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End of tenancy cleaning checklist

Goodbye dirt, hello deposit! Here’s a guide to thoroughly cleaning your home before moving out.

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Last updated on August 21, 2023

Want to make sure your end of tenancy cleaning gets you your full deposit back? Get a headstart with a complete checklist of things you’ll need to clean before your landlord inspects your property. 

This checklist will help you identify how much time you’ll need and what tasks you need to cover, whether you plan to do things yourself or hire an end of tenancy cleaning service.  

Before starting your end of tenancy cleaning taska woman writing a calendar reminder end of tenancy cleaning

Prioritise the order of your cleaning tasks as it makes sense to you. This house cleaning move out checklist can help you navigate your move and works from the most complex clean to the easiest clean, but feel free to tailor your to-dos however best it would suit you.

The key to an effective end of lease clean is getting everything in your old place looking as good as it was when you started leasing. 

You’ll also want to do to review your bond and cleaning rules for tenants. See if any stipulations like carpet vacuuming, counter cleaning, or rubbish removal can pile up on charges if they aren’t accomplished. If all the paperwork is good, you can kick off your cleaning! 

Tenants’ cleaning checklist when moving out

This end of lease cleaning checklist will help you map out what tasks are the most important to tick off.

 Deep clean the wash areas

Make sure to cover toilets, tubs, showers, and sinks. Ensure that the grout and drains are as clog-free as possible. Scrub the faucets, sinks, and toilet bowls until they’re sparkling.

 Keep the walls free from holes

If you’ve hammered nails into the walls for decor or added fixtures like hooks and racks that weren’t previously built into the space, clear them out and patch them up. (Also, make sure to remove any permanent marker stains from the wall!) 

 Repaint walls to the original colour

Depending on whether you’ve changed your apartment’s colours, you’ll need to bring it back to its initial colour when you moved in. If you’re unsure of the exact paint colour you need after patching up holes, you can always bring a sample to the paint store for a custom match. 

In case your landlord is alright about maintaining the new colour, make sure you get this agreement in writing for proper documentation to avoid any issues at inspection. 

 Ensure appliances are as clean as possible

Appliances like the refrigerator, dishwasher, stove and anything else that came with the apartment need a good scrub down. These items are the most prone to dirt and are most likely overlooked for regular cleaning.

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 Dust off all the fixtures

If you’re not one to clean every nook and cranny in your place, like light fixtures, high cabinets, and ceiling fans, you may want to do it before you move out. Check if there’s anything that needs minor repair. 

 Clean your windows, mirrors, and doors

This might seem like a minor concern. However, taking the time to ensure these things are spotless makes an impact. Make sure you’re able to get the blinds and window sills too.

 Do a full sweep, mop, and vacuum of all your floors

In this case, it’s not enough to just sweep. Mopping and vacuuming your hardwood and tiles is essential, especially if you have pets. Animal dander is bound to be spread across your floors. Don’t forget to reach the spaces under furniture you’re taking with you for the move.

 Double-check your perishables

See if the items in your fridge and cupboards are way past the expiry date or are still consumable. Make the effort to eat up what you can before buying anything else. 

 Empty as much as you can from your home

Or pack it up in its respective boxes that grant you enough space to move. The sooner you get this out of the way, the easier it will be to work through the extensive cleaning. Sort through all your items and mark them for moving, selling, or donation. This also ensures you’re not leaving anything behind.

 Dispose of your rubbish

Aside from the usual trash that accumulates as you clean your apartment, be sure to clear out any unwanted junk you don’t plan on selling or donating. While this should be common courtesy, there is still a tendency to leave at least a bag of trash in the apartment.

 Take photos for good measure

Again, proper documentation matters. Providing proof that you’ve left the apartment in good condition will future-proof any issues that might come up when you get your deposit back.

☞ You might also like: How to prepare your home for selling and moving

Ready to start your end of tenancy clean? 

standing in front of the kitchen end of tenancy cleaning

End of tenancy cleaning can take several days to weeks, depending on how much there is of your property left to clean. It’s important that you plan out your schedule well and prioritise the rooms that require extensive work if you’re keen on getting your deposit back in full.

If you’re not too confident in going for a DIY clean, you can always opt to hire an end of tenancy cleaner to get your home in great condition. They can offer a variety of cleaning services that can fit the kinds of tasks you need to be done.

☞ Also read: End of tenancy clean cost guide

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FAQs on end of tenancy cleaning

This is entirely dependent on your situation, budget, and priorities. If you’ve got the time and energy for it, doing the end of tenancy cleaning yourself would save you some money. If your schedule’s looking a little too hectic weeks prior to your moving day, your next best option is to hire a professional to take care of the cleaning. 

Your apartment should be as clean as when you moved in. To ensure you meet your landlord’s expectations, review your lease agreement and speak to your landlord for any clarifications on end of tenancy cleaning. Your landlord or property manager may provide you with a moving out cleaning checklist for renters. This way, you can be confident that you’re cleaning all necessary areas and avoiding potential disputes.

End of tenancy cleaning can take two hours up to a full day, depending on the size of your space and the complexity of the cleaning service you’ve availed. 

End of tenancy cleaning costs £120 to £360 for a typical three-bedroom home. But rates may vary depending on your location and cleaning tasks. Other factors you’ll want to consider are the size of your space, the condition of your house, the complexity, and the type of service you need.

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