Moving In? Make Sure the Last Tenants Are Fully Out


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There are few things worse than moving into a new house or apartment only to find a giant mess left behind by the last residents. When this happens, it can mean lots of headaches for you. And even if you don’t see any “leftovers” from the people who lived there before, they left plenty behind. Their dirt, grime, and germs probably did not move with them.

Here are some tips from Sol Mar REI on how to make sure remnants of the past don’t interfere with your present.

Outsource the unpleasant tasks

If you’re short on time or simply don’t like to clean, you can always outsource the task to a professional maid service. A professional cleaning service can go above and beyond what your landlord has likely already done. It’s especially prudent to leave it to the professionals if you or your children have allergies and you aren’t sure if the previous tenants had pets or smoked in the building.

Start with the nooks and crannies

If you can’t bring in a service, you’ll need to roll up your sleeves. It’s easy to get fixated on the living room and kitchen, but many of your personal belongings are going to wind up in the closet or kitchen cabinets. Take some time to evict the dust bunnies living in the corners of these hidden spaces.

The bathroom is another often overlooked area, and people often assume it was cleaned regularly. It may not have been, and the lingering mold can contribute to allergy issues. Merry Maids explains that moisture control is essential to keeping mold down. One way you can do this is by installing a dehumidifier in the bathroom before you move in.

You’ll also want to take measures to keep cobwebs from building up in these places once again. The best way to do this is to reduce indoor air pollution, which consists of dust and pet dander, fungus, mold and mildew, and carbon monoxide and smoke. A HEPA filter in your HVAC system can remove many of these contaminants from the air, which will also reduce respiratory troubles and nasal irritation.

Focus on the floors

While traditional cleaning advice says to start high and work your way down, if the floors are in bad shape, you might want to start there. Deep clean the carpets if they are heavily soiled and take a scrub brush and some baking soda and vinegar to the seams between the tiles. Once the floors are clean and dry, you won’t be tracking all of the lingering muck from room to room. Invest in a cordless vacuum to help you quickly go back over these floors when you do get around to dusting off the ceiling fan blades. A cordless vacuum will also come in handy if you have stairs, and these models are easy to use so you likely won’t dread the chore once you’re done moving in.

Head to the kitchen

The kitchen counters and floors are not the only things that need a good once over before you settle in. The refrigerator should be one of your first priorities. Moving.com notes that it only takes about 20 minutes to clean and sanitize an empty refrigerator, so do this before you hit the grocery store.

Clean Your Previous Home

Naturally, you want to leave as little of yourself as possible when you leave your previous home or apartment. While leaving an apartment usually involves ensuring the place is thoroughly cleaned, getting your home ready to sell is usually more involved. In addition to making sure the place looks excellent from top to bottom (as well as inside and outside), you need to do things like make repairs and, if necessary, do some low-cost updates around the property. All of this extra work won’t be in vain; it will help give your property a boost in value, making it more appealing to buyers in your area.

Even if you assume your new property has been cleaned, the burden ultimately falls on your shoulders to make sure that your new home or apartment is safe for your entire family. It may cost a little bit of extra money, and it may take some time, but the investment is well worth the benefits. Your new living space will be virtually untouched by others, and you’ll sleep better at night knowing you aren’t breathing in someone else’s ick.

Are you an established or aspiring real estate investor looking for your next money-making property? Check out the properties, services, and advice offered by Sol Mar REI. Contact us today to start working with us or for your free Passive Real Estate Investing Report!

Article credit: Curtis Fisher

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