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End of Tenancy Cleaning

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Landlords and tenants have shared responsibilities in maintaining the upkeep of the property. As a landlord, it’s your duty to provide a habitable living space for your tenants. Similarly, tenants should be responsible for keeping the property in its best and cleanest condition throughout the duration of their stay. 

Ideally, when the lease term ends, the property should be returned to the landlord in the same condition as when the tenancy started. Tenants are recommended to clean the rental unit thoroughly before they move out. 

This is to prevent any deposit dispute due to an unclean property. A proper end of tenancy cleaning can help avoid any issues between tenants and landlords upon the end of the lease term.

What Is the End of Tenancy Cleaning?

The end of tenancy cleaning is the process of thoroughly cleaning the rental unit before the tenant moves out. Tenants are recommended to perform end of tenancy cleaning where they thoroughly clean every aspect of the property. 

This is to ensure that the rental unit is returned to the same condition as it was when they first moved in. Typically, tenants should clean the walls, floors, appliances, furniture, and fixtures before they vacate the rental unit to prevent any charges on their security deposit. 

Why Tenants Are Recommended to Perform an End of Tenancy Cleaning

In most lease agreements, tenants are required to leave the property in the same state as it was when the tenancy started. 


If tenants made alterations to the physical aspects of the property, they should make sure that the property is reverted back to how it looked before the alterations. The same goes for any property damages that are due to accident or neglect. 

In addition, tenants should also maintain a certain level of cleanliness so that the property remains clean and sanitary when it’s returned to the landlord upon move-out. If not, they risk losing a portion of their security deposit because landlords can claim it if they’re not satisfied with the property’s condition. 

How Clean a Property Should Be

A property’s level of cleanliness usually varies based on what was originally included in the lease. Typically, landlords and property managers expect the property to be as clean as it was before the tenants moved in. 

It’s essential to use the inventory or schedule of conditions used during the move-in inspection as a point of reference. This can help the tenant when performing the end of tenancy cleaning. 

Usually, landlords provide tenants with a move-in checklist that includes the schedule of the property’s condition. It should have a written explanation of the condition of each aspect of the property. 


It’s preferable if the schedule of conditions also includes photos of how each aspect of the property looked like. This schedule can help the tenants meet the expectations of the landlord and prevent any end-of-tenancy disputes related to cleaning. 

What Is Normal Wear and Tear?

Normal wear and tear refers to the normal depreciation of the property’s physical value due to everyday use. This is the average and acceptable damage to the property that usually happens gradually due to the normal use of the premises. 

Landlords are not allowed to deduct from the security deposit to cover damages that are due to normal wear and tear. 

What Is Excessive Dirt?

When tenants use the property without cleaning it on a regular basis, it can result in excessive dirt, which is usually difficult to remove. Typically, excessive dirt is not considered part of normal wear and tear, and tenants should be responsible for cleaning off dust and grime.

Most rental agreements require tenants to clean the property on a regular basis to prevent any dirt build-up. After all, tenants are equally and legally responsible in maintaining the upkeep of the rental unit, and they should keep the place sanitary and clean all throughout their stay.


While landlords aren’t allowed to charge cleaning fees to tenants, tenants are still responsible for maintaining the condition of the property. Any unreasonable damage and excessive dirt can result in landlords making a claim on the security deposit.

Sample End of Tenancy Cleaning Checklist

An end of tenancy cleaning checklist is important so that tenants and landlords can easily determine which aspects of the property need to be cleaned. 

This checklist can help tenants ensure that they give special attention to every nook and cranny of the property and can prevent any potential dispute. This checklist can also help the landlord when verifying the condition of the unit after move-out. 

Tenants and landlords can use this sample checklist to ensure that they cover everything:

Walls, Doors, Windows, and Ceilings:

  • Wipe clean the door surfaces and doorknobs.
  • Check and clean the tops of doors and the door frames.
  • Scrub the window sills and frames.
  • Wipe the interior and exterior of the windows.
  • Clean the light switches and electrical sockets on the walls.
  • Wipe all wall surfaces.
  • Dust off every corner of the ceiling.
  • Clean the skirting boards.

Fixtures, Furnishings, and Fittings:

  • Wipe the tops of wardrobes, cabinets, shelves, and cupboards.
  • Wipe and polish mirrors and picture frames.
  • Clean any decorative accessory and curtain rails.
  • Dust off light fixtures, bulbs, and lamps.
  • Wipe surfaces of dining tables, sideboards, desks, coffee tables and chairs.
  • Dust off the sofa cushions.

Bathrooms and Kitchen:

  • Wipe the taps, basin, and fittings.
  • Scrub the toilet, sink, bathtubs, showerheads, and floor tiles.  


  • Clean the tile grout and shower rails.
  • Dust off the extractor fans and hob.
  • Clean the oven, coffee maker, microwave, toasters, kettle, dishwasher, and other kitchen appliances.
  • Wipe and polish the kitchen countertops and backsplash.
  • Scrub the kitchen sink.
  • Clean the cupboards and drawers.

Floors and Carpets:

  • Vacuum and remove the stains from the carpet.
  • Clean and polish the floors if there is no carpet.


  • Dispose of the trash.
  • Empty the garbage bins.
  • Mow and tidy up the lawn.


End of tenancy cleaning is important to prevent disputes between a landlord and their tenant. It also ensures that the property continues to be clean and well-maintained.

Still have questions about the end of tenancy cleaning process? Contact McCaw Property Management! We’re a full service property management company in Dallas, Fort Worth, and the surrounding areas. We’ll help fulfill all of your property management needs!