End of tenancy cleaning checklist: a guide to doing an end of tenancy clean


The end of tenancy clean isn’t the most exciting task, but it is a necessary one.

Whether you choose to conduct the end of tenancy clean yourself or pay a specialist cleaning service, your property needs to be in ship shape for your new tenants.

Here, we’ve compiled a simple guide to doing a great end of tenancy clean. We’ve also teamed up with a professional cleaner to bring you a series of videos giving step-by-step instructions for cleaning key parts of your property.

Should I do the end of tenancy cleaning myself?

You have a choice at the end of a tenancy: you can either carry out the end of tenancy clean yourself, or you can pay a professional end of tenancy cleaning service to do it for you.

Your decision may depend on how close you live to the property, and how much time you have. If you have a letting agent, many will be able to arrange the end of tenancy clean for you. However, if you have a bit of spare time and some basic equipment, conducting the end of tenancy clean yourself may be the most cost-effective option.

End of tenancy cleaning checklist

Your property needs to be sparkling for your new tenants. It needs to be cleaned top to bottom, but there are some key ‘pain points’ that you should concentrate on. We’ve compiled a list of the most important focus areas to help you carry out a great end of tenancy clean.

  • Gather your equipment. You’ll need some specialist cleaning equipment, including proprietary cleaning fluid, upholstery shampoo, cloths and rags, scourers, and spray bottles. More information on individual cleaning products is available below.
  • Walls. Check for scuff marks on walls. These may be able to be rubbed off, or alternatively you might need to repaint sections of wall.
  • Doors. Make sure that doors are clean, including handles. Make sure that locks are functioning properly.
  • Windows. Windows should be cleaned inside and out. You may need to engage a professional window cleaner for exterior windows.
  • Ceilings. You may need an extendable broom to clean the ceilings. Watch out for cobwebs in the corners of rooms.
  • Fixtures and fittings. Dust and polish any light fittings and sockets, and take steps to make sure upholstery is free of stains.
  • Carpets. You should consider hiring a carpet cleaning machine for soiled carpets. These are available at many supermarkets, and cost around £20 per day.
  • Room by room. Once you’ve ticked off the rest of your checklist, it’s time to concentrate on the pain points in individual rooms. Read on for detailed instructions.

Kitchen end of tenancy cleaning

The kitchen is one of the most important areas to clean at the end of a tenancy, but it’s also one of the places in which dirt and grime can accumulate most easily.

First, take a look at the kitchen sink. Depending on how tidy your tenants were, this could require some work. You’ll need some basic tools, including non-scratch scourers, a spray bottle, and some specialist cleaning liquid. The exact method you use will depend on the material your sink is made from, but the most common is stainless steel. Watch our video on how to clean a stainless steel sink without scratching.

You’ll also need to look at the hob, which can become extremely grimy. This requires some elbow grease, but you’ll see the results quickly. Watch the video on how to clean a stainless steel hob, and when you’re done with that, move onto the next step – how to clean an extractor fan filter. It’s not much fun, but it is necessary!

Want some tips for cleaning the whole of the kitchen? Check out our videos and article on how to clean a kitchen professionally.

Bathroom end of tenancy cleaning

Next stop is the bathroom. In here, you’ll find a number of different areas that may require different equipment. You’ll want to focus on the bathroom sink, the bathroom tiles and bathtub, and the toilet. If you have a shower, you’ll also need to work on the shower head and grouting.

We’ve covered all of these areas step-by-step in a series of four bathroom cleaning videos. Watch them in our guide to cleaning a bathroom quickly and efficiently.

Other areas for end of tenancy cleaning

There are a number of other things you should concentrate on when conducting an end of tenancy clean. For example, it’s important that the windows are cleaned inside and out – remember you’ll need to hire a professional window cleaner if your exterior windows are unreachable. You should also wash off any scuff marks from the walls, and if this doesn’t work you’ll need to repaint them. It’s often possible to simply cover up stubborn scuffs, provided that you’re using the same colour paint.

Curtains should also be checked. They’re generally dry clean only, but check the label first as some curtains are machine washable. Don’t forget the curtain rods too, which will need to be dusted and possibly buffed. Finally, don’t forget furnishings – at the very least they should be vacuumed, but you might also choose to use a dry wash to remove and grime or stains.

Useful guides for buy-to-let landlords

What are your experiences of end of tenancy cleaning? Let us know in the comments below.

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Josh Hall

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