Bond Move Out Cleaning Challenges

Move-Out Cleaning Guide

Moving out of rental properties can be a stressful situation for both landlords and tenants. The Move-Out Cleaning Guide can help alleviate the stress for all parties involved. Upon move out the rental property should appear to be professionally or broom clean. It should be in the same or better condition when the tenant moved in. This guide clearly outlines the duties and responsibilities of the Tenant(s) upon move out, insuring that the rental unit is in proper condition

Every landlord wishes to refund the security deposit in its entirety. He or she needs the tenant’s full cooperation in leaving the property in clean condition. This Move-Out Cleaning Guide clearly outlines the duties of the Tenant(s) upon move out, insuring the rental unit is in proper condition.

The Move-Out Cleaning Guide also states that any clean up expenses or damages incurred during the rental period, or while moving out of the rental property, will be deducted from the security deposit. This form lists the areas that must be cleaned including, the kitchen, bedrooms, living and dining rooms, major appliances, floors and bathrooms. The Move-out Cleaning Guide is also fully editable, so it can be customized to suit the landlords specific needs. The form allows access to add more details to the areas that need to be cleaned or eliminate unnecessary verbiage.

The Move-Out Cleaning Guide should be given to tenants when signing the lease, and again when the tenant vacates the rental unit. The Move-Out Cleaning Guide goes great with our Move-In/Move-Out Walk Through Checklist. It is a good idea to walk through the rental unit with tenants prior to them handing in their keys. Copies of this guide should be made available to tenants prior to actual move out. Since this form is not state specific, it is a great idea to consult state and local tenant/landlord laws to protect the interest of all parties involved.


Your Easy Move Out Cleaning Checklist

Planning to move out soon? Whether you’re ending a lease or selling a house, it’s important that you leave your former home in tip-top (or at least, acceptable) condition. This means compiling a move out cleaning checklist for yourself or a cleaner.

Renters will likely need to conduct a deep clean in order to get their security deposit back. In fact, many landlords require that tenants return the home to its original condition before moving out. Those selling a home will likely need to give it a good cleaning before handing over the keys to the new owners as well. While a deep clean isn’t necessarily a legal requirement, it’s often customary for sellers to do it anyway when moving out.

What’s on the move out cleaning checklist?

Your move out cleaning checklist will depend on the size of the property and how clean it is already. To help you, we’ve compiled a comprehensive move out cleaning checklist that you can use as a starting point.

Remove any remaining personal property

First and foremost, remove all personal property from the home. This means everything from furniture and closet items to shelving and wall art.

Vacuum floors

Give the home a once-over with the vacuum. Don’t forget to vacuum closets, stairs, nooks and other hard-to-reach areas.

Dust and wipe down surfaces

Using an all-purpose surface cleaner and a roll of paper towels or clean cloth, wipe down kitchen countertops, bathroom countertops, bookshelves, windowpanes, fireplace mantles and other hard surfaces.

Clean inside cabinets

Don’t forget to clean inside all cabinets. Kitchen cabinets, in particular, tend to accumulate food crumbs and other residue from food and cooking products.

Wipe down appliances

Over time, stainless steel appliances become covered in fingerprints and markings. Make sure to wipe down your fridge with either an all-purpose spray or a vinegar and water mixture. Don’t forget to wipe down and clean out the microwave as well.

Scrub and clean toilets, sinks, showers and bathtubs

Once you’ve finished vacuuming and dusting, roll up those sleeves and start on the bathrooms. All toilets, showers, bathtubs and sinks should be thoroughly scrubbed and cleaned. Any mold, rust or mildew should also be eliminated from the bathrooms before moving out.

Clean out closets

After you’ve cleared out your clothing and accessories, make sure to wipe down closet shelves and hanging rods. You should also vacuum the closet floors and double-check that all personal items have been removed.

Remove nails and wall anchors screwed into the wall

Unless the landlord or buyer has asked that you leave nails, hooks and wall anchors in the walls, it’s best to remove this hardware prior to moving out.

