Cleaning tips and advice

Regarding the use of your rented apartment

The following tips and advice are designed to help you treat the rented object and items with care. By following this advice, you are playing an important part in ensuring that the furniture and fittings are kept clean and remain in good working order for a long time.

When you report an issue of disrepair to the property management, we will arrange for it be fixed without delay. When the repair has been carried out, you will automatically receive an invoice taking into account the sum you as a tenant are obliged to pay. In such a case, you have no influence on the cost!

When you signed up to the tenancy, you agreed to bear the costs for smaller repairs up to ancertain amount (for each repair). This German legislation was introduced to protect the landlord from having to carry the cost for any minor damages to the property that may occur during the tenancy. Please note that these costs can be charged to you regardless of the cause of the damage. The total acceptable amount for one year is limited to a certain percentage of the annual basic “cold” rent (see tenancy agreement).

We would like to assure you, however, that in keeping with the provision of commercial due diligence we only contract firms that charge prices that are in line with the particular trade. Furthermore, you will also receive a guarantee for any work that has been commissioned by the property management and subsequently carried out.

By using and treating the rented objects and items with due care, you yourself are contributing to cutting costs and making savings!

1. Bath and kitchen

If the pressure on the mixer tap becomes less, this can be a sign that the aerator (the steel regulator at the tap spout) is clogged. The aerator should be cleaned at regular intervals to remove limescale deposits and prevent fouling. Use a spanner or wrench to loosen and remove the aerator, but please take care not to otherwise come into contact with the mixer tap with the tool you are using as this could scratch or damage the chrome.

When you have unscrewed the aerator, remove the mesh filters and rinse thoroughly. If more stubborn limescale deposits have already formed, it is best to soak the aerator in a cleaning agent and water over a short period. This makes it much easier to clean again. To put a shine back on your chrome kitchen and bathroom fittings, simply clean regularly using a suitable cleaning agent and then polish with a soft cloth. Shower hoses and holders can also be cleaned regularly with limescale remover. This not only keeps them looking good, but also ensures that the fittings work properly for a long time to come (prevents the fine nozzles from clogging).

Sanitary fittings

Please make sure that you also clean under and behind the bathroom sink and toilet. A bathroom sink can look very clean from above, but it is sometimes a different story altogether if the underneath of the sink is not cleaned regularly. The water outlet of the toilet, where the water stands below the bowl, also needs to be cleaned at regular intervals. Toilet cleaners can be bought online or at your local supermarket or store.

Important: Blockages don’t just happen. If water takes long to drain from the sink bowl, then this is generally a sure sign that a blockage is imminent. Use a drain cleaner or similar product at the first sign of a blockage. You can also buy sieves very cheaply online or from your local supermarket or household goods supplier. The sieves are simply placed over the plug hole and prevent, for example, hair and dirt from collecting in the drain pipe.

Gas or electric cookers

If you have rented a cooker along with your apartment, then this needs to be cleaned and properly looked after. Clean all the parts that have been used thoroughly after each use. When you use the oven to cook food, it is best to put tin foil under the food you are cooking as a precautionary measure, especially when using an electric cooker. This makes the baking trays or oven grids much easier to clean afterwards.

Airing

Some bathrooms (mostly those without a window) have a separate electric ventilation system. The mesh screens in the ventilation duct should be carefully removed and cleaned with soapy water every 3 months. Clogged screens prevent proper ventilation and can damage to the ventilation system.

2. Windows and doors

It is necessary to not only clean the window and door panes regularly, but also to make sure that the frames are cleaned properly too. You may NOT drill into windows, door frames or the door leaf (especially PVC frames). Use normal household cleaning agents to clean PVC frames. Do NOT use any acidic cleaning agents, as these can cause damage to the synthetic material. Please do not forget to wipe over the window ledge when cleaning the windows.

In most cases there are small slits that allow water to run off when it has rained against the window. The slits must be cleaned regularly to avoid them from becoming clogged and water from running over. By the way, an especially effective way to dry the wet and clean panes and make them shine again is to use a soft chamois leather cloth.

You may NOT mount additional nameplates on the door – your name should be clearly visible on the doorbell to the apartment.

3. Floors, walls and balconies

Irrespective of the type of flooring in your apartment – carpeting, floorboards, laminate, or floor tiles – all flooring must be cleaned using normal household cleaning agents and NOT cleaning agents containing solvents. Only clean laminate with a moist mop or cloth. Do NOT use a wet mop. You can also buy a wide variety of special cleaning agents for cleaning tile flooring.

Private objects may NOT be mounted on or attached to façade areas or balconies. This is to ensure that any rain or melting water can easily run off. For this same reason, do NOT put down any flooring on balconies or terraces which could block any drains. Incidentally, tenants are obliged to keep drains clear at all times. The use of satellite dishes is prohibited.

4. How to air rooms

Air all rooms in your apartment regularly, if possible 4 times a day. To do so open all windows and leave wide open for 5 to10 minutes (cross ventilation, creating a draught), including when it’s cold outside or raining. This method allows the air to be exchanged as quickly as possible. This length of time is sufficient for the moist room air to be replaced by cold but dry air from outside. Longer airing times over a single period only cause walls to cool down.

The higher the temperature difference between the outside (cold air) and inside (warm air), the more important airing becomes. You should avoid leaving windows ajar (especially during the heating period) as this will lead to the walls cooling down. It costs more energy to heat the room up than if you were to air repeatedly. Heating up cold air costs little energy. Heating up walls that have already cooled down gobbles up energy.

Remember to close the thermostatic radiator valves when airing. The incoming fresh air has a lower temperature than the air already in the room and this causes the temperature sensor to open the valves all the way. Reset the valves to their previous position when you have finished airing.

You should immediately open the window and close the door when you are cooking or have just had a bath or shower. This allows large amounts of water vapour to be conducted directly out of the bathroom or kitchen and away from the rest of the apartment where it could settle as moisture. If the bathroom or shower room has no windows, then leave the door closed and the extractor fan running until the tiles have fully dried.

Do not put furniture, cupboards and wardrobes directly up against the wall, especially if it’s an outer wall. Leave a ventilation gap of at least 5cm, so that the air can circulate between the piece of furniture and the wall. It is therefore advisable to lay 5cm blocks underneath cupboards or wardrobes that have a solid skirt. The same applies to cellar rooms, even when they are heated.

Curtains, especially those in corners, prevent proper ventilation and drying. The same can be said of net curtains. They may allow light to shine through, but they can obstruct air circulation to a considerable degree. That’s why curtains or net curtains should not touch the floor in front of radiators.

Wall surfaces should not “sealed” against vapour by using vinyl, metal or washable wallpaper or foil wallpapers. The same goes for wall paint, especially washable or scrub-resistant emulsion or latex paint. The walls and façades of the properties have been painted with a mineral paint that has a high vapour permeability. It is important that this is kept in mind when you paint your walls again.

The apartment must be adequately heated, because only air that has been heated can soak up the moisture in a room like an invisible sponge. Air which has a temperature of 0°C can only absorb 5g of water per m³ whereas at 20°C it can absorb as much as 17.5g per m³. A hygrometer can be used to measure the saturation level of the air and display it as relative humidity. A relative humidity of between 40% and 60% is considered desirable for health and comfort.

If it can be proved that any damage which has occurred to the property occurred as a result of the rooms not being properly aired, then the tenant will be obliged to bear the full costs of remedying said damage.