End of tenancy cleaning tips: a checklist to a spotless home

End of Tenancy Cleaning Checklist

As the end of your tenancy approaches, it’s time to think about the cleaning. It’s important to leave the property in the best possible state in order to get your deposit back. In fact, according to UK tenant support community The Tenant’s Voice, end of tenancy cleaning is the single biggest cause for deposit deductions.

No matter how long or short your tenancy, the property will be in need of some TLC.

Is professional cleaning required at end of tenancy?

The short answer is no. Your landlord cannot force you to purchase end of tenancy cleaning services. You have two options: to hire a professional cleaning company or do it yourself. Either way, your rental property will need a deep clean.

Wondering how much an end of tenancy clean costs? If you go to the pros it can be as much as £300 for a 3 bed property. Ouch. Instead, it’s far more cost effective to muck in and do it with your housemates.

This deep clean is going to require some elbow grease, but we’ll help you through it. From tackling the fridge to scrubbing the skirting boards, here’s your end of tenancy cleaning checklist template. Follow it for sparkling results.

Step 1: Dig out the inventory report

A lengthy document, the inventory report will detail each room within the property, going into minute detail about the condition of the space and the contents within it. They often contain photographs too, so you’ll know exactly what state the house was in when your tenancy started, and therefore what state it needs to be left in when you move out.

Step 2: Tackle the kitchen

When opting for the cheap end of tenancy cleaning and doing it yourself, the kitchen (with all its surfaces and appliances) often takes the longest to work through. Why not get it over and done with first.

  • Remove everything from the cupboards and shelves, wipe them down and scrub off any stains
  • Remove all trays and racks from the fridge and wash them in soapy water.
  • Wipe down the outside and inside of the fridge. When dry, return all trays and racks to the fridge and turn it off at the wall. Leave the doors open to prevent mould
  • Clear out the freezer and defrost it. The safest and easiest way to do this is to turn the freezer off at the wall, unplug it and let the ice melt on its own. You could put a towel on the floor to soak up any water. When the freezer has defrosted, clean it with soap and water. Once dry, leave the door open
  • Clean and degrease the oven and hobs
  • Wash and polish the sink and taps
  • Clean the microwave inside and out
  • Wipe down the washing machine and clear any gunk from the bottom (grim, we know)
  • Remove any rubbish and sanitise the bins
  • Dust the corners of the room
  • Wipe down all worktops and countertops, as well as the doors, handles, door frames and skirting boards. If in doubt - wipe!
  • Sweep or vacuum the floors, and then wash them

Step 3: The bathroom

Rubber gloves are thoroughly recommended for this next stage…

  • Wipe down bathroom tiles
  • Clean the basin, taps and fittings and remove any limescale
  • Scrub and rinse the shower and bath
  • Descale shower heads and taps
  • Wipe and polish mirrors and glass
  • Scrub and rinse soap dispensers and any accumulated dirt or mould
  • Make sure plug holes are clear and the water can run through
  • Scrub and clean away any bath marks
  • Scrub the toilet and give it a good dowsing of bleach
  • Clean around the extractor fan
  • Wash the floor

Step 4: The bedroom

This should (hopefully) be a much quicker job.

  • Dust the corners of the ceiling
  • Dust the skirting boards and wipe any scuffs or marks off with soapy water
  • Pull the bed, wardrobe, and desk away from the wall and dust behind them
  • Wipe down any radiators
  • Wipe and dust any light fittings and lampshades.
  • Clean dust off curtain rails, curtains, blinds and slats
  • Vacuum the mattress
  • Wipe down any marks off the wall
  • Clean any windows
  • Wipe down inside any furniture, wardrobes, chest of drawers
  • Vacuum the floor

Step 5: The hallway

Have you been trailing bikes in and out of the house or knocking cricket bags through the entrance? These can leave marks and scuffs on the walls. Time to get the soapy water out.

  • Dust the corners and around the ceiling
  • Dust the skirting boards and use soapy water to wipe off any scuffs or marks
  • If you have a wooden floor, sweep, wash and give it a polish. If it’s carpeted then run the vacuum over it
  • Wipe and dust any light fittings and lampshades
  • Dust the tops of doors, door frames and picture frames
  • Wipe and polish any mirrors

Step 6: The outside of the house

Easy to forget but just as important on the inventory.

  • Clean the windows
  • Wash out the bins and tidy them away
  • Sweep up any leaves

Step 7: If you have a garden or patio

Channel your inner Monty Don and spruce the space up.

  • Sweep up any leaves
  • Scrub any paving stones or patios
  • Pull out any pesky weeds
  • Mow the lawn

Step 8: Finishing touches

Last but not least…

  • Wipe down the washing machine and clear out the filter
  • Vacuum sofas, chairs and any other furniture. It’s important that you get rid of stains too.
  • If a cloth and soapy water isn’t getting marks off the walls you could touch them up with paint. However, always make sure to use the exact same shade otherwise you’ll be creating an even bigger job for yourself. When painting keep things neat and tidy with no spillages, otherwise your deposit will take a hit.

So there you have it, a rundown of what end of tenancy cleaning includes. Head off to the supermarket, pick up your cleaning supplies and get ready to dust like you’ve never dusted before!

Where are you heading off to next? Why not check out our ‘House viewing checklist for renters’, read about ‘How to negotiate rent’ or find out ‘What credit score is needed to rent a property

If you want to learn more about Urban Jungles's policies:

Read more about our Contents insurance policy here.

Read more about our Buildings and Contents insurance policy here.

Read more about Tenants Liability insurance here.