March 24, 2016

Clean Every Nook and Cranny - Getting the Deposit Back on Your Student House

Student houses are notorious for getting a little bit grubby around the edges. It’s understandable: students are busy people, and it’s not always easy to fit in a cleaning routine. Rotas can be ignored, and nobody wants to be the only one doing all the cleaning, so it might get neglected. Over the course of the year, alliances can be made and enemies can be formed and more often than not you leave the property feeling a sense of relief as you only really get to know people once you live with them. Everyone has their own idea of what constitutes a ‘clean’ and hygienic house and when living as a student, you are all finding your feet and sometimes duties such as cleaning can be tossed aside for more important matters; making sure all the take-away menus are up to date for example.
One thing that you cannot ‘make do’ with when it comes to cleaning a student property, is the state it must be left in at the end of the year. Mid-way through the year (around May-June-July) is often the time of year where many student tenancies are coming to an end, so thousands of students will be manically cleaning their student houses in the hope that they’ll get their deposits back. So, how do you make sure your house is left in top shape?

Clean Every Nook and Cranny

What is Expected of You

Whether you’re going to do the cleaning yourselves, or you’re getting a professional in, to survey and tackle the damage, it is important to check the maintenance list your landlord would have issued at the start of the tenancy. This should give you an idea of what is expected and what you can perhaps get away with slipping by the wayside. From this list, you can make a list of priorities and a list of cleaning items that you can leave until later.

Nobody likes cleaning, particularly student houses that can get grubby and grimy over time and neglect. If you have lazy housemates that never seem to clean up after themselves, the task seems ever impossible as it feels as if nobody is helping you. By prioritising your duties you can start approaching the task in a more manageable way. Little steps help to make big changes!

Getting Your Hands Dirty

You should tackle the ‘worst’ aspects first, which are generally the bathroom and kitchen, so that the rest seems less daunting. If you keep putting them off for another day, chances are that they will never get done and you could end up paying out of your deposit for it. Look online for hints and tips into properly cleaning the bathroom and kitchen. The oven, in particular, is always one of the least popular tasks, but money can often be deducted if the landlord doesn’t deem it to be clean enough, so pay attention to this.

It can be easy when living in student accommodation, for people to neglect regular cleaning duties, but keeping on top of the maintenance throughout the year can really help when it comes to crunch time. If you have kept the bathroom and kitchen in a good condition throughout the year, cleaning it fully at the end of a tenancy will not be such a daunting task.

Be Meticulous – Your Landlord Certainly Will

When dusting, don’t just deal with the surfaces you can see. Make sure you tackle top shelves and behind items, and even the skirting boards can collect dust, so be thorough. A damp cloth or a dust-attracting duster are the best way to fully remove dust from a surface. Also make sure the dust doesn’t gather in the carpets by giving each room a full vacuum, including under furniture where crumbs and dust can accumulate over a year. Dust from top to bottom so that you aren’t sweeping dust from the higher levels onto clean levels once you’ve dusted them.

It might seem like a lot of effort to go through, but if you want to make sure to get your deposit back, you should make that effort. It is not unheard of for crooked landlords to try and find any excuse to wheedle tenants out of their deposit, particularly if they are students. Know your rights and don’t give your landlord any ammunition by being meticulous with your cleaning. Better safe than sorry!
This article was written by Sara Bryant, working on behalf of Apple Clean, professional carpet cleaners in the South East who were consulted over the content.