How to Clean Your Property Rental Before Listing

It won’t be long before your renters’ annual lease expires and they decide to move out. Your priority would be to seek new tenants right away and minimize the rental vacancy rate. 

But before you welcome a new tenant into your rental property, it is important to make sure the unit is clean, safe, and in working order. This not only minimizes your liability as a landlord but also makes your tenant happy. Because no one likes to tour a dirty property. In this line of work, first impressions are usually last. 

Taking a proactive approach to cleaning your property makes a good impression and leads to a healthy relationship with tenants. Here are six cleaning tips every landlord should consider before listing their property. 

Clean the Most Visible Things First 

You should clean everything, but try to prioritize things that are visible. For example, if there is a big smudge on a wall or the front door, you’ll find it difficult to get potential tenants interested enough to see the rest of the apartment. If your rental unit has a yard, make sure it is well maintained, any unwanted debris is removed, and the exterior is clear of any trash.  

If necessary, hire a contractor to powerwash the walkways and clean any dirt on the siding. 

Pro tip: Look for anything that sticks out like a sore thumb, such as broken furniture and dead appliances. The exteriors should be clear and bright. And the walkway leading to your property’s entrance should be easy to identify. 

Consider Landscaping

If your building has a lot of outdoor space, you may want to pay attention to the grass. You want to make sure it is mowed and trimmed. Trim the trees and prune the bushes. You don’t want any tree branches obstructing the view outside or dropping onto the roof and startle everyone. 

How to Clean the Walls –The Low-Budget Way

It’s common for the walls in a rental unit to suffer a lot of abuse – either due to wear and tear or because the tenant’s children confused the wall as a giant canvas. Fortunately, you don’t have to redo the painting. 

In the case of pencil drawings, a mixture of dish soap and water is highly efficient at removing light marks. To get ink off walls, you can use an alcohol-based solvent such as hairspray and rubbing alcohol. A mixture of the tried-and-tested ammonia, detergent, and lemon juice should also do the trick. 

Pro tip: Don’t scrub the walls too harshly because it could damage the paint. 

The Kitchen 

The kitchen plays a big role in attracting potential renters. This is why it should be in tip-top shape. 

Here are a few things you can do to keep the kitchen clean: 

  • Clear out the cabinets and refrigerator of any leftover items
  • Clean all kitchen surfaces (especially if they have seen a lot of activity) such as countertops, shelves, and cupboards
  • Sweep and mop the floors
  • Clean all the appliances and make sure they are working as they should  


Hire a plumber to identify any issues with the bathroom, such as plumbing problems, leaks, and mold. Failing to clean or replace the toilet can be a deal-breaker for potential tenants. In particular, you should be wary of limescale because it can leave an ugly buildup of minerals that don’t do your property any favors. 

Make sure to thoroughly scrub the bathroom floor, shower, toilet, and bathtub. 

Don’t Forget the Furnishings 

It’s always good practice to clean the furniture before your property manager showcases the rental unit. Use something mild, such as dish soap and water, to remove dirt and minor stains. Switch to vinegar if the mild soap doesn’t work. When you’re done, pat everything dry with a clean cloth. Clean furniture only makes your property looks more inviting, while also increasing the value of the rental unit as well.

Pro tip: Coat the surface of wooden furniture with wood polish to give it a shiny look.

Wrapping Up 

Now that everything looks good as new, it’s time to showcase your rental unit to prospective tenants. Your property manager will also take care of essentials such as tenant screening, lease drafting, and fixing any major problems with the apartment (such as leaking pipes). It may seem inconvenient at first, but cleaning your rental before listing is a sure-fire way of maximizing profits in the long run. 


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