Fill holes and repair drywall

Once you’ve removed any nails, hooks and dry wall anchors, make sure to patch up unsightly holes in the wall. If any drywall needs to be repaired, consider hiring a professional handyman to do the job.

Touch up scratches and markings with paint

Before moving out, head to your local paint store and grab a small sample size of paint that matches your wall. Use this paint to touch up any scratches or markings left on the walls. Be sure to pay special attention to baseboards and other areas with high-gloss paint, as these tend to scratch more easily than walls painted with a matte finish.

Clean and sanitize the fridge and freezer

Empty the fridge and freezer of any remaining contents and start cleaning. All surfaces should be wiped down with an disinfectant spray. Make sure to eliminate any and all remaining food crumbs as well.

Wipe down oven and stovetop

One of the places where food residue tends to hide is the stovetop. If you have a gas range, be sure to remove the top part of the range and clean underneath all burners. Your oven can also be cleaned with a simple water and baking soda mixture. Combine the water and baking soda to make a paste and apply it throughout the oven. Vinegar can be added as well.

Mop floors

Once all surfaces have been wiped down and vacuumed, end your move out cleaning by giving the floors a good mop. A vinegar and warm water solution is a simple and safe floor cleaning mixture. You can also use a Swiffer sweeper with a wet cloth to clean floors.


Moving Out Cleaning Checklist for Renters

When you move out of a rental home or apartment, one of the biggest priorities is getting back your deposit. Landlords usually require a deposit before you move in that will either be subtracted from for any necessary repairs after you leave or will be fully reimbursed to you if everything is in the same shape as when you moved in.

To get back your deposit, it’s important to take good care of the home while you’re living there, but when you move out, it’s just as important to give it a good, deep cleaning, even if you have maintained it well over the course of your stay. We recommend having it professionally cleaned. If that’s not in the budget, though, take a few hours to go about the house or apartment and clean every nook and cranny.

Moving Out Cleaning Checklist

Whole House + Misc. Areas

Clean and vacuum all flooring, including stairs

Wipe down the walls and baseboards

Remove nails and screws; repair the walls

Dust ceiling fans

Clean air vents

Clean the windows and dust the blinds

Get rid of cobwebs

Clean fireplace

Clean the washing machine and dryer inside and out; pull them out to clean underneath and behind them


Clean the cabinets and drawers inside and out

Wipe down the microwave inside and out

Wipe down the entire refrigerator; pull it out to clean underneath and behind it

Wipe down the countertops

Scrub the sink and faucet

Clean the oven and stove; pull it out to clean underneath and behind it


Scrub the shower and bleach the grout

Clean out the bathroom drawers and vanity

Wipe down the countertop

Polish the mirror

Dust and clean the exhaust fan


Move Out Cleaning Checklist


Wash all windows inside and out in all rooms. Clean out window tracks.

Wash window sills and curtain rods.

Wash inside and outside of front and back doors.

Clean out the fireplace if applicable.

Mow lawn and weed flower beds if applicable.

All marks must be washed off the walls. Remove all nails.

Wash all vinyl and tile floors. If the fireplace is gas, make sure you clean off the inside of the glass.

All carpeting is to be vacuumed and professionally shampooed. Save receipts and turn in to the manager; or request that the manager arrange to have this done and the cost will be deducted from your security deposit.

All trash must be removed from the premises.

Clean all blinds and wash or dry clean all drapes and valances.

Clean all light fixtures throughout the unit and replace any burnt out bulbs.

Clean all vents and replace furnace filters.


Clean the inside and out of the dishwasher and range hood.

Scrub kitchen floor, including under the movable appliances.


Wash the inside of the refrigerator with warm water.

Take out vegetable drawers and wash in warm water, dry and replace.

Wash and dry outside of the refrigerator.

Move the refrigerator out from the wall and clean underneath. DO NOT TURN OFF!

Freezer must be defrosted and cleaned.


Remove racks and broiler pan, soak in hot water to clean, dry well.

Clean the inside of the oven, top of stove, under elements, pan drawer, exhaust fan, hood.

