How to carry out an End of Tenancy Clean…

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Before you get started on the task of end of tenancy cleaning their are a couple of things you should do first:
  1. The main thing to do first is to decide who is going to be doing the actual cleaning work;
  2. If you have decided to do the end of tenancy cleaning yourself, it is probably a good idea to go around the entire property with a pen and pad and make a comprehensive list of all the items that require cleaning. By taking this approach their is less likelihood that any items or surfaces will be missed out and consequently picked up by your landlord or their managing agents when the property inventory check is carried out.
  3. Once you have gone around and are satisfied that you have a list of works that covers everything, the next step is to ensure you have all the required cleaning materials and equipment for the job. What will happen if you are not fully prepared is ie. that when it comes to removal of limescale from the taps and shower head or removal of burnt on grease from the oven, without the right products you will spend hours scrubbing to no avail.
  4. Before you actually schedule your work, you will want to make sure all the kitchen cabinets are cleared and also the fridge and that any other items are cleared off the surfaces. This will make the cleaning work much easier than if you try to move things as you go along. Once you are confident that you have all the cleaning products required you should be ready to start cleaning. 

If you want a tip from a professional London cleaning company on end of tenancy cleaning, the best one we can offer, is to tackle the hardest areas first. These are normally the kitchen and bathrooms as these take the most effort and time. Try to get these areas done first while you are fresh and have plenty of energy, you do not want to be tackling the heaviest cleaning tasks when you are getting tired. The bedrooms and living spaces should be lighter work so leave them to last.

Most landlords and their managing agents these days will expect the property to be cleaned to a professional standard. Failure to reach the standard will almost certainly result in financial penalties for the excess work that is specified, or the agents may well appoint their own cleaning firm to re-clean the whole property. This can be costly for the vacating tenant because management fees may well be added to the cleaning firms cost for the agents time. It will also render your own efforts a waste of time as you will be liable to meet the full cleaning costs.

Please bear this in mind if you decide to clean yourself, and if you follow the suggestions in this blog you shouldn’t run into these sort of issues.

 

5 ways to protect your family from carbon monoxide poisoning

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A recent survey by npower has revealed that only one in 20 parents know the symptoms of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning and the more than a third of UK homes aren’t fitted with a CO alarm. In order to raise awareness following Carbon Monoxide week (21-25 November), we’ve put together five ways in which you can protect you and your family from the dangers of CO poisoning:

1. Know the most common symptoms

Only 6% of people in the UK can spot the most common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, which means that possible cases can be missed. Dizziness, headaches, nausea and vomiting, tiredness and confusion, stomach pain, shortness of breath and difficulty breathing are all symptoms of CO poisoning. If you notice any of these, make sure to seek medical help.

2. Fit CO alarms in your home

The only way to detect a CO leak is with a CO alarm, it’s a simple and relatively cheap way to make sure you’re protecting your family from potential CO leaks.

3. Get your appliances serviced regularly by registered engineers

Whether you’re getting new appliances fitted or you’ve had them for a while, regular services by registered engineers are necessary to ensure that everything is working correctly and any malfunctions that could cause CO leaks are picked up.

4. Make sure your kitchen is fitted with an extractor fan and do not block air vents

It’s really important to make sure all your rooms are properly ventilated, if you have air vents in any of your rooms make sure that items of furniture are not covering them.

5. Ensure your chimneys and flues are swept regularly by qualified sweeps

Blocked flues and chimneys mean that carbon monoxide can’t escape, it’s a good idea to schedule in inspections once a year to make sure they are working correctly.

First time landlord? Here are some useful tips on being a good one…

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Landlords generally have a bad rep. Most tenants will happily tell you about their experience with a previous tyrant they rented from. Unfortunately, this isn’t always justified. If you’ve just got your first rental property, make sure you start you start your rental business in the right way with these useful tips:

1. Treat It Like a Business

Your property is your business. If your tenants don’t pay, you have to cover your mortgage. If something goes wrong, you’ve got to find the solution. The truth is, you have to go one step further. Put systems in place to cover all possibilities and give your tenants your (or your associates) contact details should they need you.

