End of Tenancy Cleaning Checklist

  • November 25, 2023
  • January 8, 2024
  • Shaz Nawaz
  • 13 min read

When a tenancy comes to an end, the tenants and property owners must make sure that it ends smoothly. The final issue that they must deal with is cleaning. They need to handle it without any disputes, such as deposit dispute. To ensure that this is possible, it is important that the tenants know the standard of cleaning. They need to bring the state of the property to the same standard as it was when they moved in. That is why they need to know the requirements. This guide will provide you with an end of tenancy cleaning checklist.

What is the Most Common Issue at the End of a Tenancy?

When it comes to the end of a tenancy, the most common reason for any disputes or issues arising is cleaning. This is especially true for students.

If you, as a tenant, want to mitigate the risk of not getting your deposit back fully and avoid disputes, then you should clean your home. You need to bring it up to the same standard as it was when you got it.

The property owner also has this responsibility when renting out their house to tenants. They must ensure that the property is clean enough for tenants to live in. If they fail to do so, then the new tenants will face disappointment from the first day. Moreover, they are probably not going to return the property in a good condition. It is likely that they will not take care of the property during the tenancy.

Various Standards of Cleaning

Various Standards of Cleaning

People have different views as to what is considered a good standard of cleaning since it is subjective. It is crucial that tenants know their responsibility to clean. They should leave the property as clean as the day they moved in.

When the tenancy starts, the check-in inventory must track the standard of cleaning correctly. Then, when the time comes to clean the property in preparation for check-out, the tenants should refer to this standard.

Why is Check-In Inventory and Schedule of Condition Important?

Now, what does a property owner check-in inventory and schedule of condition include? Well, it includes a comprehensive list of all the items and contents room by room. It also has a full description of their condition and cleanliness. Furthermore, there are photographs with date stamps. Therefore, an end of tenancy cleaning checklist is necessary.

An agent, property owner, or an independent inventory clerk can perform an inventory. Since the inventory must remain professional, unbiased, and comprehensive, it is ideal to hire an independent inventory clerk. Both parties should fully comprehend the state of the property after agreeing to and signing the inventory. Therefore, they have a clear idea of the condition of the property at the end of the tenancy.

To summarise, a good inventory should cover the length of the tenancy and include the following:

  • A detailed list of interior and exterior conduction. This includes fixtures and fittings, appliances, contents, and even décor.
  • List of house keys, meter readings, and alarm checks.
  • A full report containing embedded photographs, that is signed by both parties. It is also acceptable to present electronic proof that they sent it to the tenant.

You should also include the following at the end of the tenancy:

  • Mid-term property inspection reports if there are any.
  • A finalised inventory that all parties are witnesses to.

The key to a successful tenancy is a vigorous inventory. It protects the interests of both tenants and property owners. Although most tenants and property owners keep their property in good condition, they still end up discussing cleanliness at the end of tenancy. Check-in inventories, mid-term inspection reports, and check-out reports are the evidence for negotiating in this case. Hence, you need an end of tenancy cleaning checklist.

Conducting Both Check-Ins and check-Outs in Person

Property owners and agents should conduct both the check-ins and check-outs in the presence of the tenants. Prior to signing the documents, you can examine the inventory and instructions regarding the property operations together.

By completing both theses processes in person, a face-to-face and open conversation can take place between the parties. This offers them the opportunity to bring up their expectations regarding the cleanliness and condition of the property. Therefore, they can sort out any concerns and issues right there.

If the property owner chooses to take a personal approach, then the tenant will realise their responsibility from day one. As a result, there is less risk of neglect and damage. Most importantly, the parties can sign the inventory on the spot and not delay it any further.

What are the Cleaning Responsibilities of a Tenant During the Tenancy?

Even though it is for their own benefit that tenants should take good care of the property during the tenancy, it is not a requirement. That is right. There is no law that states that the tenant must make sure the property is clean during the tenancy. Of course, there is an exception in case their lack of cleaning causes a safety or health risk. Or if it damages the property’s structure.

Nevertheless, property owners can remind tenants of their responsibility through regular property inspections. This will ensure that tenants maintain the standard of cleaning that they found at the beginning of the tenancy. Property owners can also give tips that will help run the tenancy smoothly. Thus, it is important to have an end of tenancy cleaning checklist.

Cleaning Responsibilities of a Tenant

What is Fair Wear and Tear at the End of Tenancy?

It is important to mention fair wear and tear as it is a grey area when discussing cleaning. Please note that the basis is that fair wear and tear is not applicable to cleaning. The tenant must return the property in the same condition that they found it in at the start.

However, there are cases where this is not possible. Suppose a carpet has multiple stains that will not wash out properly. This means that its condition cannot go back to a reasonable standard.

In this scenario, there is a new for a claim towards a new carpet. This will require the consideration of the lifespan of a carpet in a let property. This includes its condition and age at the beginning of the tenancy. At some point, everything will come to the end of its lifespan regardless of how well you take care of it.

What are the Cleaning Responsibilities of a Tenant at the End of the Tenancy?

It is usually the tenant’s responsibility to deal with the end of tenancy cleaning. However, the standard and requirements are not necessarily clear to the parties involved.

Two weeks before moving out, the tenants must think about the process of cleaning. Property owners should remind their tenants about what they agreed upon in the check-inventory. Tenants need to refer to the check-in inventory descriptions along with the photographic evidence.

You can create an end of tenancy cleaning checklist to reduce to avoid getting into disputes and negotiations about cleaning. This guide provides you with a checklist that you can refer to when you are leaving the property.

