The Most Common Home Repairs After Moving Out

Moving out? Don't overlook essential home repairs that can enhance your property’s market appeal and secure your deposit. Discover essential fixes to make before handing over the keys.

12 min read

The Most Common Home Repairs After Moving Out

Key takeaways

  1. Before starting any repairs, thoroughly document the current condition of the property with photos and notes. 
  2. Concentrate your efforts on house repairs that make the most significant visual and functional impact, such as wall repairs and paint touch-ups.
  3. Handle simple DIY tasks yourself, such as sealing draughts around windows and doors, touching up paint, and minor plumbing fixes like replacing washers or unclogging drains. 
  4. For more significant concerns, such as electrical system checks, roof repairs, or extensive plumbing issues, get expert advice and hire professionals. 
  5. Simple updates like replacing outdated light fixtures, switches, and door handles can modernise the look of your home with relatively little investment but significant aesthetic payoff.
  6. Ensure the exterior of your home, including gardens, patios, and pathways, is clean, well-maintained, and inviting.
  7. Establish a routine for regular maintenance checks throughout your occupancy, not just when moving out. 

Moving out? Whether you’re passing the torch to new buyers or setting the stage for the next batch of renters, making sure your place looks its best is key. It’s easy to forget those small fixes and touch-ups amidst the chaos of moving, but trust me, they can make or break the appeal of your place. Think of it as giving your home a little TLC to boost its charm and prevent those tiny quirks from becoming big, wallet-draining headaches down the line. This guide’s got you covered with all the nifty fixes that’ll make your property the belle of the ball in the housing market. Renting? You’ll want to get those essentials sorted to secure your bond deposit back. Whether you're a home-tending veteran, taking the seller’s plunge for the first time, or just handing over the keys to your landlord and agent, getting a grip on these basics will help you sail smoothly through the transition while keeping your home’s integrity in check.

Why repair your home after moving out?

Fixing up your place after you've packed up and moved might seem a bit like taking a step back, especially if you've just sunk your savings into a shiny new home. But here's the kicker: putting a bit of time and elbow grease into sprucing up your old spot can really pay off. First off, it makes your place a hot ticket item on the market, catching the eyes of eager buyers or renters. A home in tip-top shape doesn't just sit around; it draws in better offers and might even kick off a bidding war in a hot market. Plus, dealing with repairs now means you're less likely to get caught in price haggles after a home inspection uncovers any nasty surprises. And let's not forget, patching things up is also a solid move for getting back that full bond from your landlord, all neat and tidy.

1. Wall repairs

Walls often bear the brunt of everyday living, from hanging pictures to accidental impacts, leaving behind small damages that can detract from a home's overall appearance. Once you've moved out you'll be able to see all the imperfections clearly and patching up these walls is a regular part of home maintenance. Before handing over the keys, it’s important to restore your walls to a pristine state. Here are some steps to effectively address these issues:plaster wall repairs

Filling holes and cracks

Start by assessing the walls for any holes, dents, screw holes or cracks and remove any nail heads before starting the repair work. Use Gyprock multipurpose joint compound for smaller imperfections, applying it smoothly with a putty knife. For larger holes, you might need a patch kit or a piece of plaster or drywall to reinforce the area with perforated plaster jointing tape before applying the compound. Allow the repair to dry thoroughly, then sand it down to create a smooth, level surface.


A fresh coat of paint is one of the simplest yet most transformative home repairs you can make. Choose a neutral colour that will appeal to a wide range of potential buyers or simply match the colour if you are renting. Before painting, ensure the walls are clean and free from dust. Apply primer if you’re changing colours, or if repairs have been extensive, to ensure an even finish. Use high-quality paint and tools for the best results, applying two coats for a polished look.

Tips for a professional Finish

  • Always clean the walls before applying plaster joint compound or paint.
  • Use painter’s tape to protect trim and ceilings for sharp paint lines.
  • Invest in good lighting to spot and fix any inconsistencies on the wall surfaces.

Restoring your walls not only improves the visual appeal of your home but also signals to prospective buyers or tenants that the property has been well-maintained, potentially speeding up the sale or rental process.

2. Flooring fixes

Flooring is a critical aspect of a home's appeal, and visible wear or damage can start to show up when all the furniture has been moved and left untouched can be a turn-off for potential buyers or renters. Addressing these issues not only enhances the appearance of your property but also increases its market value. Here’s how to tackle common flooring repairs:

Hardwood floor restoration

Hardwood floors are prized for their durability and aesthetic, but they are prone to scratches and dullness over time. Light scratches can be treated with a matching wood marker or a small amount of stain. For deeper scratches and general wear, sanding down the surface and applying a new smooth finish can restore the original glow of the hardwood. This process may require a qualified professional assistance for optimal carpet cleaning

Carpet cleaning or replacement

Carpets absorb a lot of wear and can quickly become stained and tired-looking. After moving out, inspect your carpet for noticeable stains or fraying carpet signalling a need for replacement. Professional carpet cleaning can revive light to moderately soiled carpets, bringing them back to life and eliminating odours. A good interval is to get it done every six months as part of your regular home maintenance routine. In cases where the carpet is heavily stained or damaged, replacing it may be more cost-effective and appealing to those looking at your home.

tile repairTile repairs and grout cleaning

Chipped or cracked tiles can significantly detract from your home's aesthetic. Where possible, replace damaged tiles with matching ones. If replacement tiles are unavailable, filling in chips with epoxy or using a tile repair kit can be a temporary fix. Re-grouting can also refresh the overall look of tiled areas, making them appear new and well-kept.

