End of Tenancy Cleaning Checklist

All tenants have a duty to ensure that their rental property is up to scratch by the time to vacate and hand the keys back to the landlord. In most cases, landlords will withhold your deposit until you’ve cleared and cleaned the premises – whether it’s a rental home, office or commercial property. If you want to get your deposit back from your landlord, read our handy end of tenancy cleaning tips and follow our end of tenancy cleaning checklist for each room, to ensure the property is left immaculate for the next tenants.

End of Tenancy Cleaning Checklist: Room by Room


Hallway and stairs

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In most properties, the hallway and stairs are the first area you walk into once you open the front door, so it is crucial that they look immaculate for your landlord. As always, it is advisable to start from the top (the ceiling) and work your way down to the floor, carefully scanning the room for any issues which may need rectifying. For instance, if there are any carpet stains or a light bulb needs changing, ensure you get this sorted before the landlord arrives to inspect the property.

Firstly, ensure that all cobwebs and dust is removed from the hallway and stairs – even in hard to reach areas – as this can potentially hinder your chances of getting your deposit back from your landlord. Don’t forget to scrub your skirting boards, to remove any dirt or dust which may have appeared over time from general use.

Depending on the flooring in your hallway and stairs, you should use a vacuum over the area and use a mop with warm water and dishwasher liquid on hardwood floors. As mentioned above, this should be the last job on your list, otherwise you may find you have to wash the floors multiple times.

End of tenancy cleaning list for the hallway and stairs:

  • Remove all dust and cobwebs
  • Vacuum floor
  • Mop hard floors
  • Wipe skirting boards
  • Clean all light fittings and replace any bulbs
  • Clean all windows and doors/door handles

Kitchen

Photo credit: Daniel Jedzura / Shutterstock

Let’s be honest, cleaning the kitchen can be an arduous task because it’s the room that gets used the most, so it is understandably the dirtiest. Therefore, this is one of the crucial areas to ensure is spick-and-span to increase chances of getting your deposit back.

Firstly, you will need some basic tools, such as non-scratch scourers, a spray bottle and some specialised kitchen cleaning liquid, to lift marks on hard-to-clean surfaces. Start by cleaning the countertops, shelves and worktops in the kitchen space.

Secondly, just like you would in the bathroom, wash and polish the taps and sink, removing any limescale in the process. If needed, you can pick up drain blockers from any supermarket to unclog your sink, or pour a pot boiling water down the drain, followed by half a cup of bicarbonate of soda – allow it to sit for a few minutes before adding a mixture of vinegar and hot water.

Next, remove all items from the drawers and cupboards and give them a good old scrub. This also entails cleaning inside the cupboards and drawers, and removing any pieces of dirt, such as food or dust. The same goes for any tiles around food preparation areas, such as the hob or typical spot for chopping up food.

Photo credit: Africa Studio / Shutterstock

Any areas which have been in direct contact with food, such as freezers, fridges, microwave, hob and oven. The hob and oven can be particularly grimy and may require some elbow grease, so ensure you have the correct tools to tackle it. Ensure that each appliance is left spotless and looking as good as new – even the bins must be left sparkling clean.

Bear in mind that any marks found in the kitchen should be removed. If you find stains are not lifting, it may be worth consulting a professional cleaning company to help. If that doesn’t help, beware that you may be liable to damages from your landlord.

End of tenancy cleaning list for the kitchen:

  • Remove all dust and cobwebs
  • Wash and polish all surfaces 
  • Clean tiles
  • Scrub all cupboards and drawers inside and out
  • Scrub all kitchen appliances – particularly the hob, oven and microwave
  • Clean sink and taps, and remove limescale
  • Vacuum and/or mop the floor
  • Wipe skirting boards
  • Clean all windows and doors/door handles
  • Clean bins inside and out

RELATED: How to Clean Your Kitchen Without Chemicals

Bedroom

Photo credit: New Africa / Shutterstock

When cleaning the bedroom, you must ensure that the room is left clean and dust-free. It is advisable to start from the top to the bottom, by clearing any cobwebs on the ceiling and dusting the top of wardrobes and cupboards, which are prone to dust and critters (e.g. spiders).

