Poor end of tenancy cleaning is the main cause of deposit losses although it is the easiest to avoid, by having an effective end of tenancy cleaning session before the final inspection.

  • Good end of tenancy cleaning is very important to ensure the return of your full deposit – Greater than half of deposit disputes (56%) are for poor cleaning, or have cleaning as part of a more complex dispute.
  • Tenants care free to do their own end of tenancy cleaning. The landlord cannot make them to utilise any specific cleaning company, or even use a cleaning company at all.
  • The landlord can request the same level of cleanliness as was recorded into the move-in inventory report. How the cleanliness is achieved is entirely up to the tenant.
  • If you intend to carry out your own end of tenancy cleaning, remember to use your check-in inventory as a guide. Also, use a checklist also schedule your cleaning to ensure the property is fully cleaned before the final inspection.
  • if you plan on doing the cleaning yourself ensure you set aside enough time for all of the tasks. Proper cleaning takes time and you will be surprised how big of a job this is.
  • The inventory reports are very important pieces of evidence for reaching a satisfactory resolution in a dispute. You need to have your end of tenancy cleaning done properly before the move out inventory is carried out in order to record the property in the cleanest state.
  • Your landlord cannot overcharge you excessively if you have not cleaned the property before moving out but may present you with the cost of the cleaning to their satisfaction which will be deducted from your deposit.
  • If you decide to hire a cleaning company for your end of tenancy, you should be careful of making a bad choice, your deposit is on the line here so ensure the work is done well by a reputable company and will suffice for reclaiming the entire deposit.


When starting a new tenancy, it’s probably very clean.

The landlord has probable employed an end of tenancy cleaning company to ensure that everything is in order for you to move in.

Tenants have a right to commence with a clean and hygienic property, This standard, however, must continue throughout the tenancy period.

Few tenants will do deep cleaning on a regular basis and probably less as they move towards the end of the tenancy. However, when vacating, tenants must ensure the property is just as clean as it was when they first moved in.

Moving is an already stressful time which is why both tenants and landlords tend to use the services industry to fill the role of end of tenancy cleaning.

Who has to clean what ?

Tenants are responsible for daily cleaning in the property just as you would your own house.

They can be held liable if lack of hygiene causes  a rise and spread of health hazards.
These might be diseases, pest infestation and/or mould.
The removal of these hazards, once established, can be costly and the tenant will be presented with the bill.

Gardens, driveways and patio areas are often rented to the tenant as part of the lease as well.
When doing the check-in inspection, remember to ask who has responsibility for these areas.

What about shared areas?

In shared building areas such as communal hallways, cleaning is usually the landlords responsibility.
Specialised cleaning tasks may also be considered the responsibility of the landlord.
A good example would be cleaning of the gutters, you could reasonably expect this to be managed by your landlord.

Get your deposit back in full

Having deposited a lot of money, it’s in the best interest of tenants to keep the property well maintained at all times. The two inventory checks – move in and move out – will set the standard for the condition of the property.
This is the best evidence for how tenants have affected the property’s condition during their stay.
The only way to ensure the deposit is paid back in full is if the two inventories are identical, or the move out one is better.

Setting a high standard

Landlords sometimes use end of tenancy cleaning companies before letting new tenants move in.
This way allows them to set a very high standard that will be expected when the tenants move out.
This will be detailed in the move in inventory report.

There may be high detail photos to show the property condition.
Your landlord will most likely provide you with a copy of the report that the cleaning company issued to them.
If you plan on cleaning the property yourself, make sure you put in that extra work and don’t leave it until the last minute, so you have enough time to match the quality benchmark.

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