Property Management Blog

Proper End of Tenancy Cleaning

System - Monday, February 6, 2023
Property Management Blog

When a tenancy ends, the responsibility of a landlord doesn’t stop, there are still essential tasks to complete such as handing back the remaining security deposit  and monitoring end-of-tenancy cleaning of the unit as mentioned in tenancy agreement.

Conflicts can arise regarding the condition of the rental home after occupancy among landlord and the tenants. Although everybody’s cleanliness standards differ, you still have to meet certain expectations. This is why having an end-of-tenancy cleaning checklist is helpful to the tenants.

Defining End-of-Tenancy Cleaning

The rental home needs to be cleaned prior to the tenant moving out. This covers all rooms, furnishing, appliances, walls, and floors. The expectation is to have the unit look the way it was during the move-in after the thorough cleaning process.

Purpose of End of Tenancy Cleaning

Tenants must perform end-of-tenancy cleaning so the unit’s condition is the way it was originally. This means that walls that have been repainted with another color must be painted back to the original hue and damaged items caused outside of normal wear and tear are required to be fixed. 

The degree of cleanliness of the rental property prior to occupancy must also be resumed. If a tenant fails to conduct end-of-tenancy cleaning, then the security deposit may not be returned in its entirety.

someone using a broom and dustpan

Should the rental space look dirty or damaged when the tenant moves out, then the landlords can deduct the cost of the cleaning fee from the security deposit they’re holding. If there are conflicts, legal counsel may be sought out to help decide.

Expected Level of Cleanliness

People have different definitions of a clean place making it likely for disputes to happen between a renter and a landlord. A good metric to follow for renters is to ensure that the rental unit appears the same as it was prior to the day of moving in. This is the acceptable and fair degree of cleanliness for end-of-tenancy cleaning.

For landlords who took the time to conduct a property walk-through prior to the day of move-in of a tenant, it’s easier to compare the before and after tenancy conditions. It will reveal the level of cleanliness of the unit before occupancy. 

This can be a useful guide for renters hiring cleaners, to show how the rental should look after the cleanup. If the unit matches its original state then the landlord will give back the whole security deposit, as long as no property damage and repairs are needed.

Normal Wear and Tear

Over time, your rental property will undergo damage resulting from normal wear and tear. Carpet stains, faded wallpaper and wall paints, and scratches on the furniture and floors are expected. Since this is natural as the years pass, it’s unfair to ask renters to deal with damage caused by fair wear and tear. 

It’s the landlords’ responsibility to replace or repair such items and they can only make security deductions for damages outside wear and tear.

Included in End of Tenancy Cleaning

After the tenancy, it’s the duty of the tenant to present back a clean rental property. The services of a professional cleaning company can be engaged or DIY cleaning conducted. 

To ensure that no area is forgotten, creating an end-of-tenancy checklist is vital. The property owner checks if the unit is ready for occupancy by a new renter. The rental home must be spotless before showing it around to potential tenants.

Before doing an end-of-tenancy cleaning, prepare your cleaning equipment and tools beforehand.

Should the owner want more detailing done than is covered in the end of tenancy cleaning, they must do it themselves or hire the professional cleaning services on their own. If the tenant is evicted, it is the landlord’s responsibility to clean.

End of Tenancy Checklist

Walls, Doors, and Ceilings

  • Ask yourself if a paint touchup is needed when seeing wall markings

  • Run a clean cloth over light switches and socket area surfaces

  • Make sure to rub the surfaces and handles of doors and windows to remove the dust, including the frames

  • Wipe mirrors to make the surface shine

Fixtures and Furnishings

  • Clean the inner and outer corners of closets, shelves, and cupboards

  • Remove dust from lampshades and light bulbs

someone vacuuming a carpet

  • Run a vacuum cleaner on the sofa and under it

  • Clean the surfaces of desks and tables


  • Polish the basin and shower head using ingredients from the kitchen, such as vinegar or lemon juice

  • Remove hard water stains on the faucet and bathtubs

  • Scrub your toilet with a toilet brush and use disinfectant for proper cleaning

  • Get rid of mold on the bathroom tiles with an old toothbrush

  • Pay attention to extractor fans since dust can cling to it

  • Wipe shower rails


  • Degrease and properly clean the oven

  • Wipe the countertops of the kitchen

  • Remove limescale from taps and kitchen sink using vinegar/lemon juice mixture

  • Empty your refrigerator and clean the inside

  • Place disinfectant on empty trash cans 

  • Run a mop over the kitchen floors

  • Clean small appliances thoroughly, such as blenders and toasters

  • Before storing the cutlery and dishware, make sure they’re clean 


Carpets absorb dirt easily, making the rental room appear messy. To prevent any conflicts with the landlord, plan to do a steam cleaning. A professional cleaner can do this for you or you can rent a steam cleaning machine to do it on your own.

Prior to steam cleaning the carpet, you need to vacuum the area first. Move all the furniture to another side so the entire area of the carpet can be properly steam-cleaned. 

Outdoor Areas

Perform tenancy cleaning process on the exterior part of the rental. 

Rake leaves, remove clutter, and make sure the garbage is in proper receptacles. Check for weeds and mow the lawn.

Hire a Property Manager

After the end of tenancy cleaning is complete, so long as the owner finds the unit habitable, the hunt for a new tenant begins! 

If, as a property owner, you’re seeking a reliable property manager to perform property maintenance and repair along with other vital property management services, call Foothills Properties today!