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  • Writer's pictureKiyomi Hotema

Dealing with a Dirty Move-in: Steps to Take When Your New Apartment Isn't Clean

Moving into a new apartment is an exciting endeavour, filled with anticipation and the promise of a fresh start. However, what happens when you open the door to your new abode and find it less than welcoming due to its less-than-clean condition?

While landlords are generally required to provide apartments in sanitary conditions, they aren't obligated to ensure spotless cleanliness. Understanding your rights and taking proactive steps can make a big difference in getting your new space up to your standards.

Understanding the Situation

When you sign the "état des lieux" (a move-in condition report), you essentially agree to accept the apartment in the state it's in at that moment. This document outlines the apartment's condition and contents, serving as a reference point to establish whether any damages or cleanliness issues occurred during your tenancy.

So, if you notice a lack of cleanliness upon move-in, the first step is to document the issues.

Step 1. Document the Issues

Before you start the cleaning process, it's crucial to document the existing cleanliness issues. Take clear photos of areas that are dirty, damaged, or in need of repair. This visual evidence will support discussing the matter with your landlord or property management.

Make notes detailing the specific areas and the extent of the cleanliness problems. This documentation will help you build a strong case for negotiating with your landlord.

Step 2. Communicate with Your Landlord

Once you've documented the cleanliness issues, it's time to talk with your landlord. Approach the conversation calmly and politely.

Explain your concerns about the cleanliness of the apartment and reference the état des lieux to highlight the discrepancies between the agreed-upon conditions and the actual state of the apartment.

Step 3. Negotiate for Cleaning

When discussing the cleaning issue with your landlord, it's essential to be open to negotiation. Remember that you're not necessarily looking to point fingers or place blame but rather to find a solution that benefits both parties.

Depending on the situation and the landlord's attitude, you might be able to negotiate for them to cover the cost of cleaning or even hire professional cleaners.

Step 4. Take Matters into Your Own Hands

In some cases, the most efficient solution might be to take care of the cleaning yourself and then seek reimbursement from the landlord. If you decide to go this route, keep all receipts, invoices, and records related to the cleaning expenses.

Create a clear and organized record to present to your landlord for reimbursement. This approach shows your willingness to take responsibility while seeking a fair resolution.

Step 5. Clean the Apartment

If you opt to clean the apartment yourself, here's a step-by-step guide to ensure you cover all the bases:

1.      Gather Supplies

Before you embark on your cleaning journey, gather all the necessary supplies to make the task more efficient. You'll want to have various tools and products at your disposal.

These may include brooms, mops, different cleaning solutions (all-purpose cleaner, glass cleaner, disinfectant), scrub brushes for tougher stains, paper towels, and garbage bags. The right supplies will help you tackle different surfaces and areas effectively.

2. Declutter

Before you dive into the actual cleaning, take a moment to declutter the space. Remove any trash, old items, or debris the previous occupants might have left behind.

This step not only makes the cleaning process smoother but also helps you see the true state of the apartment and identify areas that need more attention.

3. Dust and Vacuum

Start by dusting all visible surfaces in the apartment. Dust can accumulate on countertops, shelves, and light fixtures, making the space unkempt. Use a microfiber cloth or a duster to remove dust from these surfaces.

Once dusting is complete, vacuum the floors. Vacuuming eliminates dust, dirt, and debris that may have settled on the floors. Be sure to vacuum open areas, under furniture, and along baseboards.

4. Kitchen and Bathroom

Focus on areas more prone to accumulating grime and dirt, such as the kitchen and bathroom. In the kitchen, clean countertops to remove any leftover food particles and spills. Wipe down sinks to remove water stains and soap scum.

Don't forget to clean kitchen appliances like stovetops, ovens, and microwaves. Pay attention to cleaning sinks, toilets, tubs, and showers in the bathroom. Use appropriate cleaners and scrub brushes to remove soap scum and stains.

5. Floors and Carpets

Hard floors and carpets require separate attention. Mop hard floors using a suitable cleaning solution. This removes dirt and grime and adds a fresh feel to the space. For carpets, thoroughly vacuum to lift dirt and debris from the fibers.

Consider if carpets appear particularly dirty. Clean floors and carpets contribute significantly to the overall cleanliness of the apartment.

6. Windows and Mirrors

Clean windows and mirrors to enhance the apartment's appearance and bring in more natural light. Use a streak-free glass cleaner to ensure windows and mirrors are crystal clear.

Removing dirt and smudges from glass surfaces can make a surprising difference in how fresh the space feels.

7. Cabinets and Drawers

Take the time to wipe down the interior and exterior of cabinets and drawers. This step is especially vital in the kitchen, where cabinets can accumulate food particles and grease.

Use a gentle cleaning solution to ensure you're not damaging any finishes. Cleaning cabinets improves hygiene and makes the apartment feel more inviting.

8. Walls and Baseboards

Inspect the walls and baseboards for any marks, scuffs, or dirt. Spot clean as needed using a damp cloth and mild detergent. Pay attention to areas around light switches and high-traffic areas that might show more wear.

Cleaning walls and baseboards adds a finishing touch to the apartment's cleanliness.

9. Ventilation and Light Fixtures

Dust accumulation in ventilation grilles, ceiling fans, and light fixtures can affect indoor air quality and the overall ambiance of the apartment. Use a duster or a vacuum attachment to remove dust from these areas.

Clean light fixtures and shades to let more light shine, making the space feel brighter and more inviting.

10. Dispose of Trash

After completing all the cleaning tasks, ensure all cleaning waste and trash are properly disposed of. Double-check drawers, cabinets, and hidden corners to ensure you haven't left any cleaning materials behind.

Dispose of everything appropriately so that the apartment is not only clean but also clutter-free.

While moving into an apartment that isn't as clean as you'd hoped can be frustrating, remember that proactive communication and a willingness to negotiate can lead to a satisfactory resolution.

Remember, if you're ever in need of professional cleaning assistance, companies like KLIN FRANCE Home & Office Cleaning are here to help. Our expert cleaning services can effectively restore the cleanliness and freshness of your apartment, allowing you to focus on settling into your new surroundings with peace of mind.

Don't hesitate to reach out and explore the options they offer – turning your apartment into a pristine haven has never been easier.

With proactive steps, effective communication, and the support of reliable cleaning services like KLIN FRANCE, you can transform your new apartment into the comfortable and inviting home you envision.

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