2. Don’t Let to Bad Tenants

All landlords are desperate not to fall into a void period. This doesn’t mean you should jump for the first tenant who comes your way. You should always follow a thorough screening process to ensure you’re only letting in the good guys. The last thing you want is to be a babysitter, chasing after overdue payments and cleaning up after people’s mess.

3. Meet Safety Standards

All landlords have obligations to fulfil. One of these is to adhere to correct safety standards. Have a checklist of these and ensure your property meets the expected criteria. Gas and electrical equipment needs to be installed and checked every year by a registered engineer. Fire alarms and carbon monoxide alarms must be fitted and checked regularly. Record any such activities and make them available for all to see.

4. Create a Personalised Tenancy Agreement

Most landlords use a standard tenancy agreement which usually covers all bases. The trick is to create a more personalised agreement and make sure you seek legal advice in this regard. By giving your agreement a personal touch, you can dispel any ambiguity and irrelevant clauses and make sure to make it clear who’s responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the property.

5. Be Approachable

It sounds simple doesn’t it? It is however one of the most neglected characteristics a landlord must possess. When your tenant moves in, show your face. Take the time to ensure they’re happy. It’s often comforting for a tenant to be shown how the heating and hot water work. Give your phone number and email address. Let them know they can contact you at any point with their concerns.

6. Get Things Done

There’ll come a time when tenants contact you with an issue that needs your attention. Never ignore this or overlook it. If you can’t fix it immediately, let the tenant know. Communication is key. There are going to be things which you can’t deal with yourself – it’s worth having a good relationship with tradesmen of all types.

7. Keep Your Distance

This can be tough for fresh faced landlords. You might want to be sure your property is being properly maintained but you can’t just pop round for a visit. Don’t hassle your tenants, let them feel comfortable in your property – after all, you want them to treat it like their home. By all means schedule an inspection after 6 months but don’t forget to follow the correct procedure for this.

8. Keep It Clean!

That’s right, you want to make sure that your property is clean and presented in the best possible light for tenants at the start of the tenancy. This will help the tenant appreciate the standard of cleanliness they need to return the property at the end of the tenancy and also creates a generally good first impression when they start living in your property . Need some help? You can either call in the professionals or do it yourself with this handy guide…

9. Inventory

An inventory can seem like a tedious task though it’s a vital one. Without it, a tenant can treat your property with complete disregard and face no backlash. If you don’t have an inventory, you face the possibility of losing any dispute.

Good luck!

21 End Of Tenancy Cleaning Hacks That Will Surprise You!

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End of tenancy cleaning can be time consuming and the last thing you want to do when moving home. We would alway recommend that you use a professional cleaning company to deal with your end of tenancy clean.  However, if you’re pretty hands on and don’t mind doing it yourself, we thought a few more useful hacks will help you along the way!

Kitchen Cleaning Hacks

  • Clean stove burners by putting them in plastic bags overnight with 1/4 cup ammonia. (Wear gloves; do in a well-ventilated area.)
  • Sanitize your garbage disposal during home cleaning by freezing lemon slices and vinegar in an ice-cube tray. Run 2 or 3 cubes through the disposal.
  • Keep your kitchen drain unclogged by pouring boiling water down it weekly.
  • Clean stainless steel appliances by buffing gently with flour on a dampened cloth.
  • For a clean microwave, mix 1 cup of water with chopped lemon. Heat 5 minutes in the microwave. Let cool and wipe the inside.
  • Clean your broiler pan or oven racks by scrubbing with salt.
  • Eliminate dishwasher stains by pouring in lemon drink-mix powder and running an empty cycle.
  • Knock out kitchen-wall grease stains during home cleaning by sprinkling cornstarch on a damp sponge and rubbing the stains.

Bathroom Cleaning Hacks

  • Sprinkle baking soda in the toilet at night. In the morning, swish and flush.
  • Remove lime or calcium on faucets by soaking a towel in vinegar. Wrap it around the area and put cling wrap on the outside. Leave overnight.
  • Remove bathroom soap scum during home cleaning with 1/2 cup vinegar, 1 cup water, and 5 drops of dishwashing liquid. Scrub with a sponge or brush.

