The Complete End of Tenancy Cleaning Checklist
As your lease comes to a close and you want your deposit returned, the end of tenancy cleaning checklist will help ensure nothing gets missed. For many renters, a final (thorough!) cleaning makes a difference in whether you get your deposit back in full or not.
Consider how clean your apartment was when you first moved in. Your landlord should have made sure the unit was neat and tidy. Before you move out of the unit, you must maintain the same standard during your tenancy and before you move out.
As many tenants do not do deep cleaning regularly, they must do a deep clean before leaving the unit for the last time. Fortunately, both landlords and tenants can use professional cleaning services to get the job done correctly, but if you are going it alone, follow this end of tenancy cleaning checklist to get your deposit back at the end of your lease.
Leases should include clear information about the landlord’s and tenant’s cleaning responsibilities. In many cases, tenants need to maintain a level of cleanliness that prevents mould, pest infestations, and other health-related problems. If apartments develop mould or bugs, tenants pay for it. You must understand how clean your rental property is before you start deep cleaning your apartment.
Before signing the lease, tenants should look at their responsibilities. If they have a garden, driveway, or other outdoor areas, they might be responsible for taking care of those areas, too. If the outside areas are shared, the landlord usually takes care of them. The only way to be sure is to read your lease.
If the tenant does not take care of the apartment, the landlord can hold onto the deposit to pay a cleaning company for the end of tenancy cleaning. In this case, they may pay for the most expensive tenancy cleaning service as it will come out of your deposit.
In some cases, you may even get a bill for the cleaning service.
So, it is a good idea that you either do the tenancy cleaning yourself (using the checklist below as a guide) oryou hire a professional end of tenancy cleaning service, like Tidy Green Clean.
If you do a good deep clean, the landlord should have no grounds to do anything but return your deposit.
Cleaning Tasks for the End of Your Tenancy
Most leases have the same cleaning requirements. To get your deposit back, you will need to ensure these areas of your apartment are spotless.
Before you start the cleaning process, look for damage around the apartment. Anything you or a guest did that resulted in damage to the walls, ceiling, floors, and other permanent parts of the unit is your responsibility to fix. If you do not fix them, your landlord can charge you by keeping your deposit.
Check Your Lease
After making repairs, the next step is to check your lease. You should find information about your cleaning responsibilities. Make a list and get it done. If you don’t meet the lease requirements, your landlord will withhold your deposit.
If you want to save money, you can clean your apartment yourself. Of course, you are already in the process of moving, which can be stressful. Adding a deep clean to your list might be overwhelming. But, if you have the time, you can save a lot of money to use for your other moving expenses.
If you decide to clean the apartment yourself, make sure you are in the apartment when the landlord inspects the apartment. That way, you can take care of anything the landlord deems substandard. Then, clean better and call the landlord back for another inspection.
In the Kitchen
When you clean the kitchen, empty and clean the cupboards, wash the appliances, and clean the whole floor—even under and behind the appliances. Then, empty and clean the refrigerator. You should also do a deep cleaning of the oven and hob. Clear away the grime and food remnants from inside the oven and atop the hob, burners, and other surfaces.
When cleaning the kitchen, don’t forget to clean the exterior and interior of all doors, including the cabinets, oven, refrigerator, and other appliances.
In the Living Room
If your living room has cabinets or built-ins, you have to dust and clean them—properly vacuum and polish floors, and dust everything possible. Look up to see if the ceiling is clean, too. Clean the windows, curtains, and blinds, too.
If you have a carpet with stains, a carpet cleaning machine may be a good idea as a rental. Or get in touch with a professional carpet cleaning service.
In the Bathroom
Think about how nice it is to move into a new apartment, and the bathroom is immaculate. You need to deliver the bathroom in that condition, so you need to scrub it from top to bottom. Clean the sink and toilet, tub, and any other tiled areas. Clean the drains and scrub the baseboards.
If you have any mould or soap scum, take care to remove it. You might even want to remove the showerhead and clean that in a vinegar bath, too. Don’t forget to clean the shower curtain if it stays in the apartment.
Check the Walls
Tenants scuff walls accidentally, and landlords often charge them for repainting. If you find the scuffs, you can buy a paint that matches to cover the scuffs yourself. Buying a small can of paint costs less than paying someone to paint the walls. Some landlords keep paint cans in cupboards, garages, or basements, so look around before buying new paint.
If you have pictures on the wall, you will need to fill and paint the holes. Don’t forget your breathing mask if you have to sand the walls after filling them and before painting them. Clean the mouldings and baseboards, too.
