Windows do not get enough attention when it comes to their cleanliness. Even though they make up most of a property’s wall space, people rarely give them attention until they discover large cracks or holes in them. The thing is, dirt and stains on windows look just as bad!
There are beneficial factors for both Landlords and Tenants when it comes to having cleaner windows.
Here are some benefits for the landlord:
- Included in the make-ready, to show tenants the condition the windows should be when they move out.
- Set the expectation that you, the “landlord,” take the property’s cleanliness seriously.
- Start a good relationship with the tenant from the beginning.
- Detect and reduce the likelihood of algae and mold growth.
- Tenants are more likely to pay more for natural lighting.
Here are the benefits for the Tenants:
- Discovering damages that cause utility bills to skyrocket.
- Great natural lighting as part of decorating the space for a more warm and inviting atmosphere.
- Help reduce dust mites and promote better air quality.
- Crystal clear view of the outside, especially if it’s beautiful scenery.
- Pets, such as cats and dogs, may enjoy looking out the windows.
As you can see, cleaner windows offer many excellent benefits to both parties!
But when it comes to cleaning and keeping them clean, who should be responsible? Most people will say, “It’s in the lease agreement.” and this is correct.
However, in reality, when it comes to window cleaning, rarely does the windows’ maintenance ever get brought up in the conversation or stated on the lease. The “who is responsible for cleaning the windows” depends on different scenarios that favor one over the other.
Instead of pointing fingers at who should be responsible, we should look at both sides, the scenarios, consequences, and benefits, to see what makes sense.
Why The Landlord Takes The Responsibility Of Cleaning The Windows
As the landlord, some scenarios make more sense to take control to avoid future problems resulting in headaches and wasted time.
Not only that but taking responsibility for cleaning the windows can work in your favor in helping you attract the right tenants who may even pay more for the rental.
1. Take Responsibility And Avoid Insurance & Lawsuits
Imagine your tenant using a ladder to reach the 2nd story windows. It looks risky, and the chances of the ladder slipping send your thoughts spiraling down a road of unimaginable consequences. The last thing you’d want to deal with is insurance, injury claims, and lawsuits.
If you’re worried about tenants getting injured or climbing up a ladder to clean some dirty windows, then it would make more sense to take the responsibility into your own hands.
The riskiest windows to clean are the exterior windows. It is best to have to take responsibility for the outside and let the tenant take care of the inside.
It would also be challenging to ask tenants to do the labor required to clean the exterior windows.
2. Detection Issues Throughout The Rental Property
Are there small openings, cracks, broken seals, or condensation in the windows? What about mold growth? Are there rotting of the plywoods, sidings, and window frames?
Cleaning the windows can be especially beneficial in detecting early damages and get them fixed early on.
One primary concern with any property is mold growth. Mold can cause allergic reactions, respiratory issues, and many more health complications.
If damages and mold issues aren’t taken care of early on, it puts the tenants at risk and the landlord at blame. And not to forget the thousands of dollars in repair and mold removal.
3. Cleaning Windows As Make-Ready For New Tenants And Setting Proper Expectations From The Start
You’ll have to clean the windows for new tenants either way. But the thing with cleaning windows from the start is, it helps build your relationship with your tenant from an early stage.
New tenants would appreciate the cleaned windows as they prepare to move into their new home.
It also sets proper expectations of the condition you want, not just the windows to be in, but also the entire property. Show the tenants that you genuinely care about the property, and they’ll treat it right from the start.
4. Raise Your Prices With More Natural Light And The Views
If your rental property has a nice view looking out the windows, it would be wise to have the windows cleaned thoroughly. Show off a must-have feature that your future tenant will not want to miss out on.
With a clear view from the windows, tenants have more incentive to keep the windows clean when having guests.
Cleaner windows will also allow more natural light to pass through and illuminate the atmosphere. Natural lighting is a decorative feature and can be another great selling point to justify your desired price.
Why Tenants Should Take Responsibility For Cleaning The Windows
When tenants take the responsibility of cleaning the windows, it’ll usually be the inside, but only the windows they can reach. Again, we want to avoid dealing with injuries, insurance, and any lawsuits.
As tenants, interior window cleaning can be an easy task to check off during their spring cleaning every year.
Most lease agreements will ask the tenant to take care of the inside windows as part of their renting area.
1.) Cleaning The Inside Windows To Detect Issues & Prep The Windows For The Summer & Winter Months In Advance
Like the things landlords look for when cleaning the outside windows, instead of looking for mold growth, tenants can check to ensure there aren’t damages present from the inside.
Why should tenants be concerned with discovering damages on the inside?
It’s to prevent skyrocketing their monthly electric bill. Damaged components of a window can cause poor insulation. Poor insulation will cause the HVAC system to work much harder during the summer and winter months.
Overworking the HVAC system can also cause it to break down faster, resulting in more repair costs, which the landlord might not be happy to hear.
Windows aren’t just there to look pretty. They also serve a purpose in insulating the property by keeping the temperature inside at room temperature.
Other Issues That Damaged Windows Can Cause?
Condensation & Mold:
Condensation can happen in between the two panes of double-pane windows. This occurrence is when the windows begin to fog up, and there’s just no way to clean them.
Over time, the moisture and humidity between the window panes make it a perfect environment for mold to grow. The mold then spreads throughout surrounding areas and causes rotting of the wood around the windows.
Insects & Animals:
If you hate insects, then don’t let them in!
During the spring and summer seasons in Austin, flies, ladybugs, and many small animals look for small openings on your windows to enter the property.
Cleaning the windows at least every 3-6 months will allow tenants to check for openings around the window unit and surround walls and edges.
2.) Better Air Quality For Your Cozy Place
Behind every window curtain, shade, and blind, you’ll find a cluster of dead insects, lizard feces, insect feces, spiderwebs, and dust.
Over time, as all the nasty stuff accumulates, it can become airborne (mostly dust), and you, the tenant, will be the one breathing it all in.
If you haven’t cleaned the inside of your windows in quite some time, you can expect low air quality. You’ll be breathing in toxins that cause allergic reactions and respiratory complications.
3.) Enjoy Looking Out The Windows Your Pets Will Too!
Do you have a nice view looking out the windows?
Maybe you do, but it’s all hidden underneath a layer of dust clouds and heavy hard water stains.
Tenants, your windows can make a great attention getter and conversation starter when you have guests over.
The natural light you get from clean windows is also an added plus when decorating your space.
And finally, if you have pets, they’ll appreciate a clean window to look out from, especially if you have cats.
An Austin, TX window cleaning company, Full Color Cleaners, advises landlords and tenants to separate who should be responsible for cleaning which part of the windows. Also, be sure to bring it up and mention it on the lease agreement.
This separation of responsibility creates a great relationship and synergy between the landlord and the tenant. It establishes the landlord’s desired expectation and makes the rental property a safe, healthy, and comfortable environment that tenants would enjoy. And most importantly, it allows both landlord and tenants to detect issues that can save both time, money, and headaches.