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Everything You Need to Know About End of Tenancy Cleaning


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Will Southall

Will Southall

a year ago - 4 minute read

Even if you enjoy keeping things tidy, end of tenancy cleaning is a whole other ball game. It’s intense, in-depth, and (if you’re hiring a professional) expensive!

While it may not be enjoyable, you can do end of tenancy cleaning yourself to save a few pounds when you’re moving.

In this article, we’ll provide an overview of everything you need to know about the end of tenancy cleaning – including what it is, what happens if you don’t do it, and how long it should take.

Plus, if you stick around to the end, we’ll provide a complete room-by-room checklist of things you may need to clean during the end of tenancy cleaning.

What is End of Tenancy Cleaning?

Put simply, end of tenancy cleaning is the name given to the intensive cleaning frenzy you need to undergo before you move out of a rental.

Usually, you’ll have a specific clause in your tenancy agreement about the end of tenancy cleaning, which outlines your responsibilities. This is generally very specific to the property you’ve been renting.

For example, if you have a garden, it should state whether you need to do things like mow the lawn before you leave. Or, if you have a balcony, it should say what condition you need to leave it in.

What Do I Need to Clean?

Always check your lease to see what specific things you need to clean before you move out.

Generally, the end of tenancy cleaning involves deep cleaning every area of the property you are responsible for.

While the exact areas depend on your lease, this usually includes your bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, living room, dining area, hallway, balcony, and even your garden.

What Happens if I Don’t Do End of Tenancy Cleaning?

To be straight, if you don’t clean up, you probably won’t get your deposit back in full.

More than half of renters in the UK don’t get their deposit back (or have a dispute about not getting their deposit back) because of the end of tenancy cleaning clauses.

Whether it’s completed by you or a professional cleaning company (which your landlord can’t force you to hire), you have to clean up before you leave if you want to get your security deposit back.

Related article: The secret to getting your rent deposit back in full

How Long Does End of Tenancy Cleaning Take?

Make sure you give yourself enough time to undergo end-of-tenancy cleaning.

While it may not sound like much, cleaning an entire house or apartment from top to bottom can take longer than you think.

If you’re hiring a professional, they can usually get the job done in 1-2 days.

If you’re doing it yourself on evenings or weekends, it’s best to make a start at least 3-7 days before your moving date – depending on how big your rental is.

Your Room-By-Room End of Tenancy Cleaning Checklist

To help you plan and complete your end-of-tenancy cleaning, here’s a room-by-room checklist of things you may need to clean (always check your lease for the full details).

Make sure you bookmark this page so you can check back on progress!

Kitchen Cleaning Checklist

In the kitchen, you may need to:

  • Polish sinks and taps
  • Clean the dishwasher filter
  • Wipe down worktops
  • Scrub oven to remove built-up grease
  • Empty and wipe down the fridge
  • Empty and wipe down bins
  • Wipe down the microwave – inside and out
  • Remove crumbs and grime from the toaster (safely!)
  • Clean the tiles and/or splashbacks
  • Clean hob rings
  • Wipe down the washing machine and clean the soap tray
  • Empty kitchen cupboards and wipe them down – inside and out
  • Hoover and mop the floors
  • Wipe down skirting boards and light switches (safely!)
  • Clean the windows and wipe down wooden/plastic blinds

Bedroom Cleaning Checklist

When it comes to your bedroom, you should:

  • Wipe down furniture inside and out – including wardrobes, desks, and bedside tables
  • Hoover – if the flooring is laminate or hardwood, mop it as well
  • Wipe any mirrors or picture frames that belong to the property
  • Wipe window ledges
  • Wipe down skirting boards
  • Wipe light switches (safely!)
  • Remove cobwebs around the ceiling
  • Clean the windows and wipe down wooden/plastic blinds

Bathroom Cleaning Checklist

In the bathroom, you should:

  • Clean tiles
  • Scrub the bath, shower tray, and shower screen
  • Clean the toilet
  • Wipe down mirrors and shelves
  • Clean the sink and polish taps
  • Wipe any cupboards and cabinets – inside and out
  • Hoover and mop floor
  • Clean the windows and wipe down wooden/plastic blinds

Living Room/Lounge Cleaning Checklist

If you have a living room or a lounge area, you’ll need to:

  • Dust any electronics that belong to the property
  • Wipe all furniture, cabinets, tables, and shelves that belong to the property
  • Hoover the floor and sofa – including underneath the sofa cushions
  • Wash sofa cushions or curtains – machine-washable items can be washed at home, but take anything else to a dry cleaner or hire a professional upholstery cleaner
  • Mop the floor – if you have laminate or hardwood flooring
  • Wipe down skirting boards and light switches (safely!)
  • Clean the windows and wipe down wooden/plastic blinds

Hallway Cleaning Checklist

Generally, you won’t need to clean a communal hallway or staircase when you’re leaving a rental if other tenants access it (and aren’t leaving).

But if you rent the entire property or your lease states you’re responsible for cleaning the hallway when you leave, you may need to:

  • Hoover the stairs and hallway
  • Mop the hallway – if you have laminate or hardwood flooring
  • Wipe down skirting boards and light switches (safely!)

Garden Cleaning Checklist

If your property has a front or back garden, you may need to:

  • Hose down any decking or patio areas
  • Sweep debris and pick up any rubbish
  • Mow the lawn

Closing Summary

Unless you love cleaning, end of tenancy cleaning isn’t very fun. It’s usually intense and requires a lot of time and effort to get the job done right.

While hiring a professional end-of-tenancy cleaner is always easier, it’s much cheaper to do it yourself.

When DIY-ing your end-of-tenancy clean, make sure you do everything stipulated within your lease, and you leave the property looking fresh – so there’s no chance of losing your deposit.

How Fronted Can Help When You’re Moving

Over 60% of UK renters pay a new deposit before getting their old one back. This can leave renters £2,500 out of pocket. That ain’t right.

Don’t live through the double deposit problem. With a Fronted lifetime deposit, your new landlord gets the money when they want it, and your old landlord holds onto the money until you move out. You sit there feeling smug.

Learn more about how lifetime deposits work or join our waitlist to be the first to get a lifetime deposit when we launch them.

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Will Southall

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Will Southall

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