House and Apartment Cleaning Archives - Smartz Cleaning Quotes Dublin
get rental deposit back from landlord rental agreement

What to do if your Landlord is refusing to return your Deposit?

  1. If your property agent or landlord is refusing to return your deposit you should ask for the prompt return of the deposit in writing. The advocacy group have provided template letters in the useful download section of their website which you can use.
  2. If your landlord of property agents claims that there are some rent arrears, outstanding utility bills or that there has been damage to the property, you should request documentary evidence from your landlord to back up these claims.
  3. If you have not been successful in securing the return of your deposit, you can make a complaint to the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB). The cost of submitting a complaint online through is €15. The cost of submitting a paper application is €25.

Useful links below:

Check if your rental property is registered with the Residential Tenancies Board:

Checklist for Students Renting for the first time:

RTB Dispute Resolution Process explained here:

Irish Tenancy Law – What do the new changes mean for me?

remove mould and mildew from bathroom shower using bleach

Remove Mould and Mildew using only regular Bleach

Clean Mould and Mildew from a Shower or Bathroom using just regular Bleach

There are many specialist cleaning products in the shops for removing mould and mildew, however these can be expensive, when in fact regular household bleach will do the same job at less cost. In this short video I explain how it’s done and what simple tools you will need.

Please wear protection over your eyes when using Bleach, otherwise it’s very dangerous!

Video Transcription

So in this quick video I just want to explain how you can remove mould and mildew residue from a shower or bath tub with a few simple products. In this case we’re just going to use regular bleach and I’ll explain how you use bleach to do this. You can also buy these custom specialist products for mould and mildew removal, these can be expensive when in fact ordinary bleach will do the same trick.

Before you do anything, a couple of tools you’re going to need – you’re going to need some kitchen roll, your bleach and this is a cheap garden sprayer (clean bottle) your bleach goes in there. This is your specialist product you can pay for if you want, but you don’t need it. With any of these cleaning products, especially bleach, you will need eye protection, highly recommended. Bleach is dangerous stuff in your eyes! You are also going to need some kind of scrubbing brush, this is a regular vegetable brush, and you got your ordinary old dish brush. You are also going to need some rubber gloves because you will be using bleach.

So, basically first a note about mould and mildew residue. Although this bathtub is pretty clean, the grout is old and needs to be replaced but I just want to demonstrate removing mould and mildew using bleach. The thing about mildew and mould is that it is a living organism and it does require a chemical on it and in this case we are just going to use regular bleach (off the shelf stuff). You want to put a fair measure in here, a good strong solution of bleach into your sprayer and simply go to the affected area and spray on quite a thick application of bleach.

Now you notice the bleach may start to drip down (in this case I’ve just filled this with water to demonstrate) but you’ll notice the bleach may start to drip down the bathtub so you do want to limit that, you don’t want too much bleach on your bathtub surface. But basically then come along just using your brush, this is a great brush for getting into the corners, and just a good scrub into the corners on all of your affected tiles, spray on everywhere and just leave it to sit for five or ten minutes. Let the bleach work its action into the mould and mildew. That will give it a little time.

When you are done then just come along with your shower head and simply rinse down everything, rinse all the bleach off. Be sure in the end to get your paper towel and dry off the affected area completely (with your rubber gloves on). So, there you have it folks, that is the cheap and quick solution to removing mould and mildew from a bathroom or shower without the need of specialist or expensive products.

Review of Karcher SC 1 Premium Steam Stick, Steam Cleaner

• Great brand, good value
• Heats up rapidly in just 3 minutes
• Very Compact and versatile, packs away neatly
• Works like a steam mop with attachments

• Not many tools
• Very small tank, have to refill often for larger jobs
• Weight is all in hand (it’s very light though, only 1.5Kg)
• Steam power is not variable

Key Features
• 250ml water tank
• 4 tools
• 4m cable
• 1.5kg without accessories
• Manufacturer: Karcher
• Review Price: €99.00

Overview – what is the Karcher SC1 Steam Stick?

The Karcher SC1 Steam Stick is a small powerful lightweight steam cleaner that can be used both as a steam mop or as a handheld cleaner for a more detailed jobs.

It’s small size and affordability makes it great for smaller domestic jobs. It’s also very affordable but if you’re looking for a more powerful steam cleaner to mop the entire house there are alternatives on the market that are easier in the hand with a larger capacity.

Design and Features

This lightweight steam cleaner is very practical and also lightweight car sharing make great tools and this is no exception. It comes with a variety of small tools for those small cleaning jobs and an extension handle for longer reach if you’re doing floor cleaning.

Extension tubes which are supplied are 45 centimetres long and the hose itself is 110 centimetres long so you can reach anywhere. The small detailing tools come in a handy mesh bag but it doesn’t come with very many tools. The tools include a small plastic brush, power nozzle and detail nozzle along with the floor cleaning head. You also get two terry towelling cloths, one size for floor cleaning and the other for the hand tool. These towels can be thrown in your washing machine for easy cleaning. If you’re looking for additional tools then you can visit the Karcher website where you’ll find a wide range of optional accessories.

