What is Apartment Bond Cleaning All About?
Apartment bond cleaning refers to the procedure undertaken by tenants with the objective of recovering their deposit from their landlord. It is a part of tenancy agreement that both parties are aware of, although the reasons are often contradictory.
Stress involved in moving out of your apartment notwithstanding, the situation is further aggravated by the nightmare of not receiving your bond back in full owing to lack of cleanliness. One of the best ways of avoiding such a scenario entails educating yourself about this aspect and exploring various ways of going about it.
What Is An Apartment Bond?
Before you begin to explore how to go about apartment bond cleaning, you must understand what a bond is. A rental bond is a certain amount of money that is mandatorily paid by the tenant to the landlord to signal the beginning of tenancy agreement. The purpose of apartment bond is to afford protection to the landlord in the event of tenant breaching the terms and conditions. On his part, the tenant needs to ensure while vacating that the apartment is spotless for him to recover the entire amount of the deposit.
Usually the amount for apartment bond is mutually decided by the tenant and the landlord and is distinct from the rent that is meant to be paid on a regular basis. It is not mandatory for the landlord to ask for an apartment bond from the tenant. However, most landlords are usually in favour of accepting it since it can be used as a safeguard against violations and is an effective way of ensuring cleanliness of the apartment at the time of moving out.
Why Should Apartment Bond Cleaning Be Taken Seriously?
Because refund of apartment bond depends on whether the landlord is satisfied with the cleanliness of the premises, it can prove to be a major headache for the tenant. Release of the deposit is contingent on how pristine the apartment looks and therefore it is imperative that the landlord should be totally satisfied with the end result of your cleaning exercise. This in turn could cause difficulties, particularly if the landlord happens to be pedantic by nature.
However, the situation need not be as overwhelming, particularly if you know how to go about the task. As long as you are willing to get down on your hands and knees to ensure exhaustive cleaning of the apartment, the objective of recovering your bond is definitely within reach.
Apartment-Bond versus End-of-Lease Cleaning
Often the two terms are used synonymously but in reality they are quite different. End-of-lease cleaning is carried out because terms of lease stipulate a certain degree of cleanliness by the time the duration of lease comes to an end. Apartment-bond cleaning is undertaken by the tenant with the objective of recovering the deposit at the time of vacating the premises.
Guidelines on How to tackle Apartment-Bond Cleaning
As soon as you intimate your landlord about your intention to vacate the premises, the first notification that you receive from him would pertain to the standards of cleanliness that he expects. In such a situation, it is imperative for you to be thorough in your task so that your landlord realizes that it is indeed at par with his expectations.
Since anything short of perfect could cost you the entire deposit or at least a major part of it, all you need to do is follow certain guidelines in order to achieve professional standards –
Acquiring a helping hand – ‘The more the merrier’ is the formula that works well in case of apartment-bond cleaning, given the tedious and dreary nature of the task. Having company during the cleaning of your apartment not only implies that the task would be divided among a number of people but also that it would take a relatively short duration to complete. Efficiency of cleaning will also be higher since every individual would be focused on a single task without having to worry about the other aspects.
After all, multiple participants translate into more ideas and more number of hands to carry them out. So all you need to do is gather a group of willing friends or family members, hold a briefing and embark upon the task.
Mark areas of focus – How much ever comprehensive apartment-bond cleaning might be, the outcome is dependent on how efficiently the individual areas have been cleaned. To ensure this, it is important to mark your areas of focus so that you and your team members can concentrate on them.
For example, the person in charge of cleaning the carpet should closely examine the fibres for stains and try to ascertain their nature before deciding which cleaning agent would be most effective. Likewise, cupboards, windows and bathrooms should also be scrutinized closely by the people in charge of cleaning them so that the job is thorough and yields satisfactory results.
Slow, steady and effective – Cleaning should never be carried out in a hurry, especially since it is meant for the release of a substantial amount of money. It should be slow, steady and effective so that your landlord does not find even a single reason to block your deposit. Diligence is the byword that would ensure the prompt release of your bond and hence should be exercised all through the cleaning task.
How Long Does Apartment Bond Cleaning Take?
On an average, apartment bond cleaning takes anywhere between two and ten hours depending on the size of the premises as also the degree of cleaning required. Roughly –
- A small apartment comprising of one bedroom and one bathroom would take around 3-4 hours to clean
- A medium sized property having 2 bedrooms and may one/two bathrooms would take around 5 hours to be completely spotless and dust-free
- A large apartment with 4 bedrooms and a couple of bathrooms could take up to 10 hours
A simpler way of understanding is that the time taken is directly proportional to the size of the apartment, meaning the bigger the dwelling the more number of hours you would take for apartment bond cleaning.
Do-It-Yourself Approach to Apartment Bond Cleaning
Normally the mention of apartment bond cleaning evokes a range of reactions from people and the most consistent advice that you are likely to get would pertain to the professional standards of the task. But that should not cause you to feel overwhelmed and deter you from undertaking the task yourself.
