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Expert DIY End of Tenancy Cleaning Tips and Advice

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Table of Content
February 15, 2023

If it’s time to vacate your rental property and move into a new one, there are certain things you should know about. Like, how clean is clean when it comes to an end of tenancy cleaning and what are some top tips to go by that will help you avoid disputes with your landlord? If you are here for the answers, read on.

Key Takeaways on End of Tenancy Cleaning Checklist

  • Everybody’s got their own definition of spotless, which is why it's best to leave the property in a similar condition to when you moved in
  • The term 'normal wear and tear' doesn’t imply you shouldn’t clean the premises as you vacate them
  • If you opt for an end of tenancy cleaning service, you should provide access to the property and ensure there is enough room for the machines and cleaning supplies

What are some cleaning tips to go by at the end of the tenancy?

  • If you’re going to clean the property yourself, start as early as possible so that you can complete all tasks by the day of the inspection
  • Create a checklist to a spotless house; it will help you stay focused on the agenda, plus it will make you more organised
  • Use the right tools - if necessary, hire a steam cleaner
  • Start with the areas that you rarely use and gradually move on to the busiest rooms on the premises
  • Don't forget to clean inside wardrobes, cupboards, and drawers; wash the bins inside and out
  • Make sure the property is free from any cobwebs, limescale, and stains
  • Take care of mould
  • Check for scuff marks on walls
  • Clean every nook and cranny
  • Do some window cleaning (or don't risk it and call in a professional window cleaner for the outside of your windows if you live in a tall building)
  • Clean the shower head and the shower curtain, not just the bathroom tiles; check out behind the toilet seat (make sure to check out our bathroom cleaning tips for more information)
  • Be careful with the cleaning products; avoid using harsh chemicals, always read the label so as not to damage any surfaces; if necessary, consult an expert on which products remove which stains and dirt
  • Test the products on inconspicuous areas beforehand to avoid unwanted damage
  • Let the products sit for a while so they can work their magic before you start cleaning; this will minimise scrubbing
  • The cleaning process is daunting and time-consuming, so arm yourself with patience - you may find it's easy to get the job done when your favourite music is on
  • As you finish cleaning, do a final check to ensure you crossed off all the tasks from your cleaning list; you don’t want to miss a single spot that may cost you your full deposit refund

Why take the time to give the property an end-of-tenancy clean?

If you want to get your deposit back, you should give the property a good clean. This will require some elbow grease on your part. Not only will you avoid disputes that way but you can also get good references for future landlords.

Besides, cleaning your rental before you leave is common sense and a sign of good manners. If you are mature enough to live on your own, you should have no problem with the responsibilities that come with it.

What will your landlord or letting agent be looking for?

So, how clean is clean? The answer to this question varies per person. Since there is no universal rule to go by, you should ensure the property is as clean as it was when you moved in.

And if you don’t remember what the premises looked like on the day of your arrival - and who can blame you for this? - you should check out your inventory (hopefully you did take one at the start of your tenancy).

Take a look at the photos you captured back then and use them to compare. Instead of wasting time trying to fix issues that were already there when you first moved in, focus on cleaning each room to the expected standard.

If you'd like assistance with your tenancy cleaning, feel free to get in touch with us for a free quote by filling in the form below!

    What about fair wear and tear?

    Everything you once bought or lived in is prone to wear and tear. There is no clear definition of what ‘reasonable wear and tear’ is but tenants are usually required to take good care of their rental property.

    In general, the term refers to the normal and unavoidable deterioration of an item as a result of regular usage and age. When damage has been done due to negligence or on purpose, the tenant is liable to repair it.

    Keep in mind that 'wear and tear' is used to describe the condition of the place rather than its cleanliness. Hence, you are supposed to give the premises a good clean before you move out. Ideally, you will leave the flat or house in the same condition as when received.

    Should I do the end of tenancy cleaning myself or leave it to professional cleaners?

    woman clearing her floor with cleaning products herself

    You are free to do the move out cleaning yourself. This way you will be confident that the job has been done to the desired standard. Or you can have a professional cleaning company deal with it. 