The Karcher SC1 Steam Stick – What is it like to use?

The Karcher SC1 is surprisingly quick to get set up and started on first use. However it doesn’t come with any jug but its size is small enough that it can be refilled underneath a kitchen tap easily. In this case I used a small kitchen jug to fill the steam cleaner which works perfectly.

With a full tank of water to steam cleaner heat up in three minutes which is very impressive.

Like all steam cleaners there is a ‘run-in’ time which is the first time you pull the trigger the machine cops and splitters a lot of very hot water the first time you pull the trigger comma as you wait for the steam to make its way through.

A word of caution here, be sure to allow this water to run out of the machine onto the ground or into the sink as it does produce a fair amount of boiling hot water. It also comes with a safety trigger to be used when changing the tools or pausing between jobs. When testing this machine first time I actually used it to clean the inside of a car and at one point I had to clean the upholstery inside the roof of the car over my head so I was very careful to allow the boiling hot water to run through before operating the machine first onto the ground (I didn’t want very hot water to drip down on my head / face, as you can imagine).

The steam cleaner is extremely light and only 1.5 kilograms in weight I found it very easy to use in the hand however I’ve noticed on some reviews that some people complain of fatigue because the weight is all in your hand compared to other stick-style steam cleaners where the weight is lower down.

All the tools come in a nice mesh bag which is handy because you can put the tools back in the bag even when they’re slightly wet. Everything fits neatly back into the box and complete so it’s easy for storage.

The extension tubes and the cleaning head are very lightweight. However I phoned when using the steam cleaner in the house this has a disadvantage because it struggles to cope sometimes on more rugged services like a wooden floor where I had to put some extra effort to give it some momentum.

Having said that it does a fantastic job cleaning floors. This is a powerful steam cleaner which emits a lot of steam. One disadvantage is that the steam is not variable. Another disadvantage I found because of its small size I had to refill this steam cleaner often. For example when cleaning the car thoroughly I had to refill the steam cleaner at least four / five times. However it’s a small price to pay for a machine which is supposed to be the small jobs and its power and versatility overall left a great impression.

When finish cleaning this machine picks up nice and quickly. Simply turn it off and squeeze the trigger for a brief minute to release enough steam pressure that it’s now safe to empty. Then just packed all the tools in the mesh bag comma even when they are wet which is very practical. Everything fits neatly back into the box.

Should I buy the Karcher SC1 Steam Stick?

Definitely, yes! If you’re looking for a small powerful steam cleaner which can operate in the hand comfortably and also work as a steam mop for using on floors then this is the tool for you.
Karcher are known for making great tools this is no exception. Its small practical design and steam power output are very impressive and it cleans very effectively.

As professional cleaning company in Dublin we are used to working with a range of much larger more powerful steam cleaning tools. However this small compact powerful versatile steam cleaner left a very strong impression and indeed a smile on my face after using it. I would highly recommend it, and the reviews I’ve seen online elsewhere are also extremely positive for small jobs or domestic household use.

How To Keep A Clean Home – Cleaning Schedule

We put together this useful cleaning rota so that you can schedule your daily, weekly, monthly and seasonal house cleaning to keep on top of your tasks.

Having a cleaning schedule can help you focus on how to clean without getting distracted, bored or overwhelmed.

You can right-click on the infographic and download if you find it useful, or share it on social media. If you wish to use the infographic on your own blog / website please do so, just link back to this page.


photo of euro currency money, fifty euro notes

How to Claim Your Rental Deposit from your Landlord.

Getting your deposit back from a landlord these days when you’re renting a home or apartment is often a contentious issue that often requires some negotiation. Your relationship with your landlord may start out great and you may know this landlord for many months and years to come. I meet clients regularly for end of tenancy cleaning jobs in Dublin who tell me of their frustrations over many years of dealing with property agents or landlords who refuse to return the rental deposit, even though the person has hired a professional cleaner to help and often times returned the house / apartment in better condition than when they first moved in.

A typical deposit for a home or apartment in Dublin may be a substantial amount of money it could even be a couple of thousand euro. Landlords expect their rental property returned in good condition as in the terms of your rental agreement. Naturally a tenant may assume they will get the full deposit back if they’ve kept the property in good condition but sometimes this is not the case.

Unfortunately not all landlords treat their tenants fairly and if you’ve been wondering about why you didn’t get your full deposit returned to you or you didn’t get a complete refund it’s not difficult to see why this is oftentimes a sticking point when renting a property.

Please note although there is no specific time frame set down in Irish law about when a landlord must return deposit, advocacy services like recommend that in normal circumstances a deposit should be returned within 14 days of the end of a tenancy.

