Getting the Outside of the Property Ready When You Vacate a Rental Property

When you rent a property you are renting the entire property. It’s common for tenants to not realise this, focusing more on the inside of the home and forgetting about the outside. Often the outside can be a bigger job than people realise.


Many people think on the day they leave they can simply mow the lawn. When they do this they are also mowing the weeds. Which is wrong. Instead the weeds need to be removed. Often I will hear a tenant say they sprayed the weeds just the other day. But that is also too late because when the exit report is done, the weeds are still there. So when leaving a property when should all this be done? Well it will take about 4 weeks to get on top of weeds. I find if I spray weeds with a broad leaf weed killer it takes about 14 days for them to die off, but often many will not fully die or some are missed altogether. So the only solution is to spray weekly for 4 weeks. If you do this by the time you hand back the keys all the weeds will be under control.



Some weed kills like Zero just kills everything it touches. Crazy dangerous stuff. Broad leaf weed killer is safe to spray on most lawns and will not kill the lawn instead just killing the weed. Amazing stuff really. But it’s important to get the mixture right. If you over mix the weed killer the lawn will die too. So follow the instructions very carefully and even do a small test area first. Once you have the mix right you are good to go spraying the weeds in your lawn and around the garden. If mixed right you will see the weeds dying in under 24 hours.

I use Amine 625 , which I get from Lindsay Rural. I have found this to be the most effective when mixed right. This and a 5 little spray bottle.


The lawn needs to look the same or better than when you moved in. I use a slow release lawn fertiliser that does not burn. Its granular that I sprinkle over the lawn with my hand. It’s then needs to be watered in or left for when it rains next. It’s easy, and safe, but takes about 3 weeks to start to work. If the lawn is looking a bit tired this is the best way to make it bounce back.  But if you have ruined certain areas of the lawn you need to consider lawn seed or turf. For lawn seed I use estate blend from Lindsay Rural. For turf I use Empire Zoysia.

Getting lawn ready for when you vacate will take you around 4 weeks, if you plan to do it right.


My preference for these is Zero weed killer, which will need around 7 days for it to work. Of course you can rip these out manually but if you leave roots the job is not done.  When using Zero weed killer you need to realise that this will kill everything. So to be extremely careful to only spray the weeds and not do it when windy. Wear a mask, long pants, long shirt and gloves then shower afterwards. It’s very possible that after a few days you will notice weeds you have missed so will need to do it again. That’s basically what happens to me every time.


5-litre spray bottles are ideal for all this but you can’t use 1 bottle for both types of weed killers. The Zero weed chemical will still be in the bottle, in the hose and in the nozzle and if you then use the same bottle for broad leaf, the Zero weed killer that’s still inside will just kill everything. I worked this out the hard way.



It’s possible when you moved in the garden had mulch in it. While you may not to replace it fully a top up would be wise.


Any plans that are easily reachable consider giving it a quick prune if you feel it’s needed to make it look neat and tidy. Some native plants never need to be touched while others needs regular pruning to keep then tidy and healthy.


This needs to be removed. Palm fronds can build up fast, they can’t be hidden in the garden or behind a shed you need to have them removed or taken to the closest tip.


Yes you are renting these too. You need to remove them and clean them, often a high pressure washer is all that’s needed on both sides then left to dry.


These get mould on them, spider webs, mud wasp nests, wasps, even bat poo. I’ve learnt if I first use a broom and some cleaner like sugar soap to wash them first and a high pressure cleaner second, then this make it easier than just using a high pressure cleaner. If you have two people then that’s even easier & faster.


Some detergent and high pressure clean is often all that’s needed.  It can feel a bit daunting but with a broom, sugar soap, high pressure cleaner and two people you can whiz around fairly fast.


You may not have realised how these areas have become dirty over your stay, I just use a pressure washer but it does take time. Oil on driveway is something you need to be really concerned about. Incredibly hard to get removed, so if you have made one of these get onto it early.


Just like inside lights these all need to work too. They need to be free of spider webs. Those big long pole with a big fuzzy thing on the end is perfect to do the entire house with.


Walls. Yes the walls of the house are your responsibility too. Yes you are renting the outside walls too. I mostly see mould, spider webs, and bird poo. But if people have kids look out. You may find hand prints and well just dirt. Yes it all needs to be cleaned. Again, a broom, sugar soap and high pressure cleaner is a good start. If there is a around with mould diluted bleach would need to be used.


These are the main things tenants miss when vacating a property. Mould appears on gutters, water tanks, paths and driveways. Weeds take time to kill and often need to be treated several times over several weeks, spider webs can be removed on the very last day and usually removed with a high pressure spray gun and broom.


Start about 4 weeks before your vacate date.

You are renting the outside of the home too.

You will need high pressure cleanser, buckets, ladder, hoses, sugar soap, bleach, spider web pole, weed spray, lawn fertiliser.

Exterior of the house needs cleaning including gutters, eaves and fly screens by removing them.

Lawn and gardens need to be weeded.

Gardens may need to be mulched.

Contact Byron today.

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I’m a licensed real estate agent on the Sunshine Coast Qld Australia. I have over 20 years of experience selling residential property and managing & selling investment properties here on the Sunshine Coast.

Let me know how I can help you.