It’s certainly worth calling in professional cleaners to help you get your home up to scratch before you move out.
Firstly, you are likely to have a lot to do in a limited time, such as packing up your home, organising to have services like electricity and internet transferred to your new place and letting people know your new address.
If you are moving because you are selling your home, you will have even more work to do in preparing your home for sale. And you’ll want to make it look as attractive as possible to prospective buyers. There’s no underestimating how much of a facelift a good clean can give your home.
If you are moving out of a rental, you will want to get your bond back (usually a month’s rent), avoid any black marks against your name on national tenant databases and to leave the place in good nick for the next tenants.
“TIP: If you are cleaning a rental property, ask the cleaner for a tax receipt which you can present to the real estate agent as proof you’ve had the place professionally cleaned. This will hopefully lessen the likelihood of any issues.”
You may be good with a mop and a scrubbing brush, but experienced cleaners are likely to have the best tools and cleaning products available to do a good job – and are much likely to do in a much faster time. It’s their day job after all!
Their service comes with many names: “move out”, “end of lease”, “bond” or “vacate” cleaning. The type of cleaning involved tends to be more demanding and requires a greater thoroughness than regular cleaning. For example, it could involve tackling areas or fixtures that are rarely cleaned, such as fly or security screens, insect-filled light fittings or dusty air vents.
The average starting rate of the service hovers at around $200, but prices vary, depending on your area and the type of cleaners you chose.
Usually, that price will be based on the size of your property. Cleaners may charge you by the number of bedrooms you have and then add on extra bathrooms and entertaining rooms. They will charge more if you want your windows or carpets cleaned. Or they may charge you a fixed rate or by the hour.
In Adelaide, for example, one firm is charging $249 for a three-bedroom, one bathroom home, plus $89 to steam clean the carpets. On an hourly basis, its fees start at $25.
A Queensland-based cleaning company wants $440 to $665 (including GST) to clean a three-bedroom home with two bathrooms and $120 to steam clean its carpets.
Similarly, a Sydney-based service is asking $420 to clean a three bedroom, one bathroom apartment and $200 more for carpet cleaning.
In addition, you’ll have to fork out more money if you want your oven and the insides of your cupboards and drawers cleaned – often a must if your home is for sale as potential buyers are known to frequently take a sneaky peek inside these.
Choosing a cleaner
The best way to find a good cleaner is likely to be via word of mouth from family and friends. Otherwise ask your real estate agent for a recommendation or do an online search. Check any reviews and customer feedback available for the cleaners or ask for references.
A crucial requirement when allowing people into your home is that they be honest and reliable.
In this case, it’s important that they are not just great cleaners, but also have some “move out” cleaning experience – that they know what will please sharp landlords, property owners or home buyers.
Before deciding, get quotes from several cleaning companies and ensure these clearly detail what services are included – that apples can be compared with apples. Remember that price isn’t everything; the cheapest cleaning service may not be the best!
Also, check whether the cleaners will be flexible and willing to customise their services to your needs. And that they are available when you need them; there may be a very short timeframe available for cleaning if the next tenant is scheduled to move in soon after you leave.
If it’s important to you, ask what products the cleaners use.
And crucially, check whether they are insured.
What to clean?
The state of Queensland’s Residential Tenancies Authority provides this cleaning checklist:
- Clean the inside and outside of all cupboards.
- Wash all countertops and surface areas.
- Clean inside and outside of the oven, microwave, dishwasher, fridge and defrost freezer (if supplied).
- Clean the cooktop, grill and range hood.
- Clean the sink and taps, including descaling.
- Clean windows, window sills or tracks, window and door frames and fly screens.
- Sweep or vacuum and wash floors.
- Clean the sink, toilet and bath, including taps.
- Clean tiles.
- Remove any mould from walls, tiles and ceiling.
- Wash shower curtain. Or clean shower doors or enclosure.
- Clean all surface areas, shower rails and mirrors.
- Sweep and wash all floors.
- Dust and wash all surfaces.
- Dust and wash door and window frames and window sills or tracks.
- Clean mirrors.
- Dust fans.
- Wipe outside of air conditioning units and clean filters.
- Clean out any cupboards or wardrobes.
- Dust and clean skirting boards.
- Vacuum and wash floors.
- Mow grass, weed and trim edges.
- Clean out any leaves or debris in the pool (check for any special conditions in the tenancy agreement).
- Sweep external areas.
- Empty and wash out bins.
- Remove any oil stains on driveway or in garage.
- Remove cobwebs.
Remove all rubbish from property.