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How to Get Your Tenants to Clean Regularly (7 Tips)

A tenant with an attitude of cleanliness is a very good investment for a landlord. Tenants like these will guarantee a very low to zero damage in your rental property and the costs of maintenance will be less.

But there are other tenants who are quite the opposite. You might have come across one after failing to do a thorough background check. Whether you've got clean or dirty tenants, here are ways to ensure cleanliness at all times. Read on. 

1. "Brief" your tenants

Before they move into your property, tell them about your expectations, house rules, and cleanliness standards. Emphasize that their home has to be clean. If they share a common area, these areas should also be free of trash, mold, and pests. Let them know that cleaning is their responsibility and not yours.

2. Require cleanliness criteria in the lease

One way to make sure your tenants clean regularly is to include cleaning and criteria for cleanliness in the lease. This will encourage them to do the work because they know the consequences of not abiding by the lease terms. A lot of landlords make the mistake of not including cleanliness in the lease and because of that, they cannot easily evict tenants who turn out to be untidy pack rats.

3. Post very specific cleaning signages

Signages on trash or dirt hotspots would also encourage your tenants to maintain cleanliness in that area. Tenants are prone to disregard cleanliness on specific areas either because of an untidy personality or just plain carelessness. Postings will help in reminding them.

4. Record property condition and document the mess

Now, this is very important. Always keep photographic evidence of the original condition of the rental before letting the tenant settle in. You can use this as a reminder or piece of evidence evidence or leverage when performing a regular inspection, settling a dispute, or whenever you tend to a “pre-existed” damage reported by the tenant. 

5. Remind them regularly of cleaning

Talk to your tenants regularly about their cleaning performance. A simple “Hey, I saw something over that area, you should dispose of those properly and keep that area properly clean.” is better than leaving your tenant alone only to find that a landfill has already manifested in your property.

6. Inspect regularly

This is the best way to encourage tenants to clean. Visit your property regularly and inspect its condition. If you don’t like what’s happening, time to bring out a warning, the lease, and the photographic evidence of the property condition before they moved in. If you like how they treat your property, then offering a reward for their good behavior will encourage them to continue what they started. 

7. Lead by example and provide materials

Tenants would sometimes not maintain cleanliness in your property for the fear that they might do the cleaning wrong and would cause damages. You should lead by example by showing them the proper way to clean with the right materials. Provide them with the necessary materials as well.  

These are very important tips to follow in ensuring that your property will be clean throughout a tenant’s stay. For landlords with community-type properties, you can talk with your known tidy tenants and ask them for help in encouraging good behavior in your rental property. 

If you’re ready, make Landlord Prep your go-to resource for landlording education. Here, we offer a complete DIY landlording course to get you on the right track. Join our academy today. If you want, you can check out Flavia’s real estate investing webinar first!