In this guide I have provided a few key steps to help you ensure that you get your full security deposit back.

Step 1. Read your lease carefully

The lease provided by your landlord or agent will tell you if you need to give notice and how much time is required. If your lease has an end date you can simply move out on or before that day. However some leases are automatically extend. If your lease extends, you need to give notice, or else you could be at risk of losing your security deposit for breaking your new lease. If you are on a month to month lease you will also need to give written notice, typically 30 days before you plan to move out. Be sure to get a receipt from your landlord that your notice was submitted on time!

Step 2. Understand some basic Irish tenancy law

There are certain conditions by law in which your landlord may retain part or all of your deposit, you need to know these!

  • Rent arrears
    If there is some rent outstanding or overdue at the end of your tenancy your landlord may legitimately retain all or part of your deposit to cover the arrears.
  • Damage to the property of normal wear and tear
    Your landlord may withhold part or all of the deposit if there has been damage to the property above what is considered normal wear and tear. Normal wear and tear is the deterioration that occurs over a period of time due to ordinary and reasonable use of a premises.At the end of your tenancy you are not required to get a property professionally cleaned unless it is a condition of release but it can be recommended. Before leaving you should clean the property totally, remove all of your belongings, dispose of all rubbish and take photographs to show the condition in which it was returned. Ideally you should ask for a final inspection of the house or apartment with your landlord or housing agent.If the property agent or landlord has a claim that there has been damage to the property they should offer receipts or invoices showing the cost which were incurred in carrying out the necessary repairs. Later in this article I will run through some top tips to help you get your property back in the condition that you originally found it when you moved in.
  • Don’t have any unpaid utility bills
    If you owe any money for unpaid utility bills for example gas or electricity and if the utility bill is it in the landlord’s name they may withhold part or all of the deposit to cover these costs. Request for a copy of the bill to ensure you are paying only what you owe.

Step 3. Complete an apartment rental inspection checklist.

When moving into the property for the first time work with the landlord to check off all boxes ensure that everything is in working order and note any existing blemishes, damage, stains and any utilities that are not in full working order.

Bring a camera with you, before you unpack any of your stuff and  take pictures or videos of your apartment (every room / cupboard / wardrobe / bathroom / shower / toilet etc) and note the condition that everything is in before you unpack anything. Be sure to pay extra attention to anything that looks less than top quality. If you document everything your landlord cannot then claim that you caused the damage which was existing in the first place.

Once you’ve completed this checklist make a signed and dated copy of it for your landlord and for yourself. Keep the photographs and videos online in a place you know you can get you can reach them, for example you can email the pictures to yourself store them in Dropbox uploading to Google Drive (remember to label them so you can find them easily!).

Step 4. Start organising and cleaning your house or apartment.

  • To ensure you have a chance of getting your full deposit back at the end of your tenancy you need to start organising to have your place fully cleaned and reassembled into the condition that you found it when you first moved in.
  • Patch up any holes or fix any blemishes on the walls of furniture where you hung posters, pictures, etc
  • Repaint the walls the original colour if necessary (you may need to consult your landlord first!)
  • Fix any cupboard doors, cabinets or loose hinges that might be from general wear and tear
  • Deep clean the refrigerator, oven, microwave and dishwasher
  • Sweep, vacuum and mop all floors once you have all of your furniture moved out
  • Carpets may have acquired some blemishes in your time in the house so it worth cleaning them with off the shelf products or if necessary hire a professional carpet cleaner.
  • Showers and bathrooms after deteriorate rapidly over time deep cleaning all surfaces and the grout thoroughly.
  • Check all taps are working, check the toilet seat is fitted properly or replace with a new one which can be very cheap.

Step 5. Take photos / video the day you move out

Photograph the condition in which you left the apartment or house, take pictures of every room, surface, all of the fixtures and fittings, carpets, wall coverings, shower / bathroom and deliver these to your landlord the same day if possible. If you are unable to send these pictures by email, don’t worry about it, these days all digital cameras have timestamp data included in the photo if you later need to prove the specific date and time they were taken.

Step 6. Request a final walk-through of the apartment or house with your landlord

After you’ve cleaned and fix up the house ask your landlord to inspect the place with you present. Remember that landlords or agents do not have to agree to do a walk through with you. Many prefer to do the walk-through alone in their own time at their leisure to ensure that you didn’t damage the place beyond normal wear and tear. Regardless of this, they should still be able to give you a full list of any damages and the necessary charges to fix them.

Step. 7  Tie up any loose ends

The day that you return the keys you should also leave a forwarding address and if you would like the security deposit returned somewhere apart from your forwarding address, make sure to leave that with your landlord too. Let your landlord know where to send the security deposit.

If your basic negotiation efforts to claim your rent deposit back from your landlord fail then follow our link with advice below on what to do when rent deposit is not returned.