How clean should you leave a rented property?

Leaving a place dirty when you hand in your keys is one of the best ways to lose your deposit or end up in a dispute with your landlord. For tenants, cleaning is the most important thing you can do before you move on.

For the majority, we have all been lucky to move into a home that has been left reasonably clean. Tenants will have received an inventory report documenting the condition of the property at the time of moving in and it will be expected to be left in the same way when you move out.

This report will be a great checklist for you when working towards claiming back your deposit and leaving on good terms with the landlord.

Your inventory report should contain the following:

  • The date the report was created
  • List of all fixtures, appliances, equipment, and other fittings on the property, along with their condition
  • Meter readings
  • List of keys and number of each key the tenant has
  • Photos and videos of any damage to the property
  • Names and addresses of everyone named in the agreement

It should also include the specific condition each of the following items was in at the time the landlord made the report:

  • Ceilings, floors, and walls
  • All paintwork
  • All carpet, hard flooring, and window trimmings
  • Appliances
  • Furniture
  • Fittings like sockets, cabinets, etc.
  • Doors (interior and exterior)
  • Windows
  • Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Utility (water, electricity, gas) supplies

Perform a detailed check of each of these items against your report to determine how much cleaning you need to do. Taking photos of each area will also be useful and if there is any dispute, you have these to refer back to.

Bear in mind that depending on how long you have been living in the property, a little extra elbow grease may be needed…. Express Removals can provide a fully comprehensive clean of your property, carried out by our experienced professional staff to the highest standard and at highly competitive rates.

See how much you can pack away before cleaning

It’s hard work trying to clean a place when it’s still full of stuff.

Remember, you will have to do far more than simple daily or weekly cleaning. You need to wash your windows, ceilings, walls, and doors, clean the insides of your cabinets, dust, wipe, or wash things like window trimmings and skirting boards. And all that will be a LOT easier if most of it is packed up and out of the way.

To dos for end of the tenancy

This is far more than moving everything out and then wiping stuff down. To fully clean your flat before you leave, start with the hardest rooms – the kitchen and the bathroom, and go from there.


  • Scrub out all appliances, fixtures and worktops, including descaling and polishing away everything, including fingerprints where necessary
  • Disinfect your fridge and freezer
  • Defrost your freezer if necessary
  • Vacuum or dust out all cupboards and clean all exterior surfaces and hardware such as handles and knobs
  • Clean under and behind your appliances if possible    
  • Scrub the floors and deep clean the carpets


  • Clean and disinfect the shower and all its fixtures, including the soap tray and any other shelves, racks, and trays
  • Clean out the drain
  • Remove as much mould from the grout as possible
  • Descale all tiles that need it
  • Scrub and disinfect the toilet
  • Scrub your sink and polish the taps
  • Vacuum and dust (and wash out if necessary) your under-sink cupboards
  • Clean and polish all fixtures like lights, towel racks, radiator and mirrors
  • Scrub and disinfect the floor

The rest of the place

  • Dust away all cobwebs from corners high and low
  • Clean and dust all wooden and metal furniture and fixtures
  • Wash and wipe the walls and doors and scrub away all marks
  • Wipe down all skirt boards, door casings, and windowsills and casings
  • Clean the light fixtures, switches, and sockets
  • Polish all fixtures, including mirrors    
  • Clean and disinfect all doorknobs
  • Wash all windows, including screens
  • Clean out the fireplace (take care to keep soot and ash from falling on the carpet)
  • Vacuum and deep clean carpets   
  • Scrub and mop the hard floors

‍We know this seems like a humungous job to undertake, on top of having to pack and all the other jobs that come with a move but unfortunately, this is what needs to be done to ensure you get your full deposit back.

And more reason to hire a professional cleaning company like us. Get in touch here to get your free end-of-tenancy clean estimate.

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