Laundry Room Cleaning Hacks

  • Clean your washer by pouring in a cup of bleach or white vinegar (use more for a top loader) and running a hot-water cycle.
  • Clean in and under your dryer’s lint filter with your vacuum’s wand attachment.
  • Eliminate laundry room smells with 1 cup baking soda plus 2 drops essential oil in an old sock. Hang where the odor is the worst.

Other useful Hacks

  • Wipe ant-infested areas with white vinegar; then sprinkle cinnamon where you saw ants (do a test first to guard against stains).
  • Polish copper with ketchup. Apply liberally, leave for an hour, and wipe away.
  • Clean glass with newspapers instead of paper towels; no lint is left behind.
  • An open box of baking soda removes odors from smelly areas.
  • Clean pet carpet stains by removing pet soil, dissolving a few tablespoons of baking soda in a spray bottle, spraying the carpet, and blotting with a dry towel.
  • Eradicate water marks on wood by mixing half ashes, half mayonnaise. Apply to the water mark; rub gently with a cloth.

References (for bedtime reading ;))

  • The 11 best life hacks for keeping your kitchen fabulous. (2013, November 8). Huffington Post.
  • Brown, N. (2013, October 29). 30 squeaky-clean laundry hacks. Buzz Feed.
  • Burton, N. (n.d.). Surprising bathroom cleaning hacks. Mom.Me.
  • Cleaning hacks. (n.d.). Lifehacker.
  • Piro, L. (2014, July 10). 10 foods that are surprisingly good cleaners. Good Housekeeping.
  • Valliant, M. (2014, August 15). Cleaning hacks for 12 things you thought would stay dirty forever. Hella Wella.
  • Walsh, J. M. (2015, May 29). 9 genius kitchen cleaning hacks you need to know. My Domaine

DIY End of Tenancy Cleaning Ideas…

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End of tenancy cleaning is something that every tenant is required to do when you move out of your rental property and want to get your deposit back. Sometimes you end up hiring professional end of tenancy cleaning contractors and sometimes you take the challenge on yourself because you want to save costs!

We’ve published a previous post about DIY end for tenancy cleaning but we thought we’d give you some more useful tips so that you can handle the challenge of an end of tenancy clean yourself!

  1. Make sure that you carry out your end of tenancy clean after you have moved out, otherwise it can get really annoying when you have your stuff boxed up and your trying to clean. The best solution to this is to move out and then on the last day, clean it all up as you go along.
  2. Vacuum items like curtains – although you might consider having these professionally cleaned, if you have them. Blinds are easy, a damp cloth  will work best.
  3. Clean and degrease everything in the kitchen. All white goods can be cleaned using a damp cloth and all you need to do is find a good heavy duty degreaser to cut through the grease on the stovetop.
  4. When you mop your kitchen & bathroom floors, a good tip is to keep a spare towel to finish wiping around until the floor becomes completely clean and dry.
  5. Work on all your windows and mirrors with a good glass cleaner and glass microfibre cloth for the best results, ensuring that they are are completely streak free!
  6. When it comes to cupboards and closets, first use a dry cloth to wipe off all the dust and then take a damp cloth to clean up all the shelves. If there are any spots, take a baby wipe and scrub it in. Work in the direction of the grain and you won’t cause any damage to the wood or the surfacing.
  7. Check your kitchen walls for splatters. More often than not, you will find random splatters that you need to clean. Again use a damp cloth for your cleaning – it will make your job easier.
  8. Ensure that when you are doing bathroom cleaning, you clean all the mould and mildew off the tiles and anywhere else that it may have built up. You can do this by getting a mould remover or cleaner from the local supermarket. Spray it onto the affected area and leave it for a few minutes to work its magic. Don’t forget to use safety gloves and mask when you apply bleach or other strong detergents.
  9. Ensure that when you are cleaning your flat or house you are doing it in socks.! Strange advice right? However, any kind of shoes will end up making a mess on the floor, and socks will keep your feet protected.
  10. Throw away  any type of rubbish or trash that you find around the place, especially stuff from the kitchen. You don’t want the palce to stink because of old food,  especially after you have done such a good job cleaning it!

