Rental Property Turnover: Efficient Cleaning Strategies

by Patrick Freeze  11/27/2023

Rental property turnover is one of the crucial processes of owning rental properties. When one tenant moves out and another moves in, it’s essential to ensure the unit is in good condition and move-in ready for the next renter. Today, we’ll review the property turnover process and efficient cleaning strategies for landlords and property management companies in Northern Virginia to consider. 


Contents of This Article: 

  • What Is Rental Property Turnover?
  • Steps in the Rental Turnover Process
  • Why Is Cleaning Crucial for Tenant Turnover?
  • Tips for Deep Cleaning a Rental Property
  • Get Help With Professional Management

What Is Rental Property Turnover?

Rental property turnover refers to the process of getting a property ready for a new tenant after the previous tenant moves out. The goal during rental property turnover is to restore the unit to its original condition so that a new tenant can move in. It typically involves tasks like deep cleaning, making repairs, and ensuring the unit is in good condition for a new tenant. That said, landlords and property management companies in Northern Virginia need to ensure a smooth rental turnover process and prepare rentals for new tenants.


Steps in the Rental Turnover Process

The property turnover process is a standard procedure for every rental property. One tenant moves out, the landlord prepares the property, and another tenant moves in. That said, there are a few crucial steps in between that landlords and property managers must take. Here are some of the most important ones to consider. 

  1. Move-Out Inspection
  2. Repairs and Maintenance
  3. Deep Cleaning
  4. Change the Locks
  5. Advertising and Showings

Move-Out Inspection

A thorough move-out inspection is crucial for several reasons, such as evaluating the overall condition and determining tenant damage. Most lease agreements state that tenants should clean the home and return it to the same condition as when they moved in. That means that the home should be fairly clean and free of any remaining personal items. That way, landlords can do a walkthrough, comparing the condition to the move-in inspection, to determine any damages. 

Repairs and Maintenance

Sometimes, the rental turnover process requires some minor repairs. As such, it’s important to ensure this maintenance is completed before deep cleaning. For instance, you may need to replace burned-out bulbs, change HVAC filters, test smoke detectors, ensure appliances work properly, and complete any miscellaneous repairs found during the move-out inspection. 

Deep Cleaning

Although your tenant may have cleaned the property, it’s still crucial for landlords to hire a professional cleaning service or deep clean the property themselves when a tenant moves out. You’ll want to clean every surface of the property and ensure it’s fresh and clean for the new tenant. 


Change the Locks

Although you most likely collect the keys from each tenant when they move out, you may want to enhance security by changing the locks between each tenant. That way, only authorized individuals have access to the property, and you can give the new tenant a fresh set of keys. So, once you’ve completed the final walkthrough of the property, change or rekey any exterior locks.

Advertisings and Showings

Once you’ve completed your inspection and any repairs, cleaning, and lock changes, it’s time to advertise the property. List the property on various rental property listing sites and reply to any inquiries immediately. You’ll want to ensure you have enough photos of the property and a dynamic description written for your rental listing. Once you have serious prospective tenants, conduct showings to showcase the features of the property.

Why Is Cleaning Crucial for Tenant Turnover?

Cleaning each rental unit after one tenant moves out is one of the most crucial processes of tenant turnover. After all, their first impression of the property can make or break their decision to live there. So, giving each tenant a fresh start is important, ensuring the property is clean and well-maintained before they move in. 

  • Create a Good First Impression- A clean and well-maintained property creates a positive first impression for potential tenants. It suggests that the property is cared for and in good condition right from the start. 
  • Attract High-Quality Tenants- Clean and well-maintained properties are more likely to attract quality tenants who appreciate and respect their living environment. Tenants are more likely to treat a clean property with care. 
  • Minimize Vacancy Periods- A thoroughly cleaned and move-in-ready property reduces the time it takes to find new tenants. After all, properties that are clean and well-presented are more appealing to prospective renters. 
  • Preserve Rental Property Value- Regular cleaning helps preserve the value of the property by preventing the buildup of dirt, grime, and potential damage. In turn, this contributes to the long-term durability of fixtures and finishes. 
  • Reduce Repair and Maintenance Costs- Regular cleaning can help identify and address minor issues before major problems, reducing the need for extensive repairs and maintenance between tenants. 

