When you vacate a property at the end of your tenancy, your main obligation is to return the property in the same, or as close to the same, condition as when you moved in. Due allowance is made for fair wear and tear.
Returning the property in a good condition has numerous benefits for both you and the landlord. Most notably, you’ll likely get your full deposit back. Therefore, unsurprisingly, cleaning can be key to a happy end of tenancy.
End of tenancy clean
Cleaning is an important part of the tenant moving checklist! Referring to your tenancy agreement is useful when cleaning your rented property, as this will contain certain stipulations as to the level of hygiene the landlord expects. This can include things such as professional carpet cleaning.
Once you have established what’s required, you can then decide whether you want to hire professional cleaners to clean the property thoroughly or undertake the task yourself. Get a receipt, if using a professional cleaning company.
Most good letting agents will have the details of reputable local cleaning contractors, so don’t be afraid to ask for a recommendation.
A professional clean can be expensive, but you’ll be given a receipt that you can hold up should cleanliness be raised as an issue at the end of tenancy. This will certainly benefit your defence should the matter be referred to the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS), especially if the cleaner was recommended by the letting agent.
How to clean your property
If you plan to do the end of tenancy clean yourself, ensure that you have all the equipment and products you need. Allow yourself sufficient time (one or two full days) to get the job done.
Don’t underestimate the task ahead of you. Work thoroughly through the property, one room at a time.
57% of claims to the TDS cite cleaning as the biggest point of contention between landlords and tenants. Use your inventory as a guide and remind yourself of how you were handed the property to ensure you return it in the same condition. Your landlord can charge you for insufficient cleaning, which can be a significant chunk of your deposit.
In short, you should ensure that the property is free from:
- Rubbish and waste
- Dirt and dust
- Marks and stains
Areas to pay particular attention to:
- The cooker. Ensure all parts are free from grease and marks, including hobs, oven shelves, racks, grill pans, baking trays etc.
- Extractor hood. De-grease and replace the filter if necessary
- Fridges and freezers. Defrost where necessary. Remove and individually clean all shelves and drawers as well as the full appliance interior. Once clean, turn the appliances off and leave the doors open
- Sinks, basins, baths, showers etc. All kitchen and bathroom fittings should be clean and free of any limescale
- Clean inside and out (if your responsibility)
- Ensure it’s clean and dust free
- Cupboards and drawers. Clean inside and out
- Generally dry clean
- Crockery/cutlery. If provided then ensure you leave the same quantity as you received (and noted in the inventory) and any missing or broken items (if any) have been replaced
- All carpets must be cleaned. There may be a requirement for a professional steam clean and, if so, get a receipt
- If there is a chimney, it must be swept by a registered professional chimney sweep (get a receipt)
- Décor. Where appropriate, all walls, floors, woodwork etc should be washed and marks removed. Serious damage must be rectified
If you have a garden with your property, its upkeep and maintenance will typically fall under the responsibility of the tenant.