If the property came equipped with furniture, you must ensure they are in good condition. For instance, any picture frames hanging on the walls should be removed, wiped and dusted down before being rehung. The same goes for curtain rails (which can be buffed and polished), door knobs and handles, lampshades, light fittings, skirting and plug sockets. If curtains were supplied, ensure that they are clean. Generally, curtains are dry clean only but check the label first as some curtains are machine washable. Make sure everything looks spotless.

Lastly, it is the most tedious job of them all – cleaning the floor. When cleaning the carpet, thoroughly hoover and ensure any carpet stains are removed, otherwise you may not get your deposit back. If the floor is laminate or wooden, hoover up any dirt and wash with a mop using hot soapy water and bleach.

End of tenancy cleaning list for the bedroom:

  • Remove all dust and cobwebs
  • Wipe down and dust all bedroom furniture (incl. beds, bedside cabinets, wardrobes and drawers inside and out)
  • Clean all windows and doors/door handles
  • Wash any light fittings and replace any lightbulbs
  • Vacuum and/or mop the floor
  • Wipe skirting boards

Bathroom

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The bathroom can be the deal breaker when it comes to end of tenancy cleaning. It is vital that the toilet is thoroughly cleaned, both inside and out using bleach – the same goes for your shower tray, bath and taps, basins and sinks (the same as the kitchen). It is recommended that you clean baths, basins and sinks using bleach, as this leaves them sparkling white and looking as good as new, as well as grout stains and shower head, if applicable.

Just like the kitchen, it is important to leave all appliances cleared and unclogged. You can unclog a bathroom sink the same way as the kitchen sink, however unclogging a toilet is a little more difficult. Watch this video to learn how to unblock a toilet yourself:

As for glass surfaces (such as a shower screen) and mirrors, these should be wiped using a soapy solution, and can be dried using newspaper to avoid any smears from appearing.

End of tenancy cleaning list for the bathroom:

  • Remove all dust and cobwebs
  • Clean the tiles/walls, bath and shower screen
  • Any fixtures and fittings must be cleaned (e.g. shower head)
  • Wash and disinfect the toilet
  • Clean mirrors with an anti-smudge cleaning agent
  • Clean all light fittings and replace any bulbs
  • Wipe all windows and doors/door handles
  • All skirting to be dusted and wiped
  • Wash and polish floors
  • Wipe skirting boards

Lounge

Photo credit: mariakray / Shutterstock

The lounge is one of the main living spaces in a property, and one that often draws prospective tenants in, so the landlord will be checking whether the lounge is in good condition. Just like most rooms, start from the top and work your way down to the bottom, removing any dust and cobwebs from the ceiling and floor, not forgetting the skirting boards.

If your landlord supplied you with furniture, ensure that everything is looking spotless, such as the sofa, cupboards and TV. Give everything a thorough dusting and wipe down, whilst paying careful attention to any marks or stains. The same goes for any hanging pictures or mirrors, by wiping and polishing – but be sure not to leave any smears. If curtains were supplied, ensure that they are clean. Generally, curtains are dry clean only but check the label first as some curtains are machine washable.

Not forgetting radiators which are often overlooked. To do this, it is best to remove the radiator from the wall – this is a fairly simple job which requires a few spanners, a radiator key and a towel and bowl for any spillages. Next, simply vacuum up any dust in the rad and wipe it down using water – do not use bleach as this may corrode metals and affect the efficiency.

End of tenancy cleaning list for the lounge:

  • Remove all dust and cobwebs
  • Wipe all windows and doors/door handles
  • Wipe and clean all furniture – inside and out
  • Clean any electronic equipment, such as TVs and DVD players
  • Clean mirrors and pictures with an anti-smudge cleaning agent
  • Vacuum and/or mop the floor
  • Wipe skirting boards

Get in touch with the End of Tenancy London cleaning team today if you would like more information or advice. Our prices can be found here.