Real estate agents and landlords are particularly picky with the cleanliness and tile cracks so ensuring that you have this little home repair covered and the cleaners have done a thorough job cleaning all tiles and grout lines in all wet areas from kitchen splashbacks, bathroom wall tiles to toilet vanity tiles, this way you can increase your chances of a full bond refund returned.

Maintaining vinyl and laminate flooring

Vinyl and laminate floors are popular for their durability and ease of maintenance. However, they can suffer from scratches and edge lifting. Minor scratches can be camouflaged with sealants or specialised repair kits, while lifting edges might need re-adhesion or replacement of affected sections.

3. Plumbing concerns

Plumbing issues and concerns can be daunting because of the unexpected costs associated to what you may uncover but addressing them before moving to a new home can prevent water damage and other costly home repairs. Here’s how to handle the most frequent plumbing concerns:home repair plumber fixing leak

Fixing leaks

Check all visible plumbing, especially under sinks, around toilets, and near appliances, for signs of water leaks. Early detection can save both water and repair costs. For minor water leaks, tightening fittings or replacing worn washers might suffice. For more significant issues, replacing the affected section of piping or consulting a professional plumber might be necessary.

Drain cleaning

Clogged drains are common and can be a nuisance for incoming residents and new tenants. Before resorting to chemical drain cleaners, try using a plunger or a plumber's snake to remove blockages. For persistent problems, a mixture of baking soda and vinegar followed by hot water can help clear drains without the harshness of chemicals. Blocked drains are also a common sign when there's a smelly dishwasher.

Toilet maintenance

Toilets can experience several issues, such as running continuously or not flushing properly. Often, these problems are due to worn-out flappers or fill valves, which are inexpensive and simple to replace. Ensure also to check the seal at the base of the toilet for any signs of leakage.

Preventative maintenance tips

  • Regularly check for water stains on ceilings and walls, which can indicate hidden leaks.
  • Clean faucet aerators and showerheads to remove mineral build up and ensure efficient water flow.
  • Inspect washing machine hoses for any cracks or bulges, which could lead to leaks.

4. Electrical maintenance

Electrical systems are critical to the safety and functionality of any home. Ensuring that all electrical features are up-to-date and functioning properly not only enhances the home's efficiency but also prevents potential hazards. Here’s what to consider when checking the electrical systems:electrician installing fire alarm

Safety inspections

It's essential to ensure that your home's electrical system and fire alarms complies with local codes and safety standards, especially before a sale or new tenancy. Hiring a certified electrician to perform a safety inspection can identify any outdated wiring, overloaded circuits, or other potential hazards. This professional assessment can reassure potential buyers or renters about the home’s safety.

Outlet and switch replacement

Outdated or non-functioning outlets and switches can be both an inconvenience and a hazard. Replace any that are faulty or show signs of wear, such as discoloration or cracking. Consider upgrading to newer models with USB ports or smart features to increase the appeal and functionality of the home.

Light fixture installation and repair

Updating light fixtures can significantly enhance the look and feel of a home. Whether it’s repairing an existing fixture or installing new ones, these updates can improve lighting quality and the aesthetic appeal of the property. Energy-efficient fixtures, such as LED models, are particularly attractive as they offer long-term savings on energy bills.

Tips for electrical upgrades

  • Always ensure the power is turned off at main switch located in the fuse box before attempting any electrical work. Always seek expert advice from a certified electrician before any work is carried out.
  • Label circuits during any upgrades or changes for easy identification in the future.
  • Consider adding dimmer switches or motion sensors for enhanced functionality and energy efficiency.

5. Appliance check and repair

Well-maintained appliances not only enhance the functionality of a home but also contribute significantly to its overall appeal. Ensuring that all appliances are in good working condition before moving out can save future costs and avoid the need of transporting the bulky appliance only to find out you need to replace it in the new home. On the other hand it ensures that the appliances are ready for the new occupants as well. Here's how to handle appliance maintenance:appliance repair man fixing rangehood

Servicing major appliances

Regular servicing of major appliances like HVAC systems, refrigerators, ovens, and dishwashers can prolong their life and ensure they operate efficiently. Schedule a professional service check to address any issues such as strange noises, inefficient cooling, or heating and other operational faults.

