As a landlord, it helps to be aware of your rights and duties when it comes to an end-of-residency cleaning. Risks are involved when you have renters occupying your property but this is even more relevant when your property is vacant again.

An end-of-residency cleaning is vital and you must focus on reverting your rental unit back to its original state before the last residents moved in. A lot of conflicts surrounding the deposit can arise between the landlords and renters but this can be easy to resolve with proper end-of-residency cleaning.

Defining End-of-Residency Cleaning

End-of-residency cleaning is a deep cleaning procedure performed at the property before a resident leaves. It’s expected that cleaning is conducted on all areas of the property. This covers the floors, walls, carpets, furniture, and appliances, so the space matches its original state prior to being rented out.

Purpose of End-of-Residency Cleaning

Residents should return the property back to its original condition before they move out. This covers all physical property changes, such as unauthorized paint jobs or furniture damages, including the degree of cleanliness. If not, then the renter may be requested to pay for the damages or changes using their security deposit.

Unsatisfied landlords can put a claim on the deposit when the unit isn’t maintained well, property damage is apparent, or the rental place appears to be a mess. If the landlord and resident can’t agree, the decision may be left to legal professionals.

Degree of Cleanliness

We all have different standards of what clean can mean, which is the main reason why end-of-residency cleaning can result in a disagreement. Landlords can only require residents to clean a property the way it was presented at the start of their residency. This should be the main reference for end-of-residency cleaning.

Performing a walkthrough inspection before or when a resident moves in makes it easy to see how the rental home appears prior to the resident’s stay. Photos can even be used as proof. If the residents engage the services of a professional cleaner, they can point out the level of cleanliness they want to achieve. This can help residents claim back their security deposit.

Defining Normal Wear and Tear

Over time, wear and tear naturally occurs when a renter lives on your property. You can expect to see scuffed floors, faded paint, or carpet stains. It’s unfair for landlords to ask renters to pay for these expenses. Only damages outside normal wear and tear can be justified for deposit deductions.

Make sure to get a forwarding address from your resident so that they can get all or a portion of their security deposit back. This will also make it easier to forward mail from previous residents to their new address.

End of Tenancy Cleaning Checklist

Once the residents leave, it can take a lot of time to clean but doing it yourself will probably cost less than hiring a professional cleaner. Both landlords and residents can check out this end-of-residency cleaning checklist to ensure that all parts of the rental unit are covered.

Residents should have an inventory list on hand to make sure all details are included. Landlords should check that the property is in top condition and ready to be shown to new residents.

To start, it’s important to have all the equipment ready for the cleanup of each room. Mops, microfiber cloths, cleaning products, and a vacuum cleaner should all be available. Since you’ll probably be using the kitchen while you clean, work on it last.

Walls, Doors, and Ceilings

  • Assess the scuff marks on the walls, then decide to either use a magic eraser sponge or retouch with paint.
  • Wipe the light switches and socket areas.
  • Wipe down the surfaces of the doors and handles, including at the top, where dust tends to accumulate.
  • Remove cobwebs from the ceiling.

Fixtures and Furnishings

  • Clean the top of any mirrors, picture frames, and curtain rods.

  • Dust off lampshades and light bulbs.

  • Vacuum the sofa.

  • Clean the insides of drawers and cupboards.

  • Polish the surfaces of desks and tables.


  • Clean bathtubs, taking care to remove hard water stains.

  • Scrub and clean the toilet using a toilet brush, disinfectant, and rubber gloves.

  • Get rid of mold clinging to the tile grout by using an old toothbrush.

  • Polish the basin and taps using vinegar or lemon juice for additional shine.


  • Wipe the kitchen countertops.

  • Degrease the oven.

  • Clean the refrigerator by emptying all the items and wiping or washing all the surfaces inside.

  • Clean the kitchen sink and get rid of limescale from the taps.

  • Empty out the garbage bins and disinfect them afterward.

  • Clean the floors.

  • Do an inside-out cleanup of the microwave oven and small appliances such as blenders, toasters, and kettles.

  • Clean the cutlery and other dishware and carefully store them inside the drawers.

  • Perform an inside-out cleanup of large appliances, such as the washing machine and dishwasher.


Carpets can really make a room look dirty, even if every other part is clean. Carpets are cleaned using a steam cleaning machine. You can rent a machine or pay a professional to do it. You need to vacuum first and move the furniture so all parts of the carpet are steam-cleaned.

If done properly, a lot of stains can be removed with a good steam cleaning. Remember that the carpet may take a while to dry completely.

Outdoor Areas

Since prospective renters see the appearance of your rental home from the outside, it’s critical to focus on your curb appeal. Trash must be removed and garbage cans must be cleaned and emptied.

You should also schedule lawn mowing and remove weeds from the garden. Leaves must be swept away and debris taken out from the patios. A jet wash is recommended to get rid of dirt and mold.

Get Professional Property Management Help

Now that your rental home is thoroughly cleaned, it will be easy to market it, attract renters and generate good rental earnings.

If you need help marketing your unit, attending to its maintenance and repair, screening residents, or collecting rent, contact PURE Property Management today!