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10 Tips for Tenants: Regularly Cleaning Your Furnished Apartment Saves Money and Frustration

Tips for tenants: Cleaning your temporary furnished apartment

Especially when working with professionals, renting a temporary furnished apartment in Berlin can be stress-free. An experienced agency will walk you through the consultation, the apartment viewing, and signing the rental agreement (available in multiple languages) in a breeze. No stress! Typically, if problems arise in a temporary rental, they’re of the “homemade” variety.

Yes, we’re talking about cleaning.

Of course, the terms are all laid out in your rental contract: as the tenant, you take responsibility for the apartment for the rental period. This agreement means—heads up to the messy ones among us—that the apartment must be regularly cleaned and tidied.

At the end of the rental period, the tenant pays an obligatory cleaning fee to cover the final cleaning of the apartment. However, if you’re keen to avoid stress with the landlord of the management, and receive your full deposit back on time, preventative measures are necessary. There’s no way around it: furnished apartments must be kept clean. If you’re short on time, just give us a call: we’ll put you in touch with a reliable company to clean your apartment on a weekly or biweekly basis.

For those who want to be self-assured and self-sufficient (and sleep easily knowing that matters with the contract, landlord, and the deposit are taken care of) here are our 10 tips for an up-to-standard furnished rental cleaning.

Putzen kann auch Spaß machen. Einfach mal ausprobieren :-)

In fact, research shows that cleaning can actually lower your stress levels. Give it a try!

Hair in the drain

Most of us can’t help losing a bit of hair in the shower. But hair that settles in the sink or shower drain isn’t just unsightly, but can also clog the drain and lead to flooding.  In this case, the landlord must take on the costs of hiring a plumber. If you are found responsible for the blockage, your landlord won’t be thrilled.

Take a minute and remove any hair from the drain with tweezers after showering or brushing your hair.

Calcium Deposits

The water in Berlin is known as being especially “hard,” meaning it contains a larger amount of calcium (also known as limestone) than normal. We recommend regularly removing calcium from appliances with vinegar cleaner, which is more environmentally friendly than chemical products.

Kettles

Calcified kettles aren’t very appealing, and coffee and tea don’t taste quite the same with flecks of limestone swimming around.  Thus, we recommend cleaning the kettle regularly. Just dilute some vinegar with water, boil it in the kettle, and let it stand a few hours. Then rinse with fresh water.

Ventilation

In the rental agreement, the tenant also takes responsibility for regularly ventilating the apartment. It’s not just about the fresh air and the smell. Actually, regular ventilation prevents mold. Always aerate the apartment after showering or bathing. In the winter, it’s best not to leave the windows open for hours, due to heating costs. Ten minutes of fresh air every few hours will do the trick.

Laundry

Wash towels and linens regularly at the proper temperatures, removing any stains. Of course, don’t use bleach on colored clothing or linens.

Oven

Even the oven needs some regular attention. Don’t wait until the final cleaning to remove any fat, sugar, or burnt bits that cling to the oven. Just use baking over spray and leave it on overnight, avoiding sharp steel brushes in the cleaning process. Hint: shaving cream also works in a pinch! Environmentally friendly cleaning products can also be used.

Washing machine maintenance

Cleaning the washing machine prevents unpleasant smells and accumulations of dirt. Just clean the lint filter by removing any debris, placing it in a bowl to catch any liquid.

Dust and vacuum cleaners

Remove dirt and hair from the vacuum brush after each vacuum. Also make sure to regularly replace the dust bag, using a suitable bag for your vacuum cleaner. Never clean without a dust bag!

Surfaces

Sticky counters and floors aren’t comfortable for anyone. We recommend regularly cleaning surfaces and floors. You’ll find all the necessary cleaning equipment already in the apartment. If not, just contact the owner. They will gladly purchase the required cleaning materials for you, because a well-maintained apartment is in everyone’s interest.