Replacing filters and parts

Simple maintenance tasks such as replacing filters in HVAC systems and cleaning refrigerator coils can greatly improve appliance performance and efficiency. Check and replace any worn-out parts like oven knobs, refrigerator seals, dishwasher racks, or washing machine hoses to avoid operational issues.

Ensuring appliance cleanliness

Clean appliances are more appealing and function more efficiently. Deep clean ovens, microwaves, and refrigerators to remove food residues and odours before moving them. For washers and dryers, remove lint clean filters and ensure that venting systems are clear to prevent fire hazards and improve efficiency.

Energy efficiency checks

Energy-efficient appliances are a significant selling point, as they reduce energy costs and are better for the environment. If you are renting out the home, check appliances have the minimum energy efficient rating for compliance.

6. Exterior maintenance

The exterior of a home is the first thing potential buyers or renters see, making a strong first impression crucial. When you've moved out it presents a good opportunity for proper home maintenance of the external elements not only boosts street appeal but also prevents structural damage to the building. Here’s how to ensure the exterior of your home is well-maintained:repairing roof tiles of a house

Roof and gutter cleaning

A clean and intact roof along with clear gutters are essential for preventing water damage and ensuring proper drainage. Hiring handyman services to remove any debris like leaves or branches from gutters and inspect the roof for damaged pointing. The best course of action is to hire professionals for roof inspections or roof repairs to handle any issues safely and effectively that can avoid further expensive damage if repair was done by yourself.

Deck and patio repairs

Outdoor living spaces such as decks and patios add significant value to a house. Inspect these areas for signs of wear like loose boards, rot, or unstable railings. Repairing or replacing damaged areas not only ensures safety but also enhances the aesthetic appeal. Regular staining or sealing with wood filler can protect wood decks from the elements and keep them looking fresh.

Landscaping touch-ups

Well-kept landscaping improves the overall appearance of a property. Mow the lawn, trim bushes, and clear any overgrown vegetation to enhance visibility and accessibility. Consider adding fresh mulch, seasonal flowers, or new plants to brighten up the outdoor space and make it more inviting.

Exterior cleaning

Washing the exterior walls, windows, and sidewalks can dramatically improve the home’s curb appeal. Use a power washer for the best results, but be careful not to damage cladding or paint. Cleaning old windows inside and out lets more light into the house, making it appear brighter and more welcoming and is also something that the property agent will make sure are complete before returning your bond.

7. Windows and doors

Windows and doors play a critical role in the security, energy efficiency, and aesthetic of a home. Ensuring they are well-maintained is essential for both functional and visual reasons. Here’s how to address common window and door issues after moving out:window repair sealing

Sealing draughts

Draughty windows and doors can lead to significant energy losses. Check seals and weather stripping for any signs of deterioration and replace them if necessary. This simple fix can greatly improve the home's insulation by reducing air leaks and reducing heating and cooling costs for the future occupants.

Repairing or replacing window panes

Cracked or broken window panes not only pose a security risk but also detract from the home’s appearance and insulation properties. A cracked window pane also needs to be replaced prior to handing the keys back to the landlord. Repair or replace any broken glass if you would like a full rental deposit back.

Door hinge and lock replacement

Squeaky hinges or faulty locks can be frustrating and diminish a sense of security. Lubricate any noisy hinges with WD-40 and replace any worn-out locks to ensure windows and doors can be secured easily. Additionally, updating the hardware (like handles and knobs) can refresh the overall look of the doors. Also check for exterior doors that have constant sun exposure causing the wood to blister and crack and it may be better replacing doors rather than fix.

Checking for proper operation

It's important to regularly check that all windows and doors open and close smoothly without any resistance. Sticking, jamming, or hard to operate windows and doors can indicate a problem such as the frame shifting, settling, or warping. These issues may arise due to changes in humidity, temperature, or structural settling over time. If left unaddressed, what begins as a minor inconvenience can lead to more extensive and costly repairs of other issues. Identifying and addressing these issues early can help maintain the integrity and functionality of your windows and doors, ensuring they continue to provide security and insulation for your house.

Final thoughts

Taking care of common house repairs after moving out is not just about preparing the property for the next occupants; it's about preserving and enhancing the value and appeal of your home. From the walls and floors inside to the landscaping and structural integrity outside, each element plays a crucial role in the overall perception and functionality of the property. Addressing these issues can prevent future costly repairs, speed up the sale or rental process, and provide peace of mind knowing that as a tenant you're returning the home in good maintenance to secure the return of your bond deposit.

As you prepare to hand over the keys, consider each of these repair areas as an opportunity to improve the home’s marketability and ensure it continues to be a comfortable and safe environment. Whether you choose to tackle these repairs yourself or hire professionals, the effort will undoubtedly reflect in the positive response from potential buyers or renters.

If you need a hand to help you move out so you can get started working on these common home repairs, Find a Mover can help you find and book removalists near you.

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