    In the past, landlords could request end of tenancy cleaning but the law changed in 2019 and these days tenants are no longer required to pay for a professional clean. In fact, forcing tenants to hire a cleaning expert can get you a fine of £5,000 upwards.

    You may be interested in reading about whether or not landlords must clean the property between tenants or how long move out cleaning usually takes.

    However, you need to understand that no matter who does the cleaning, you should leave the property in pristine condition. So, if you think you can do a decent job, you don’t have to delegate the task to an end of tenancy cleaning company. But if you aren't confident in your cleaning skills, you might want to consider hiring a professional, just to err on the side of caution.

    What happens during a professional end of tenancy cleaning service?

    As the cleaning team arrives at your property, they will inspect the premises and prep the cleaning supplies. They will probably bring some heavy-duty cleaning machines and tools.

    Before the actual cleaning begins, stains and certain areas will have to be pre-treated. The end of tenancy cleaners will probably use a cleaning checklist to ensure every nook and cranny has been thoroughly cleaned. This way, step by step, they will go over all the jobs you have agreed upon.

    Since end of tenancy cleaning is more like a deep clean, the team will clean stuff you never imagined like skirting boards, light switches, ornaments, door handles, mattresses, TV stands, and whatnot. Limescale and cobwebs will be removed.

    All surfaces will be dusted. Hard-to-reach areas will not be skipped. They won’t forget to wipe down windows on the inside and they may even clean your carpets, upholstered furniture and rugs, as they move from room to room in the house.

    When they are done, do a final inspection to see if you like the cleaning results. Speak up if there is something you think could have been cleaned to a higher standard.

    We take pride in our work and value our customers' satisfaction. To see what our clients have to say about our end of tenancy cleaning service, we invite you to visit our Google profile and check out our tenancy cleaning reviews. Don't just take our word for it - see for yourself why our customers trust us for their cleaning needs.

    What should you do before the professional cleaning expert arrives?

    A regular cleaning service would normally require that you keep all your personal belongings and valuables out of the cleaner’s way. But since we’re talking about move out cleaning, it makes sense that you have already vacated the property by the time the team is at your door. This means that there will be no belongings to get in the way. If that is not the case, please tidy as much as possible prior to the appointment!

    So, what you can do is ensure free access to all the people and their cleaning machines. If you booked carpet cleaning in conjunction with your end of tenancy clean, you can try and move any heavy furniture out of the way. When you opt to hire a professional cleaner, you should not expect them to move stuff around.

    Looking for more tips? Get your house in order like a pro by following our house cleaning checklist.


    What should tenants look for when choosing an end-of-tenancy cleaning provider?

    When looking for a professional company, you should check if they offer insurance and if their cleaners are fully vetted. After all, you will be letting a stranger in the property that will spend hours around valuable stuff.

    Do they have some sort of guarantee that the premises will be left in tip-top shape after they finish the job? What happens if you are not satisfied with the outcome? For example, at Skycleaners we offer a free re-clean of the areas that you, the landlord or the estate agent isn't satisfied with a generous 72 hour period. This is a vital thing to check before you have your property professionally cleaned.

    Further to this, do ask if they will bring all the machines and supplies and if these are included in the price. There should not be additional costs for cleaning tools. Also, investigate if they have a detailed list of all the cleaning jobs they usually carry out. Find out how much you can expect to be charged for end of lease cleaning in the UK.

    How long does a landlord have to return a deposit?

    In most cases, deposits should be paid back within 10 days of moving out unless the agreement states otherwise. If you do get your deposit back with deductions that you weren’t made aware of ahead of time, you should contact your landlord to request more information.

    If you don’t get your security deposit back, you can raise a dispute with the deposit protection service you’re using to secure the deposit (tenancy deposit scheme). If that doesn't apply to your case, all that is left for you to do is to claim compensation.

    End of Tenancy Cleaning, Carpet Cleaning, After Builders Cleaning, Office Cleaning.