How To Clean Your Apartment Post-Pet Renters

By Ashley Paskill on August 6, 2023

Allowing tenants to have pets is a great way to boost your number of renters. However, it can also add difficulty when it comes to cleaning between tenants. Cleaning and maintenance can be difficult without pets. There are things you can do to make this process easier and less expensive for you and your current and future tenants.

Take before and after photos

Before you even allow your tenants to bring in pets, take photos of what the property looked like before they moved in. This way, you can compare these photos to photos you take when they move out. If there is significant damage, you will have evidence so the tenants cannot say that the damage was there before they moved in. Be sure that there are clear photos of every area of the apartment and that damage photos are not overexaggerated.

Communicate with tenants

Communicating with tenants while they are renting your property can help ensure that your space will be able to be cleaned easily once they move out. Check in on the space every so often to make sure things look good and to see if your tenants need any advice for cleaning with pets. Also, make sure that tenants know how to reach you in case they need any repairs or maintenance done, even if their pets caused this. Ensure that your policies regarding pets, maintenance, and cleaning are clearly outlined in your lease and be available in case your tenants have any questions or need clarification on these policies.

Have your tenants help

Before your tenants with pets move out, have them help clean by doing a preliminary cleaning. Sure, you will still have to do a deep clean once they move out, but having them help clean before they move will save you time and money. Tell them tips and tricks for cleaning with pets, including using damp rubber gloves to pick up pet hair from surfaces such as furniture. If your tenants can get most of the pet hair and dirt out, your cleaning job will be easier.

Use certain fabrics and surfaces

If you provide furniture for tenants, consider swapping out furniture and other decorative fabrics for ones that can be easily cleaned. The fabric should be able to be completely washed in soap and water and come out looking just like new. To avoid further messes, you may even decide to swap out carpets for hardwood or tile in some rooms. Make these swaps between tenants so you do not disturb current tenants.

Image: Cong H via

Get your carpets cleaned professionally

It is no secret that pet hair and dirt get everywhere, and it is especially difficult to clean these out of carpets. Professional carpet cleaners have the knowledge and equipment to be able to handle even the toughest pet jobs. It may cost more than cleaning the carpets yourself, but this way, the carpets will be clean for the next tenants. This is especially important if your new tenants have an allergy to pets. As mentioned above, you may even opt to swap carpets for hardwood floors for properties where you allow pets so that it is easier, and less expensive, to clean.

Keep the security deposit if needed

When you do the inspection before cleaning, make a list of damages that were left, including ones from pets. Fortunately, damage caused by pets can be covered by the security deposit you collected when your tenants signed the lease. Make an itemized list of damages and take pictures. Document damage using photos from before they moved in and after the damage was done so you have evidence of why you held the deposit. This money can go into any cleaning and repairs you need to do before new tenants move in.

Check into your tenants’ renter’s insurance

If your tenants had renter’s insurance, see if their policy allows for claims for damages caused by pets. Put in a claim to help cover the costs of damage and cleaning for pets if they offer coverage. Moving forward, if you do not currently require renter’s insurance, you may want to require it, especially for tenants who have pets. This way, you have the potential for extra funds to help with cleaning and repairs that need to be done.

Invest in landlord insurance

As a landlord, you should have landlord insurance to help protect your properties from things like fires and vandalism. This coverage usually includes damage caused by pets. If the basic policy does not cover pet damage and you allow pets, check to see if you can purchase additional coverage in case you do need to repair damages caused by pets. Having landlord insurance that covers pet damage is crucial, especially since your tenants’ renter’s insurance policy may not cover the damage.

Cleaning a property after pet renters move out can be challenging, but there are things you can do before, during, and after their lease to make things easier and more cost-effective for all parties involved.

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