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End of Tenancy Cleaning

Following a tenant leaving, the landlord has responsibilities. If there is no damage to the property beyond normal wear and tear, landlords are obliged to repay the security deposit and attest that the tenant cleaned the space before leaving.

Including a maintenance and repair provision in the lease agreement, along with an end-of-tenancy checklist, is essential due to potential differences in cleanliness standards between tenants and landlords.

This ensures tenants are provided with clear guidance on areas requiring attention, potentially mitigating conflicts.

What Is the End of Tenancy Cleaning?

End-of-tenancy-cleaning refers to performing a thorough cleaning process before a tenant packs up and leaves your rental space.

It is expected that all parts of the property, including its furnishings, such as floors, walls, carpets, furniture, and appliances, appear in its original state.

Why Should a Tenant Perform an End of Tenancy Cleaning?

A tenant must present the rental space back to its original condition when the lease ends. If they made changes to the physical surroundings, such as painting the walls blue when it was originally beige, then they must repaint it back to beige.

If there is property damage, they are also expected to get it fixed. This expectation also includes the unit’s degree of cleanliness. If the rental was turned over in an impeccable state, it is only normal for the landlord to expect that the unit must also appear in a similar spotless condition.

Should the rental be returned in a bad state, then landlords have the right to charge for cleaning and repair fees. They can deduct from the tenants’ security deposit. If an agreement is not reached between the landlord and tenant, legal mediators may make a decision.

What Is the Expected Level of Cleanliness?

People have different opinions on the definition of cleanliness. What may be clean for some may not match another person's cleaning standards.

However, the reasonable expectation is that landlords must only require tenants to present a rental unit the way it appeared during the initial turnover.

If you performed a tenant walkthrough inspection before the tenant moved in, then you can consult the documented reports as your reference point when the lease agreement is terminated.

This is why documenting the initial property inspection with the tenant is a vital step. You can show the photos and videos to the tenant so they can refer to them when performing an end-of-tenancy cleaning or show it to the cleaners they will hire if they choose this option.

What Is Normal Wear and Tear?

As years pass and more people occupy your rental property, you cannot expect the unit to appear as immaculate as when it was new.

Eventually, you will notice that floors are scuffed, painted walls appear dull, and stains dot your carpet. These are natural damages and landlords should not charge tenants to pay for replacement or repair costs for these items.

However, if a landlord notices that massive damage was caused by a tenant, such as large holes, carpet burns, and broken windows, they can make claims on the security deposit.

What Is Covered By End-of-Tenancy Cleaning

Tenants can clean the rental on their own or engage the services of a third-party cleaning services provider.

They can review the end-of-tenancy cleaning checklist that a landlord prepares to make sure that all areas of the rental are tidy. When a rental unit is pristine, landlords can easily arrange for property tours to avoid property vacancies.

Here are some areas that you may want to include in your cleaning checklist:

Walls, Doors, and Ceilings

  • Evaluate if the marks on the walls require a paint touchup or if simple wiping is enough
  • Clean the light switches and socket areas with a clean cloth
  • Wipe the surfaces of doors, handles, and frames to remove the dust
  • Get rid of cobwebs hanging from the ceiling

Fixtures and Furnishings

  • Ensure that mirror frames, picture frames, and curtain rods are dusted
  • Clean lampshades, including its light bulbs
  • Run a vacuum cleaner under the sofa
  • Tidy the clutter inside the drawers and cupboards
  • Polish the desks and tables


  • Get rid of hard water stains when cleaning up bathtubs
  • Use a toilet brush to scrub and clean the toilet, then disinfect after scrubbing
  • Brush mold that appears on the tile grouts
  • Use vinegar or lemon juice to polish the basin and taps


  • Rub the kitchen countertops clean
  • Degrease the oven

  • Mop the floors
  • Clear out the items in the refrigerator before cleaning it
  • Remove limescale from kitchen taps and counters
  • Discard the garbage and clean the bins with a disinfectant
  • Clean small appliances, such as blenders, toasters, and kettles
  • Polish the cutlery and dishware before storing them inside the cupboard
  • Clean large appliances, such as the washing machine and dishwasher


If the carpets are perfectly clean, it can elevate the look of the property. You can use a steam cleaner to remove carpet dust and dirt. Renting a steam cleaner or hiring a professional cleaner ensures that carpets are thoroughly cleaned.

Vacuum the space first then transfer the furniture to the other side of the unit, so the entire carpet is steam-cleaned. You can effectively get rid of carpet stains through proper steam cleaning. Carpet cleaning can be the last task on the list since it takes time for a carpet to dry.

Outdoor Areas

Addressing curb appeal is essential since potential tenants are drawn to an attractive external space. Ensure that there is no trash lying around and that trash receptacles are not brimming with garbage.

Schedule time to mow the lawn, remove weeds, and sweep up leaves to ensure the outdoors appears well-maintained. If a rental home looks clean, it will naturally attract tenants. Property vacancies will be shorter and regular rental income can be collected.

Bottom Line

Understanding post-tenancy responsibilities can help to ensure a seamless transition following a tenant's departure. Landlords are required to verify cleanliness and repay the security deposit. 'End of Tenancy Cleaning' refers to a deep cleaning that is similar to returning a borrowed object in perfect shape.

Tenants must follow this procedure in order to get their entire security deposit back. Nonetheless, disagreements may arise from different cleaning standards. A landlord should give a thorough inventory of the property's original state in order to reduce disputes.

Contact Fall River Property Management today for strategic marketing of your rental property, proper maintenance and repair, meticulous tenant screening, and detailed property inspections.


I couldn't be happier with Lyndsey and her team. From the initial phone conversation right through to the closing and management they have always been there with sound advice and prompt service. As an out of town investor it is very comforting to know that they are there 24/7 looking after both my investment and my tenants.

Jason Berry Rental Property Owner
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