Wooden surfaces require a different cleaning product than kitchen counters, for example, so be sure to use the appropriate products. Laminate and parquet should only be slightly damp, and wooden floors shouldn’t get too wet either. Avoid microfiber cloths for kitchen cleaning, as they can scratch the glossy cabinet fronts. Microfiber cloths are ideal for mirrors and baths.

Mattress Covers

Use covers for your mattresses and if possible, for your pillows. Stained mattresses don’t look or feel great to sleep on. Clean the covers regularly with your laundry.

Take these cleaning tips to heart and you’ll be on track for a stress-free relationship with your landlord. If you have any questions about cleaning certain materials in your temporary furnished rental, just ask your landlord.

Moving Out: A Tenant’s Guide to the Final Cleaning

Move-out cleaning for your temporary furnished rental: how to get your deposit back.

Everyone deserves to move in to a comfortable and well-cleaned apartment, and no tenant wants their first experience in a new apartment to be picking someone else’s hair out of the shower drain. Out of consideration to those moving in, then, all temporary furnished rentals require a thorough final cleaning.

Cleaning your apartment before moving out.

There are a few different options for who does the final cleaning (Endreinigung, auf Deutsch.) In most cases, the landlord or property management will organize the final cleaning with a professional company. Still, the tenant isn’t completely off the hook. So, what should you consider before handing in your keys?

(Of course, you should clean your apartment more than once! Unlike in a hotel, the tenant should leave the apartment in a well-maintained state. According to the rental agreement, the tenant is responsible for regularly cleaning and tidying the apartment. If you’ve taken care during the rental period, you’re on your way to a stress-free move out.)

What responsibilities does the tenant have before moving out?

Before moving out, tenants should follow these cleaning tips:

Laundry

Don’t leave a big pile of sheets and towels in the laundry. Otherwise, the cleaning service will need to wait out several wash cycles, or send the dirty laundry to a laundromat, at the cost of the tenant.

We recommend washing all linens prior to your departure and leaving only one set of sheets and towels per person unwashed. After all, everything is still technically in use until the time of the move.

Finally, don’t forget to check the laundry for stains. If there are any, don’t use any bleach products to remove them, or the linens will have to be professionally cleaned or purchased new.  As a last resort, get in touch with your landlord and purchase extra bed linen yourself before moving out.

When you leave, take out any laundry from the washing machine and hang everything up to dry. Leave the washing machine clean, with the door open.

Oven

Leave behind a clean oven, with any crust or grease removed. In difficult cases, you can leave some cleaning product on overnight.

Tidying

It’s best to leave the apartment in a tidy condition. Move any furniture (e.g. lamps or side tables) back to their original place. Clean your dishes and put them back into the cupboard. Any open food in the fridge should be tossed in the garbage or taken with you. Finally, empty the garbage and dispose of all bottles.

Can I do the final cleaning myself?

Sometimes, a tenant asks if they can do the final cleaning on their own. Most, though, are glad to see someone else take over. After all, you’ll be busy enough during the move.

Based on our experience, we recommend that tenants follow the previously mentioned steps, and leave the rest up to professionals. Everyone has different expectations regarding cleaning, and your landlord is more likely to be satisfied with the results of a cleaning that they’ve organized themselves. Of course, you should take care to leave the apartment in good condition when you leave, but we advise against hiring your own cleaning service for this. The reason being that you’ll have to double check afterwards to ensure that the apartment was cleaned properly.

Your landlord’s top priority is likely planning all moves in advance, and most furnished apartments are rented immediately after the departure of a tenant, with move-ins taking place sometimes even the same day, or late at night. The landlord needs to know in advance that the apartment will be in an acceptable state for a new tenant, and organizing a last-minute cleaning is difficult, especially at the end of the month. If the apartment has only been superficially cleaned, esentially, the new tenant’s move is jeopardized. The landlord, then, has many good reasons to organize the final cleaning themselves.