By following these tips and checking out our previous article, you’re well on your way to getting your deposit back.

If you do want the professionals to deal, give ProClean Team a call on 020 8742 1808 or check out their website by following this link!

Useful tips on keeping good relations with your landlord…

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Being a tenant can be a challenging experience – not only do you have to find the right property to rent, in the right area, at the right price – once you’ve got that property, you also need to maintain a good relationship with your landlord!

There are many ways to keeping your landlord happy, and we have set out the three most common ways below:

cleaning_regularly-300x2301. Clean the property regularly.

That’s right, grab those marigolds and take care of your rental on a regular basis as if it’s your own home! This creates a positive impression for the landlord when they carry out their inspection and find that you are looking after their property. The areas to pay special attention to when cleaning are the kitchen & bathroom – especially as these are the most frequently used areas!

If you don’t clean regularly, these are the places that become harder to deal with when the time comes to move out of the property. Regular cleaning will definitely save you a lot of time & effort when you decide to move out. All tenancy agreements contain a provision requiring the tenant to leave the property in the same condition than at the start of the tenancy, so you will are required to give it a good clean when you do move out.

If you decide to clean yourself, check out our DIY guide to end of tenancy cleaning! Otherwise, call the professionals in to help you clean…

unclog_drains-300x2012. Repair the property when there’s damage…

When we talk about repairing we mean small issues like dealing with mould, unclogging the drainpipes and dealing with minor decorating matters or other damage caused in the property by you or your guests. Normal wear & tear or some electrical appliance failure to the dishwasher, microwave, oven, washing machine, coffee machine, etc. will best be left to the landlord to deal once you have given him a heads up that they need fixing. Keeping in touch with your landlord will show that you are a responsible tenant and fixing small problems yourself will help to build good relations as well.

It goes without saying that it’s in your interest to avoid damaging the property, especially if you rent one with furniture, as any damages that aren’t fixed by the end of the tenancy can be deducted from your deposit.

pay_on_time-300x1803. Pay your bills and rent on time.

Nothing will earn your landlord’s trust more then paying your utility bills and rent on time. Every landlord wants his or her new tenant to act responsibly and observe every clause of their tenancy agreement, which includes paying bills and rent!

Handy tips for landlords!

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Forget about Brexit, the new law about owning second homes, the change in accounting for mortgage interest and the rest, as long as there is a demand for rental properties, there will always be landlords ready to rent out their property.

We thought a few handy little pointers will help with getting our rental ready for tenants:

Preparing your property

Decide whether you want to let your property furnished or unfurnished. It’s great if you can offer both options, as this means the agent can market it to a wider audience. In terms of decorating and soft furnishings, keep it fresh and neutral. A well-maintained, clean property will attract good tenants.

Make sure you have a Gas Safety check every year and get all electrical equipment tested once a year too. It goes without saying that your rental property should be fitted with smoke alarms throughout and carbon monoxide detectors.

You’ll need an EPC (energy performance certificate) for your rental properties you won’t be able to market the property without one, so get it sorted as soon as possible – they’re valid for 10 years.

It’s a really good idea to get a professional inventory taken at the start and end of each tenancy as it can help with any disputes that may arise when a tenant moves out.

Your tenants

Keep a relatively open mind about your potential tenants and don’t set unrealistic expectations, as this only reduces your target market. Try not to become too emotionally attached to the property either, as it is always hard to let go of a property you love – try to distance yourself from the process.

Potential tenants may try and negotiate on the price. Depending on the tenant’s offer, it’s worth weighing up if the price you want is worth holding out for, or if it’s better to accept it and reduce the time the property is empty and not making money. It’s well worth listening to your estate agent’s advice.

What level of service do you want from your agent?

You need to figure out how much involvement you want from your estate agent. Do you just want them to find you a tenant and conduct all the security checks, or would you like them to look after the ongoing rent-collection and property management? Of course, there is an additional cost for the agent’s ongoing involvement, but it could save you a whole lot of hassle in the long run.

Ongoing considerations

Consider employing staff to help look after your property, like a cleaner and gardener. This means you can retain some level of control over your property’s care and maintenance.

Good luck!