Clean the Windows
Most landlords take responsibility for cleaning the exterior windows, but tenants usually need to clean the interior windows. If you broke windows while living in the apartment, you must replace them. The best window cleaning mixture is alcohol and vinegar.
Take Care of the Furniture
If your landlord furnished your apartment, you have to return it with the furniture in the best possible condition. Vacuum the upholstered furniture and wash it with a safe cleaner. Remove smells, pet hair, and other flaws. You might want to use a steam cleaner to do deep upholstery cleaning.
Hard surfaces like tables need to be free of scuffs and scratches. An inside secret for cleaning wood surfaces is to rub coffee grounds into scratches for a quick, temporary repair. Lemon oil and wood polish also work well for wood surfaces.
Washing Window Coverings
If the apartment came with window coverings, you need to clean and dust them. Check the washing instructions before you put the curtains in the washing machine. Dust the curtain rods and fix any scratches or issues you find. If you have blinds, dust them and replace broken slats.
Taking Care of Flooring
To clean your carpets, you can rent a steam cleaning for a small fee. Steam cleaners have attachments for cleaning stairs, baseboards, and other difficult-to-reach areas. If you have a pet, clean the carpets twice to get as much hair as possible.
Don’t forget to clean the hallways and staircases, too. These high-traffic areas show wear-and-tear, so wash the baseboards and get into any nooks and crannies.
If you have to take care of any exterior living spaces, like a patio, garden, or shed, take time to sweep, mow, and weed. Repair any areas that have damage and replace any perennials that you may have damaged during the rental period.
Hopefully, this end of tenancy cleaning checklist helps you return your unit in top condition. The goal is to return the unit in the same state that you received it, so your landlord returns your deposit. Otherwise, your landlord will charge you for repairing, cleaning, and replacing any areas that do not meet your landlord’s standards.
The Tenancy Cleaning Checklist
Here is the cleaning checklist that experienced tenancy cleaners follow. Use this as a guide.
• Dust all surfaces until they shine
• Remove cobwebs from ceilings and corners
• Wipe dust from inside drawers, cupboards, decorations, etc.
• Wipe away dirt from curtain rails, the tops of doors, and other hidden areas
• Polish mirrors, glass surfaces, and ornaments
• Polish picture frames and art
• Vacuum curtains and blinds
• Dust lampshades and light fittings
• Clean light switches
• Wipe doors and remove dirty marks from walls
• Carefully clean power sockets and extension cords
• Vacuum mattresses
• Mop and polish hard floors and laminate
• Clean basins, taps and fittings
• Remove hard water stains and limescale
• Scrub and rinse soap dispensers
• Wipe and polish radiators and towel rails
• Scrub and rinse toilet (and plumbing if possible)
• Wipe down shower door/curtain
• Scrub and rinse bath
• Remove hair from drains and then pour drain cleaner
• Make sure to clean drains
• Clean extractor fans
• Wipe bathroom tiles
• Throw leftover food and carrier bags away
• De-grease and polish kitchen wall tiles
• Remove mould growth between grout
• Clean and de-grease ovens internally and externally
• Clean grime from extractors and hobs
• Scrub gas rings and gas control knobs
• Clean microwaves inside and out
• Clean out the fridge/freezer
• Clean the washing machine inside and out
• Clean the dishwasher inside and out
• Clean the oven, inside and out (including grill, shelves, and rubber seals)
• Clean exterior of all appliances
• Sanitize the bins and remove rubbish
• Shine and pack cutlery and other kitchen accessories
• Hit sofa cushions outside to remove dust
• Vacuum the sofa with and without its cushions on
• Vacuum and steam clean carpets, including the area under furniture
• Clean carpet stains with hand or specialist carpet cleaning machine
• Remove any unnecessary items or leftover goods
• Move appliances to clean behind them
• Remove bread crumb and food deposits and polish toaster
• Clean windows and window sills
• Clean the kitchen sink and tap
Aberdeen's Tenancy Cleaning Service
Whether using this tenancy cleaning checklist or hiring a professional cleaner, we hope that you are now empowered by our guide to help end your tenancy on the right foot. Remember, it is the tenant's responsibility to review the tenancy agreement and meet all the requirements of the rented property.
Achieve this and the landlord will be delighted, the new tenants will be thrilled, and you will receive your full deposit back.
If you have any questions or need a professional-standard cleaning team, know that Tidy Green Clean are always here to help and support you.