or issues with your former landlord.
What should you do?
In a previous post we gave suggestions on how to clean many household items quickly and efficiently. But you will need to do the following as well:
1. Remove all personal property from cupboards, closets and storage (if apartment provided).
2. Vacuum floors. Even if your landlord is going to clean the carpets, still vacuum!
3. Clean all kitchen appliances inside as well as out.
4. Wipe down all counters.
5. Scrub tubs, showers, sinks and toilets. Clean shower doors to remove any soap scum.
6. Wipe all cabinets and inside shelving.
7. Clean floors (vinyl and/or tile and linoleum)
8. Wipe down walls, clean doors of fingerprints or smudges.
If your apartment has a garage you will need to do the following:
1. Remove all personal property
2. Toss any trash
3. Dispose of toxic materials and/or chemicals.
4. Sweep floor
5. Return garage door opener.
Make sure you take a few minutes before you leave though and walk through each room. Doublecheck to make sure you have not left anything behind. Renters often forget items that are in plain sight. Like if you have an outdoor patio or balcony, don’t forget any personal belongings that you may have stored there. Also, don’t forget to check the appliances and make sure they are in good working order. On your phone you may want to take a video to show that everything was working properly on the day you left. Overkill? Not if you are fighting for your cleaning deposit! Having a record is the best way to get your money back!
Now it’s time to take pictures. Before you leave for the last time, use your cell phone and photograph every room, appliance (both inside and out), closets, bathrooms and flooring. The reason for this is you want to keep a record of how the apartment looked when you left. The last thing you need is for a landlord to say that there was a hole in the wall when there wasn’t. Or, they may say that you destroyed the kitchen and it took your entire cleaning deposit to repair. Again, you want to protect yourself. Hopefully, you will go on a final walk-through with your landlord, but in some cases, this doesn’t happen.
Finally, don’t forget to leave behind:
1. Apartment keys
2. Remotes for garage and ceiling fans (if applicable)
3. Keys to gate, mailbox and any storage units if provided.
As you leave for the last time, make sure drapes or blinds are closed and turn off all of the lights. And don’t forget to lock the doors! You don’t want your apartment vandalized and again, the landlord may think you left the apartment this way.
So the final checklist includes:
Walking-through and taking photos/videos
Leaving keys and remotes
Walking through each room one final time
Closing drapes and locking apartment
Now it’s time to move into your new home knowing that you left your previous apartment in wonderful condition. You always want to be able to get a good recommendation from your landlord should you need a reference in the future. Many landlords are often so appalled at how tenants leave their apartments, that they have no recourse but to pursue all of their legal rights so they don’t lose money.