Tips for Deep Cleaning a Rental Property

A thorough cleaning is crucial for maintaining its condition and attracting new tenants. Many landlords hire a professional cleaning crew to come in and prepare the property for new tenants. However, if you’re running a one-man show, you’ll have to know how to deep clean the rental yourself. As such, here are some deep cleaning tips to help you prepare the property for the next tenant. 

  1. Remove Any Remaining Items
  2. Dust and Wipe Surfaces
  3. Clean All Appliances
  4. Scrub the Floors
  5. Deep Clean Carpets
  6. Clean Windows and Blinds
  7. Sanitize the Bathroom
  8. Check and Clean Ventilation
  9. Inspect Walls and Paint
  10. Inspect for Repairs

Remove Any Remaining Items

It’s not uncommon for tenants to forget a few things when they move out of a rental unit. It may be something small, like trash or cleaning supplies, or larger items like furniture. However, depending on the laws in your area, you may not be able to get rid of these items right away. You’ll want to send your tenant a written notice detailing how and where to pick up their items, giving them a deadline to do so. 

Dust and Wipe Surfaces

Once everything is out of the unit, you can start by dusting and wiping down every surface in the unit. This includes shelves, countertops, light fixtures, window sills, and more. You’ll want to use a damp cloth or cleaning solution to get all the dirt and grime off each surface. 

Clean All Appliances

Next, thoroughly clean kitchen appliances, like the oven, microwave, stove, refrigerator, and dishwasher. It’s important to scrub these areas using appropriate cleaning solutions to remove all the food particles or stains. 

Scrub the Floors

You’ll want to clean and sanitize the floors based on the material throughout. For instance, hardwood floors may need a specific cleaner to preserve the quality. Regardless of the cleaning solution, you’ll want to pay extra attention to corners and edges to get rid of all the dirt and grime on the floors. 


Deep Clean Carpets

If you have a lot of carpeting throughout your rental property, consider hiring a professional carpet cleaning company to come in and deep-clean each area. Otherwise, you can use your own shampooer to remove deep-seated dirt and stains from carpeted areas throughout the property. 

Clean Windows and Blinds

Don’t forget smaller areas, like windows and blinds. You’ll want to wash the windows and clean the blinds or curtains to ensure they’re fresh and clean for the next tenants. Additionally, ensure each window sill and frame are completely free of dust, dirt, or buildup from previous tenants. 

Sanitize the Bathroom

The bathroom may be one of the dirtiest places throughout the unit. So, pay extra attention to this room, scrubbing and disinfecting every surface. Don’t forget to thoroughly clean the toilet, sink, shower, and bathtub. Additionally, if you provide a shower curtain, replace it if necessary. 

Check and Clean Ventilation

It’s important for the property to have proper ventilation, so ensure everything is working smoothly. If you have to, clean the air vents and replace air filters. 

Inspect Walls and Paint

Some tenants are rough on the walls, as they may hang up artwork or decorations. Additionally, walls are easily scuffed while moving furniture in and out of a rental unit. So, patch any holes or cracks in the walls and touch up the paint if needed. 

Inspect for Repairs

Throughout the cleaning process, identify if any repairs are needed. Make a note of them and address them promptly. Taking care of large or small repairs right away can help preserve the property’s value and ensure the next tenants don’t have any issues when they move in. 

Get Help With Professional Management

When you own rental properties, you know how important it is to thoroughly clean and prepare your property for the next renter during tenant turnover. However, this can be quite time-consuming, especially if you own several rental properties. As such, many busy investors look to comprehensive rental property management to help ensure a smooth tenant turnover process.

If you’re looking for a reliable team of professionals to take care of your rentals, look no further than Professional Property Management of Northern Virginia. We can help you through every step of the rental process, from marketing to tenant screening, maintenance, and more. So, contact PPM today to learn more about how we can help your rental business succeed!

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