What does “clean” mean in real estate? It depends on who you ask. What a Property Manager considers clean might be very different from what a tenant considers clean. There are also different definitions of clean in real estate. Read on for information about what clean means when in comes to vacating a rental property.
There is “broom clean”, which refers to standard sweeping and removal of all personal items. There is also “white glove clean” which is a deeper clean. For most states, broom clean is sufficient unless you have it written in the contract that it needs to be white glove clean.
For this reason, it’s important to clearly define what clean means for a property and what needs to be cleaned in the rental agreement. This way, tenants know what to expect when they are ready to move out, new renters will know they are moving into a clean property, and owners can be confident that their property will be cleaned properly.
The addendum to the rental agreement in Hawaii gives minimum cleaning standards. There is a nearly a page of vacating instructions for tenants with items to clean things such as walls, doors, baseboards, light switches, faceplates. To remove nails and picture hangers, thoroughly clean windows and screens, counter tops, cabinets, drawers, closets, and much more.
Property managers and owners can choose to put into the contract whether tenants will be responsible for cleaning or professional cleaning service will be hired. From a Property Manager and owner point of view you want a professional service rather than leaving it up to the tenant because you don’t know what their definition of clean is.
It’s important to note that in the rental agreement it says that it is the tenant’s duty to have the unit clean and in proper condition on the day the tenancy ends. Cleaning can’t be done after moving out or the tenants will be charged for the extra days of occupancy.
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