Landlord Advice

How Clean Does a Rental Property Need to Be

If moving out of your rented flat is on the cards any time soon, then you’re probably wondering about how clean a rental property needs to be, so that you avoid any disputes over the landlord withholding the deposit for poor cleaning. We understand, as this is on every tenant’s mind, who is about to move on and relocate.

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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 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.

So, check your tenancy agreement 

Even if the rental agency or your landlord did not provide you with a move-in/move out list that details out the ‘before and after’ condition of individual items and areas in each room, the rental agreement usually stipulates your cleaning responsibilities at the end of the tenancy. This will tell you how clean a rental property needs to be.

Since the law on tenant fees has changed, you are no longer obliged to pay for the professional cleaning at the check-out. You should remember that neither the landlord nor the agent can ask you to pay for the end of tenancy cleaning. It also applies to deep cleaning. However, the property owner may decide to draw a clause that requires you to clean the property to professional standards. If this is the case, you might attempt cleaning the place yourself. If that’s the case, here’s a handy end of tenancy clean checklist to keep you on the right path.

However, your landlord or landlady might spot the difference. And it could cost you your tenancy deposit. In other words, don’t underestimate their wits and common sense!

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How clean does a rental property need to be

Right, then, 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…

Shall we? 

Kitchen – the place that may take a good third of your time to clean it

  • 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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Bathroom – another dreaded cleaning chore

  • 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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Bedrooms and the living room

  • 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.

Hire a professional end of tenancy cleaning company

Now that you know how clean does a rental property need to be, be honest – you would prefer not to do this yourself, right? Cleaning yourself with your security deposit at stake seems like a risky way to go. Also, it’s not your place and someone else is in charge of how they want their property back so that they can rent it out again as soon as possible. 

Well, trust us, 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. 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 48-hour deposit back guarantee, which can be extended to 168 hours, as well. This means that a free re-clean is included within this timeframe, should any cleaning issues occur. And that’s not all! The service comes with a free cleaning of your oven! And to really impress the property owner, you can book deep carpet cleaning at a discount of 40%, too. That way, you surely won’t have any issues acquiring your deposit back.

Need a professional end of tenancy cleaning service?

Fantastic Services is here for you!

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  • 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;


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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