Landlord Advice

How Clean Does a Rental Property Need to Be

If moving out of your rented place is on the cards any time soon, then you’re probably wondering how clean should your house be, so you can avoid any disputes over the security deposit. We understand, as this is on every tenant’s mind, who is about to relocate.

Well, then, you’ve come to the right place, because this post will present you with a detailed list of what the property owner will most likely expect from you before handing in the keys.

So, if you are:

  • a tenant, who’s moving out soon and wants to do the end of tenancy cleaning themselves,
  • a renter, who’s relocating in a hurry and wonders what to expect from a professional cleaning company,
  • a landlord, who needs a detailed cleaning checklist to present to the tenants,

then, read on! You’ll learn everything that there is to know.

But first things first, dear tenants. It makes sense if you dig out your tenancy agreement and read carefully your obligations, regarding the condition of the property before you move out. This is the best way to understand what is expected of you and how clean should your rental property be for the inspection.

What does your tenancy agreement say?

Checking your rental agreement is a good starting point, as the document usually stipulates your cleaning responsibilities at the end of the tenancy. In the best-case scenario, you should have been provided with a move-in/move-out inventory list that details the condition of individual items and areas in each room of the property.

Even if the rental agency or your landlord did not provide you with a list, there should still be some kind of definition of what’s expected from you in the agreement when it comes to cleaning and property maintenance.

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Can landlords ask for professional cleaning?

Since the law on tenant fees has changed, you are no longer obliged to pay for professional cleaning at the end of your tenancy. You should remember that neither the landlord nor the agent can demand of you to pay for the end of tenancy cleaning.

However, the property owner could have included a clause in the agreement, requiring of you as tenant to clean the property to professional standards. Therefore, you will be expected to achieve that in order to pass the inspection. If the landlord is not satisfied with the results, it is possible to have cleaning expenditures deducted from the security deposit.

That is certainly something that you wish to avoid, which is why it might be worth considering an experienced cleaner’s help. Trying to spare the cost of a professional end-of-tenancy cleaning may well prove more expensive for you if your landlord finds issues with the rental and decides to keep your deposit after all.

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What usually needs to be cleaned in a rental property?

If you decide to take upon the end of tenancy cleaning yourself, after all, let’s make an exemplary list of cleaning chores to do including the areas that will be most likely checked during the inspection.

Let’s begin our mental walk around your rental property, crawl under the furniture, hover above your wardrobe, sneak behind the fridge and stick our heads inside the oven…

Pay most attention to the oven and other appliances in the kitchen

  • Clear out and declutter – empty cupboards of food packages and discard unnecessary items;
  • Clean kitchen units and worktops – these need to be spotless;
  • Sanitise/descale wall tiles, the splashback and the sink – do you know how?
  • Clean the oven, hobs and extractor hood – get ready for some elbow grease;
  • Disinfect your refrigerator and freezer – did you empty out and defrost the appliances?
  • Polish the washing machine and dishwasher – it’s a pain, we know, but it needs doing;
  • Clean the microwave – all these greasy marks need to come off;
  • Make small appliances spotless – have you tried to clean a toaster?
  • Clean the bin – yak!
  • Wipe clean door and cupboards handles, sockets and switches – what, really?
  • Remove cobwebs – spiders in all;
  • Address hard-to-reach places – have you looked behind the fridge?
  • Vacuum and mop the floor – well, that’s the only easy part.
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Be on the lookout for mould when cleaning the bathroom

  • Scrub the toilet and clean visible pipework – get a powerful disinfectant and wear gloves;
  • Clean the shower, shower screen and tray – new tenants won’t be happy if not done properly;
  • Polish the sink and taps – more scrubbing, of course;
  • Take care of the vanity/under-sink cupboard – one of the most neglected pieces of furniture;
  • Clean the bathtub and taps – this often takes a cleaning newbie a good hour or so;
  • Wipe bathroom accessories (holders, rails, radiator, fixtures) – rusty spots are the hardest to clean;
  • Polish the mirror and descale tiles, as well as the floor edges – remove mould from the grout;
  • Vacuum at the end and mop – you know the sketch by now.
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Stains on living room/bedroom furniture and carpets should be a top priority

  • Dust wooden/metal furniture – you may need to use a good furniture polish, as well;
  • Remove all cobwebs from ceilings – well, this is not hard;
  • Vacuum upholstered furniture – this won’t be enough if the piece has nasty stains;
  • Polish mirrors and fixtures – make sure you use the right product;
  • Clean light fixtures, switches and sockets – you should know how by now;
  • Clean any marks on walls – well, this may require some Internet surfing, or you can check out our post on painted walls cleaning;
  • Wipe all skirting boards – yep, this, as well;
  • Wipe doors and doorknobs – the germs’ Shangri la;
  • Clean the fireplace and surrounding area – watch out not to spread any soot on the carpet;
  • Wash the windows, the frames and sills – all these sticky fingerprints need to go;
  • Vacuum floorings – including carpets and rugs, though, this won’t get rid of any stains;
  • Mop all hard floors – hurray, you’re nearly done!
Note that the letting agency or your private landlord may have some extra requirements, regarding any outdoor spaces, such as clean the patio, wash the exterior windows, polish any garden furniture and even, tidy up the garden, too.
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Don’t waste precious time on cleaning! Hire a professional end of tenancy cleaner today

Now that you know how clean a rental property needs to be, be honest – would you prefer to do the end of tenancy cleaning yourself? Cleaning yourself with your security deposit at stake seems like a risky way to go and in-depth cleaning is certainly a time-consuming job.

On that note, Fantastic Services specialises in end of tenancy cleaning services, which are not hourly-based, so the job will be done to meet your landlord’s highest expectations.

The end of tenancy cleaning service includes a free re-clean within a 48-hour, should any cleaning issues occur. And that’s not all! The service comes with a free deep cleaning of your oven! And to really impress the property owner, you can book thorough carpet or upholstery cleaning at a discount, too. That way, you surely won’t have any issues acquiring your deposit back.

Get a professional end of tenancy cleaning service!

Fantastic Services has got everything covered.

Add a valid postcode e.g. SE1 2TH


  • Moving out of a rented property is stressful enough to worry about the cleaning and the retrieval of your deposit;
  • If you decide to do the clean up yourself, make sure you have a system and follow an extensive checklist. However, this way, you can’t be completely sure that your landlord will be happy with the results and return your deposit.
  • When you entrust the job to professional move-out cleaners, you can rest assured that every checklist task will be done with attention to detail;

Disclaimer: Every piece of information here is meant for informational and educational purposes only. So please, do not use this as a definitive legal basis. Fantastic Services encourages you to seek authority professional counsel before you decide to act upon what you have read. For more information, check our disclaimer.


Did we answer all your questions? What did we miss? Ask away in the comment section below!

Image source: Alexander Raths/

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