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Spring Clean: tips for a tidy flat to protect your deposit

By Sophia Wood-Burgess

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Keeping your rental tidy; it's not just about getting your deposit back, it's also about living comfortably. After all, who can resist that house-proud feeling after a good spring clean?

Foxtons Property Management has a team of experts working with renters at every stage of their tenancy, managing more than 25,000 tenancies all across London, so they've heard just about everything. We asked them for a few tips to keep your rental running smoothly.

Don't wait on maintenance

My Foxtons iconFirst thing's first - if your tenancy is managed through Foxtons, log maintenance requests through your My Foxtons account. The Maintenance Tracker will guide you through any easy DIY solution, like how to bleed your radiators. For bigger requests, where we need to call in a professional, you can ask questions, upload images, audio and videos, and keep track of our progress via the tracker.

Let it breathe

It’s an achingly cold winter morning and you have a full day of work ahead of you. You take the hottest, quickest shower possible, bundle up as best you can and head out before the sun. The trouble is, all that shower steam is trapped. Bathrooms are a big area for damp. Or, do you typically dry your clothes on a rack next to the radiator in your bedroom? There might be mould behind your bedframe and wardrobe, where the drying clothes' condensation sticks.

Rain is a fact of London life, but in this waterlogged climate, mould is always a top concern.

Many of the things we do, from boiling potatoes to sleeping, puts moisture into our environment. Our Property Managers said the most important thing for tenants to do is improve the air flow where possible. Opening a window when you're doing the washing up or drying clothes makes a big difference.

Our Property Managers also suggested:

  • Report broken bathroom fans immediately
  • Look out for condensation and wipe it away when you see it
  • If, for instance, your bathroom grout is going black, combat it with a mould spray or bleach.

Mould needs to be dealt with as soon as possible. While condensation is the most common cause, things like missing roof tiles, worn damp-proofing, blocked gutters and cracked pipes can also cause mould. If you're unsure, it’s best to ask a professional. Renters whose tenancy is managed through Foxtons, you can easily log it on the Maintenance Tracker through your My Foxtons account, and upload pictures.

Quick tip: it's hard to make yourself open a window in cold winter weather, but just five minutes helps evaporate the steam after a shower. If you can do this daily, it will prevent a build-up of damaging mould.

Clean your carpets regularly

Clean carpets are easier on allergies. They make a room look and smell better, and cleaning regularly gives the carpets longevity.

Quick tip: consider a no-shoes-on-the-carpet policy. When you're working through your move out rental cleaning checklist, you'll be so thankful you did.

Same with the oven

Like carpets, the longer you leave the oven, the harder it is to clean. Also like carpets, it can be one of those things that take up most of your time at the end of the tenancy if you haven’t been diligent throughout. Grease build-up especially can be annoying (dish soap helps combat stove-top grease!)

Quick tip: keep it clear of crumbs and open food so you don’t tempt any pests.

Bleed your radiators

It’s a good habit to bleed your radiators once a year, but there are some other signs you need to bleed the radiators: if the radiator has cold spots, if it takes longer to heat up or if the radiators are rattling.

We have a great Tenant Guide to Radiators as well.

Quick tip: Be sure that the heating is off and that you’re protecting yourself and your floors – the water can be hot.

End of Tenancy

Moving out? Before you do, read our Tenant Guide to Moving Out.

Quick tip: replace any blown lightbulbs before you leave. It’s a little thing tenants quite often forget. Where there were working bulbs in sockets when you moved in, there must be working bulbs when you move out.

Moving out can be a busy time. If you’re concerned about the final clear out, you can request us to appoint a cleaner on your My Foxtons account. We have vetted cleaning services whose employees understand exactly what is expected from an end-of-tenancy cleaning. Plus, in the unlikely event that there are any discrepancies from the landlord, they can come back and re-clean.

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