Remove the lower drawer and clean under the stove.

Wash and dry outside of the stove.

Cabinets and Drawers:

Wash cupboards inside and out. Remove any shelf paper.

Wipe out drawers with a damp rag.

Clean sink and counter tops.


Move Out Process

Every resident expects a full refund of their deposit. The reality is that this is rarely the case. In our many years of experience, we have found that most tenants underestimate the time needed to professionally clean their apartment and prepare it for move-out. Cleaning is usually the largest deduction from our resident’s deposits. Even when cleaning is performed well, there are still many things that are easily missed. PLEASE REMEMBER, even when units are returned EMPTY and in good condition, it may still take our office 2 to 5 days to turn the unit over due to minor maintenance, carpet cleaning, painting and cleaning that still may be needed in your unit. So you should expect to spend a couple of days in an  empty  unit cleaning it to get it back to its condition as well. In addition, when units aren’t returned to us in their original condition, effectively you are now hiring us to do the work for you and as such you agree to the contractors we use and their prices

Approximately 1 month before move out:

Schedule all moving help well in advance of the move-out date. In order to vacate the unit on time and leave the unit clean, schedule to have all items removed from the unit at least 2 days prior to your lease end date

Approximately 2 days before the move out :

Remove all personal belongings at least 2 days BEFORE your lease expires to allow enough time for cleaning.

Clean your unit. Start this well in advance. Since keys are due by noon, do not wait until the day the lease expires. Review our Cleaning Check List for a cleaning guideline to maximize your deposit refund.

The carpets will be professionally cleaned at move out as per your Lease. Do not do this yourself. However, you must vacuum to remove any / all debris or additional charges may apply.

Do not leave any furniture at the dumpster. You must schedule to dispose of these at a proper location.

Make sure these items are replaced or cleaned well before you leave to avoid these simple charges:

➢ Burned out light bulbs – if ceilings are too high to replace, leave new bulbs on the kitchen counter

➢ Non-conforming (not similar) light bulbs (all bulbs must be of similar type and 65 watts or less)

➢ Missing or dead smoke detector batteries – if ceilings are too high to replace, leave new batteries on the kitchen counter – this also goes for light bulbs

➢ Drip pans (make sure they are the proper size)

Complete the UNIT MOVE OUT FORM. We will send you this form as your Lease approaches expiration. Return this form when you return your keys

The Day of Move Out:

By 12 NOON on the day your lease expires, return keys, parking permits, mailbox keys, storage keys, garage door openers, etc. to our office at 2020 Pacific Street. To avoid long lines at our office on move out day, do not wait until 12 noon. Be there earlier in the morning. If you plan to mail the keys, make sure they are SECURE in the envelope and it is mailed well in advance to be received by our office by 12 noon of the expiration date. Keys not received by 12 NOON on your lease expiration day may be charged a $100 late fee in addition to the cost of any delay in rescheduling vendors or delay in the future tenants move-in time. Our turnover times are quick and we often have vendors scheduled to enter the unit that afternoon.

An Apex employee will pull your file and compare all the items you are returning to the original check out sheet. Any discrepancies could result in a charge. For example, we take photo copies of all keys given. If we do not get those same keys back, you will be charged for a lock change to the unit. If you do not have all the keys with you, we cannot guarantee locks will not be changed before we receive them in our office. Often times we have tight turn overs (in some cases 24 hours) so it is important you make sure you have everything with you the first time so we can log everything in properly.

You will be asked for a forwarding address and phone number. We use the forwarding address you give us to mail the deposit refund check. In the case of multiple tenants, deposits will be mailed to the forwarding address of any 1 tenant.

Deposit refunds will be mailed to the rental address in absence of any forwarding address.

If the office is closed, please place all the items listed in step 9 above in an envelope and write your unit address on the sealed envelope. Make sure you leave a forwarding address and phone number with the keys you drop off. Do not place unlabeled, loose keys in our dropbox.

Once keys are received in our office, the move out inspection will be performed with 4 business hours.