Often, landlords and tenants get into a conflict at the tail end of the leasing term. It can be caused by unmet expectations. One side may require a certain level of cleanliness, yet the other side may not know the standard level expected from them.

A simple way to resolve this potential disagreement is to make end of tenancy cleaning part of the tenants’ tasks before they move out and clearly communicating that to them.

Another reason it’s recommended to perform an end of tenancy cleaning is to easily schedule property showings and shorten the rental’s vacancy period. It also helps prevent tenant complaints when you deduct cleaning fees from the security deposit if they didn’t do their cleaning duty.

What Is “End of Tenancy Cleaning”?

Conducting deep cleaning in a rental space before the lease expires is known as end of tenancy cleaning. All areas of the rental property are covered by thorough cleaning, which includes the floors, walls, furnishing, and appliances.

The purpose is to bring the rental back to its original state prior to the residency of the renter. This helps maintain the rental and prepare it for its next tenants. 

What is the Objective of End of Tenancy Cleaning? 

Some renters may have painted the unit in a different color or put up decors. An end of tenancy cleaning is a reminder for them to turn over the rental back to its original condition, prior to their moving in. 


Aside from repainting or removing the decorations they’ve put up, attending to the property’s general cleanliness is also the main purpose. It gives the renter more control over getting a significant portion or the full amount of their security deposit back. Otherwise, they can expect cleaning fees to be deducted.

Landlords can motivate the renters to maintain the rental space better and present it in a pristine state. If not, the landlords can deduct from the security deposit if they’re not agreeable to the property’s condition.  

What’s the Proper Standard for Cleanliness?

If you ask one person what a clean rental means, it can be different from another person’s definition. Thus, even if you require an end of tenancy cleaning task, disagreements can still arise. To be fair, landlords must not demand their renters to present the rental space beyond how it was showcased at the start, prior to the renters’ stay. 

A way to help renters remember the original state of the property is by going on a walk through property inspection before the tenant settles down in your unit. You can refer to the documentation, such as notes, photos, and videos you’ve taken.

Visual reminders can be solid evidence and a great reference point for the renters. They can show it to the cleaners they may hire to fulfill the standard cleanliness expected by the landlord. As a result, getting back the full security deposit would be easier for them.

person cleaning bathroom counter

What Is Normal Wear and Tear?

You can’t expect your property not to show signs of decline over time, which is known as wear and tear. Renters will leave visible proof that they were occupants through the stains, marks, and dull furnishings in your property. 

As such, landlords cannot expect that their rental will look unblemished. They can only make security deposit deductions for damages occurring outside normal wear and tear.  

What Covers An End of Tenancy Cleaning?

Having an end of tenancy cleaning checklist ensures alignment of expectations as to which areas must be duly cleaned. Tenants can use the list to guide them, while the landlord can review each section of the house through the list.  

A good way to begin is by preparing all the cleaning equipment, which includes mops, cleaning cloths and products, and a vacuum cleaner. 

Walls, doors, and ceilings

  • Evaluate whether the scratch marks on the walls can be easily cleaned up or need a paint retouch. 
  • Rub a clean cloth over the light switches and socket areas.
  • Ensure that surface areas of the doors and handles, including the frames are cleaned since this is where most of the dust settles.
  • Get rid of cobwebs hanging from the ceiling.

Fixtures and furnishings

  • Dust off the top areas of the mirror and curtain rods.
  • Run a clean cloth over the lampshades and light bulbs.
  • Schedule time to vacuum the sofa.

family moving in


  • Get rid of the hard water stains in the bathtubs.
  • Use a toilet brush, disinfectant, and rubber gloves when scrubbing a toilet clean.
  • Remove the mold on the tile grouts. 
  • Pour vinegar or lemon juice for maximum polish of basins and faucets.


  • Wipe the kitchen countertops.
  • Empty the refrigerator of its entire contents before cleaning. 
  • Remove the limescale from faucets when tidying the kitchen sink.
  • Disinfect the garbage bins after throwing the trash.
  • Mop the floors.
  • Clean up the microwave oven and other small appliances (blenders, toasters, and kettles).
  • Polish the cutlery and dishes before storing them away.
  • Clean up large appliances (washing machine and dishwasher).


If your carpet looks dirty then the entire area looks unkempt. That’s why it’s advisable to steam-clean carpets. You can rent a steam cleaning machine or use the services of professional cleaners since they’re already skilled in using this equipment. 

Outdoor areas

Curb appeal is essential if you wish to attract potential renters. It can deliver the impression that you’re maintaining your rental unit well. Make sure that the exterior is clean and tidy.

A property also appears welcoming if there are no tree leaves or dirt scattered about. You can consider a jet wash to remove mold and dirt. With an immaculate-looking home both in and out, you can draw the interest of more prospective renters. 

Bottom Line

Cleaning a property at the end of a tenancy can be a big job, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg of being a landlord! If you need help managing your rental property, get in touch with Keyrenter Denver!

We can help with property marketing, tenant screening, rental maintenance, financial reporting and more! Contact us today!