If you've ever rented a home before, you will be familiar with the importance of end of lease cleaning. This is the herculean task of returning the property to the exact state it was in as per your entry condition report. It might be the case that you have done all this work yourself once or twice, and then figured it was smarter to hire a specialist cleaning company—one that offers a guarantee of getting your bond back. This really is the easy way to go, but even a specialist cleaning company has its limitations.
If you were permitted to smoke inside your rental property, the cleaning job becomes even more complex. You will need to inform the cleaning company of this fact, so that they know exactly what needs to be done. Even then, there are a few things you might need to take care of yourself for an added assurance that you will get your bond back in its entirety. So what do you need to do?
Carpets and Drapes
The cleaning company will give your carpets a professional deep cleaning, and since you were smoking in the property, the carpets might also need to be deodorised. Cigarette smoke tends to embed itself in fibres, and while any lingering scent present in your furniture will disappear once the furniture is removed, you also need to consider your curtains and drapes. Ask the cleaning company if they are able to remove these for you, wash them, and then return them prior to your final inspection. It's generally unwise to do this yourself, since many types of curtains and drapes will not always emerge from your washing machine unscathed.
Is there any discolouration on your walls as a result of the cigarette smoke? Check all the documentation from when you moved in. Your landlord might have stipulated that the walls are repainted after you move out (which can sometimes be a requirement when smoking is permitted). If this is the case, then proceed accordingly (and ensure you allow enough time to do this before you need to return your keys). If repainting is not mandatory, you might still need to attend to any discolouration as this can jeopardise the return of your bond. There's an easy homemade cleaning option that can remove this discolouration, and this should take care of the problem quickly and easily.
The Ozone Factor
What if the smell of smoke still lingers even after all your hard work (and the hard work from the cleaning company)? To banish any stubborn scents, you need to call in the big guns. You'll need to rent an ozone generator. It's a portable generator that actually produces ozone gas, thus cleansing the air (and banishing the smell). There are some health risks involved, since ozone gas can irritate your eyes and respiratory system. Only use the generator for the length of time instructed by the rental company, and do not remain in your property while the generator is operating. Afterwards, you should open all your windows for a short time to allow the air to circulate and dissipate the ozone gas.
So while getting your bond back is slightly more complicated when you're a smoker, it's not all that difficult if you know what you're doing.