What is the Cost of End of Tenancy Cleaning?

It is up to the tenants whether they choose to clean the property themselves or hire someone to do it for them. If they decide to clean it by themselves, then they must make sure it is up to the correct standard. Depending on the size of the property and its state, the cost of cleaning it will vary. The location also matters. Please note that property owners cannot ask their tenants to pay for a professional end of tenancy cleaning process.

Under the Tenants Fees Act 2019, property owners and agents cannot charge tenants any fees besides the permitted ones. They are stated in the Act. Furthermore, the legislation does not allow the property owners to request a tenant to pay for professional cleaning. If the tenants want to, then they can hire a professional to deal with the cleaning. If a property owner forces them to do so, then they can incur a fine of £5,000.

Can Property Owners Pay for End of Tenancy Cleaning with the Tenant’s Deposit?

Suppose the tenant did not clean the property properly. It is not up to the standard that it was in at the beginning of the tenancy. In such a scenario, where the tenant leaves the property in an unsatisfactory condition, the property owner can raise a deposit dispute. They can do so to recoup the amount that they require, bringing the state of the property up to the standard. Undoubtedly, you need an end of tenancy cleaning checklist.

To decide the outcome of the negotiation, they can refer to the details in the check-in report and inventory. The property owner does not have the right to claim a deposit deduction to make the property’s state better than before the tenancy.

What is the End of Tenancy Cleaning Checklist?

You should check your tenancy agreement to see the end of tenancy requirements. They vary from property to property. The following checklist includes the items common to all properties, along with the main areas. Since the standard that you must uphold is the same as when you moved in, you should refer to the check-in inventory.

Walls, doors, and ceilings

When cleaning walls, doors, and ceilings, start high and work your way down.


Make sure to look up and check the condition of the ceilings. Remove the cobwebs by using a duster with a long handle. Also, clean overhead lighting fixtures and fittings. Do not forget the smoke alarms.

Walls and skirting boards

Use an effective cleaning product to wipe down the walls. You should test the cleaning product to make sure it does remove the paint.


Do not forget the door frames and handles when wiping down the doors. Also, wipe down the top of the door. The front door needs cleaning, too.


Make sure to dust and damp wipe down all surfaces of the property.

Fixtures, fittings, and furnishings

Curtains and blinds

  • Usually, it is not necessary to dry clean or wash curtains and blinds. Unless it was a very long tenancy. However, you should check for any new stains.
  • Wipe down the tops of curtain rails.
  • If there are slatted blinds, then you can close them to dust them. You can then close them the other way and clean them.

The end of tenancy cleaning checklist includes the following as well:


  • Make sure to fully clean and dust all the shelving.
  • Clean inside and out the cupboards by emptying them. Make sure to wipe down the tops of shelving and wardrobes.
  • Take out everything from drawers and dust inside.
  • Surfaces of all furniture require dusting and polishing.
  • Remove dust from sofa cushions and vacuum the sofa.

Lighting and power sockets

  • Dust lampshades, light switches, and any accessible fittings.
  • Do not use water or wet cloths when wiping and polishing extension cords or power sockets.


  • Use cleaner to wipe down window seals and frames. Also, clean all glass from inside and outside.
  • Do not forget to dust windowsills.

Your end of tenancy cleaning checklist must contain the following:


Thoroughly sweep or vacuum all floors throughout the property. If necessary, mop them. Move furniture to clean under it and behind it.


Vacuum all carpets throughout the property. You can get carpet cleaning equipment if necessary. Or you can get it cleaned professionally.

Hard floors

Vacuum or sweep hard surfaces. Also, mop them.


Disinfect bins after emptying them. Get rid of food waste and all rubbish from the property.


Take out all the food from both the fridge and freezer. Then, defrost the freezer. Make sure to not flood the floors. Use a kitchen cleaning product to cleanse the inside of the fridge and freezer.

Remove everything from the cupboards and clean them from the inside and outside. Make sure to rinse the cloth well and wipe down both sides of doors and pulls.

Often, people neglect the oven and hob. You should thoroughly de-grease the oven and hob. Reach out to a specialist oven cleaning company if they are in a poor condition.

Fully clean the sink. To control odours, you should pour baking soda down the drain.

Scrub appliances inside and outside. Also, top and behind. This includes cleaning the following:

  • Tumble dryer.
  • Microwave.
  • Descale the kettle.
  • Run a hot water cycle with a cup of baking soda in the washing machine.
  • Toaster.
  • Dishwasher.

Clean all counter tops and worktops by wiping them down. You should clean underneath and behind appliances.

Remove all dust, grease, and dirt from extractor fans.

From the far corner to the entrance, sweep and mop the floor.

Make sure to empty and disinfect bins.

Do not forget to include the following in your end of tenancy cleaning checklist:


  • Use a good bathroom cleaner to clean the vanity unit, sink and shower. Remove the limescale.
  • Do not forget to clean and polish the taps.
  • Polish all glass and mirror.
  • Use disinfectant to clean the toilet.
  • Get rid of the limescale on the shower head.
  • Make sure to clean the shower doors thoroughly.
  • Remove mould from the grout and clean the tiles.
  • Clean shower rails.
  • Remove dust and dirt from the extractor fan.
  • Use hot water and detergent to mop the floor.


To conclude, it is the responsibility of the tenant to clean the property before leaving it. They should bring the cleanliness up to the standard that it was at the time they moved in. If they want to they can do the cleaning themselves, however it is possible to hire professional help. Property owners cannot force tenants to get the property professionally cleaned. Furthermore, tenants should refer to the inventory so that they can see the requirements.

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