Do I need to have my property cleaned before settlement?

Monique Robert | December 2018

Nothing is worse than believing you are extremely house proud only to discover a layer of dirt and dust on the window sills and behind every piece of large furniture and appliance in the house when you are moving. The answer to whether you need to ensure every inch of the house is thoroughly cleaned after removing your furniture is more of a moral issue than a legal one.

Imagine you are moving into your new home, excited and eager to move in, and the previous owners did not vacuum or wipe down that dust after they left. Although moving day is exciting, it can also be busy and stressful so the last thing you want to have to do is clean the place BEFORE moving in. This is why we recommend you leave your old property in the same condition you would expect to walk into your new property, even though it isn’t a legal requirement to do so. However, keep in mind that a buyer can make a claim against a seller if, during a pre-settlement inspection, he house is found to be in a poorer condition than when they initially viewed it.

If you plan on doing the final clean yourself, we have put together a few tips to ensure the place is left in its best condition:

  1. Clean when the house is empty

It is much easier and more time efficient to clean once all the furniture has been removed from the entire house. It is not until the house is completely empty that you will see marks on walls and cobwebs in the ceilings more obviously.

  1. Clean methodically room by room

Clean from the top down in each room, starting with the ceilings, curtain rods, light fittings, ceiling fans and air-conditioner vents/filters. Next, do the walls, window sills and inside the wardrobes/cupboards and make sure the floors are done last.

  1. Don’t forget…

Ensure the oven is cleaned thoroughly inside – ideally with oven cleaner – and the rangehood and cook top also get attention. Wipe the glass doors down and make sure they are clear of any “nose art” left by the dog. Lastly, ensure the gardens are tidy and the lawns have been mowed.

If you do run out of time to clean the property yourself, or just need someone to do those final touches, speak to your agent about who they can recommend to help.