Indeed it is possible to achieve professional standards of cleaning by adopting the do-it-yourself approach as long as you are aware of the principle areas of focus. To help you pass your landlord’s scrutiny, these are the aspects of the apartment that you need to pay close attention to in terms of cleaning –
Carpeted area – Carpets are a common sight in contemporary homes not just to serve the purpose of style and elegance but also to enhance the comfort level of the occupants. On the flip side, it also means that the carpet receives the maximum amount of dirt and grime courtesy of the footfall not to mention stains caused by inadvertent spills. At the time of leaving the apartment, your carpet would not just appear stained but also faded and discoloured, thus being liable to cost you a part of your deposit.
So as not to give your landlord the opportunity to point out the state of carpet, you must treat it as an area of focus while cleaning for apartment bond. Because it entails deep cleaning, simply using a vacuum cleaner would not suffice and you will need to apply spot cleaning, steam cleaning and other rigorous procedures.
Doors and windows – Doors are best cleaned by first being dusted thoroughly and then being wiped by a solution of detergent and a mop. Any specific marks on the surface should be spot cleaned with the help of an appropriate cleaning agent so that the finish of the surface is not damaged.
As compared to doors, cleaning of windows requires a lot more attention and effort. After having finished with the inside and outside of the window, you will need to turn attention to the frames, blinds and curtains since these would also be subjected to close inspection.
Walls – From stains to finger-prints and sketches of a budding artist, walls act as canvas boards for a variety of marks and the onus is on you to wipe all of them clean as a part of apartment bond cleaning. To achieve this, you must have with you a bucket and mop, cleaning solution and a stain remover for spot removal of unsightly marks.
Cupboards – Using a surface spray is the best way to clean cupboards courtesy of numerous nooks and corners that are virtually inaccessible and tricky to clean. While on the exterior cupboards are prone to collect dust and food particles, within they tend to become home to pests and grime both of which are unhygienic.
Scrubbing will enable you to get rid of most of the dirt with the exception of pests and to handle these you would need to use a pest spray or an anti-pest medicine. However, do remember to wipe the anti-pest agent from the cupboards after the objective has been achieved as it could be poisonous and toxic in nature.
Sink – Because sinks form an indispensable part of everyday routine, there is bound to be a build-up of grime and marks on the surface over a period of time. Since apartment bond cleaning requires sinks to be spotless, scrubbing is an option that would be effective enough to produce satisfactory results. However, a word of caution recommends using non-abrasive cleaning agent and scrubber so that the surface does not suffer any scratches and at the same time is bereft of unhygienic grime and stains.
Skirting board – An aspect that tenants usually miss out on and landlords make it a point to check are skirting boards. Do include this in your to-do list for apartment bond cleaning and handle it by wiping it free of dust all across its length.
Laundry – Being a part of the bathroom, it is imperative that the area should be cleaned, disinfected and deodorized so that it is free of grime and bad smell at the time of handing over of the apartment.
Another way of segregating the tasks entails handling them room-wise wherein you complete cleaning one room before moving on to the next. A check-list prepared as per this method would list tasks as per the specific room like kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and so on.
How About Hiring a Professional Service?
In case you feel that moving out would keep you too occupied to handle apartment bond cleaning, there is always the option of hiring a professional service to look after this aspect. True though it is that hiring implies shelling out a certain amount as charges, the expenditure is worth accruing if the job is well done and expedites the release of your deposit.
Of course for this you must select a service which is ideally suited for your requirement and mentioned below are tips that could simplify the hiring process for you –
Area of Specialization – As far as possible you must select a professional service that is specialized in apartment bond cleaning since this could make a difference to the quality of work. There are several advantages that can be accrued from a specialized service like its vast experience in this field, expertise in terms of handling the various aspects and ability to adapt techniques and methods as per the specifications of the apartment.
Licensing and Certification – Short-list only those professional services that hold a legally valid license and are certified with the relevant authorities. This is a measure that could prove to be costly in every way if ignored since it is mandatory for a service provider to be licensed and certified in order to be brought under the purview of law. Added advantages of opting for such a service are that they are required to meet certain minimum standards of cleaning and enjoy a good reputation in the segment.
Comparison Shopping – This is a must before you summon any professional service for final negotiations as it would enable you to judge the extent of services being offered for your budget. Even though this step entails plenty of painstaking research, it could ultimately prove to be quite rewarding when you manage to identify a service provider that offers all the services within a reasonable budget.
Stressful that moving is, the tension of losing your deposit is one factor that tends to add on to your worries. One of the ways of relieving it entails finding out everything that apartment bond cleaning involves so that you are fairly certain as regards tackling it and making it work to your advantage.
Adopting a systematic approach to apartment bond cleaning will reduce the stress of moving in several ways. Not only will it enable you to recover your deposit but also ensure that you part with your landlord on good terms.