It is simpler for a landlord to rent out a rental property when a tenant leaves it in good shape. The rental property will be more appealing to potential tenants, which could lower your vacancy rate. For this reason, it's critical to have a clause in your lease agreement that specifies the condition in which a tenant must vacate your home.

This article explains what end-of-tenancy cleaning entails and how it can support your profitable rental business.

What Is An End of Tenancy Cleaning

An end-of-tenancy cleaning is a process of deep cleaning that a tenant performs prior to moving out of the property. All parts of the rental property are cleaned, and this includes the furnishings, appliances, walls, and rooms.

When a tenant performs end-of-tenancy cleaning, landlords can easily market the rental space and schedule property tours. This means that the vacancy can be quickly filled and the income interruption is short-lived.

Why Is an End-of-Tenancy Cleaning Important

Before a tenant moves in, landlords perform a tenant walkthrough inspection to ensure that the tenant is aware of the property’s condition and finds it suitable to settle in. An end-of-tenancy cleaning is conducted to ensure that the rental property matches the original state.

If tenants change the decor or paint the walls, they must change the unit back to its original condition. Damages outside normal wear and tear need to be fixed, too. If the rental property is in a pristine state before the tenant’s move-in then it must appear in a similar state. However, landlords cannot expect tenants to go beyond that standard.

When tenants fail to meet this expectation, they may end up with a partial security deposit refund since the landlords may take out the cleaning fees and costs of repairs from the deposit. If the damage is heavy, then the security deposit may not be refunded. As a result, disputes may happen. To avoid this, an end-of-tenancy cleaning is essential.

What Is the Acceptable Level of Cleanliness

A landlord and tenant may not agree on the standard of cleanliness which can often lead to arguments. Having a point of reference is helpful since it is unfair for landlords to require the residents to exceed the level of property cleanliness showcased during the move-in inspection.

Having documentation is vital for both parties to compare the original state of the rental property. That’s why, taking photos and videos of the property during the initial inspection is crucial. Documentation makes it easy to do a comprehensive property assessment.

If property damage already exists, it will be visible from the photos or videos taken. Landlords must not expect the tenants to shoulder the repair costs in this situation. Photos can also help the tenants turn over a unit back in its original state by showing the images to the cleaner if they choose to hire one.

If an end-of-tenancy cleaning is properly conducted then the tenants can receive the entire security deposit from the landlord.

How To Address Normal Wear and Tear

The longer a property is rented out, the more you can expect wear and tear. You can see that scratches, stains, and other marks are left on the walls, furniture, and appliances. Eventually, shiny fixtures can grow dull, while wallpapers and curtains can appear faded.

Wear and tear is natural so landlords cannot charge tenants for repairs or replacements for this type of property damage around the rental unit. They can only deduct repair fees from the security deposit if the damage goes beyond normal wear and tear.

End-of-Tenancy Cleaning Checklist

To make the end-of-tenancy cleaning process easy for tenants, preparing a checklist is a good practice. This ensures that all details are common knowledge. Landlords want to shorten the property vacancy by having a reasonably clean rental unit to present to potential tenants.

Before starting an end-of-tenancy cleaning, it is recommended to have all the cleaning equipment and tools prepared, such as:

  • Microfiber cloths
  • Mops
  • Cleaning products
  • Vacuum cleaner

Cleaning Tips

Walls, Doors, and Ceilings

  • Remove the wall markings by wiping them with a cleaning cloth or applying a new coat of paint
  • Rub the light switches with a clean cloth to wipe off fingerprints
  • Use a clean cloth to wipe the surfaces and handles of doors and windows
  • Don’t forget to include the window frames when dusting

    Fixtures and Furnishings

  • Clean the curtain rods and picture frames fully to keep the dust off
  • Wipe the lampshades and light bulbs since these areas are often overlooked
  • Run vacuum cleaner over the sofa
  • Declutter the inside drawers and cupboards


  • Eliminate hard water stains from your bathtubs with a strong cleaner
  • Disinfectant the toilet, handles, and surrounding area
  • Use a toothbrush to remove mold from the tile grouts
  • Polish the sink and taps using organic lemon juice or vinegar


  • Wipe the kitchen countertops
  • Degrease the oven
  • Run a mop on the kitchen floors
  • Empty the fridge and clean both the inside and the outside
  • Make sure to clean the cutlery and dishware before storing them inside drawers


Use a steam cleaner to thoroughly clean your carpets. You can rent this machine or hire a professional cleaner to do it for you. You need to vacuum the entire area first and move all the furniture.

If you properly steam clean the carpets, all the dust and stains are removed. Ensure that the carpets have time to dry to eliminate bad odors.


Since your curb appeal attracts potential tenants, the exteriors of the property should be included in the end-of-tenancy cleaning.

  • Schedule lawn mowing
  • Remove weeds
  • Sweep dead leaves
  • Use a power washer to remove deep-seated dirt

Bottom line

A complete end-of-tenancy cleaning will help you draw in more interest from potential tenants, which will lower your vacancy rates.

Are you still interested in cleaning after the end of your lease? Or are you in need of professional assistance to manage a rental property? NFI Property Management Solutions can assist you! Contact us today for more information.