At the end of your tenancy agreement, it's a tenant's responsibility to ensure that the property is left in the same clean condition as when you first moved in. If you live with multiple tenants/housemates, it's a good idea to divide up the cleaning and allow plenty of time (1-2 days) to do a thorough job. Or the alternative is that you hire a reputable cleaning company to do a professional job for you. Landlords can also refer to this checklist to compare against the original inventory report.
The best way to start, is to mutually agree on a date to carry out the cleaning, ideally one or two days before you are due to move out. Any earlier and you risk the chance of needing to re-clean again! Once you have a date in the diary, make sure that you have all the required cleaning materials i.e:-
- Furniture polish
- Toilet cleaner/toilet bowl cleaning tablets
- Toilet brush
- Washing up liquid
- Rubber gloves
- Microfibre cloths (great for polishing taps, stainless steel sinks and kitchen appliances)
- Floor cleaner
- Bathroom cleaning spray
- Kitchen cleaning spray
- Kitchen roll
- Window/glass/mirror cleaner
- Oven cleaner
- Scouring pads
- Antibacterial cleaning wipes
- Limescale remover/spray
- Broom/dustpan and brush
- Vacuum cleaner (with new/empty bag)
- Mop and bucket
Cleaning To-Do List:-
This area can become scruffy and overlooked, but with a little time and effort, is easily transformed.
- Remove any cobwebs in corners and on the ceiling/light fittings
- Vacuum all areas
- Throw out all junk mail/flyers
- Take away your own personal post
- Mop the tiles (if applicable)
- Clean the inside/outside of the front door and wipe down all skirting boards/dado/picture rails
The kitchen is one of the most communally used rooms in the house, so allow enough time for a thorough clean!
- Start on the oven first. Certain cleaning products such as Oven Pride, can be used whereby the racks/shelves can be placed into bags to clean/dislodge the built-up grease etc. Ideally, this should be done the night before. Clean and remove all grease/food splashes from the oven both internally and externally, including the oven door.
- Clean the hob, pan supports, control knobs, extractor and scrub the gas rings
- Clean the microwave both inside and out
- Empty the fridge/freezer and wipe down all the shelves and compartments
- Defrost the freezer if necessary
- Throw away all leftover food/containers/empty bottles/cans etc.
- Dispose of all the accumulated carrier bags
- Empty and wipe down the bins and put out all the rubbish bags
- Clean away any grease/stains from the kitchen tiles
- Clean and wipe down all the work surfaces
- Clean/dust kitchen/dining table and chairs
- Clean and polish the sink area /taps and remove any limescale
- Make sure the dishwasher is clean and empty
- Throw away used/dirty sponges, cloths
- Clear out all the cupboards, shelves and drawers and wipe them down if dirty (including the handles)
- Remove all personal pots, pans, crockery, cutlery, glasses, utensils etc.
- Make sure the washing machine is empty and clean away any mould
- Clean out the clothes dryer filter and make sure it's empty
- Polish/buff the exterior of all appliances where necessary
- Vacuum the floor and mop
Another much used communal area that will require some time to get cleaned properly.
- Dust all areas including coffee/side tables, TV/stand, units, bookshelves etc.
- For floorboards - vacuum and mop
- For carpets - vacuum, remove any stains
- Wipe down skirting boards/dado/picture rails
- Clean all cobwebs from corners and ceiling/light fittings
- Sofas/chairs - vacuum and clean any stains
- Wash (on a gentle cycle) any cushions/covers that are dirty
- Remove all personal belongings
Front/Back Garden/Outside Space:-
Often forgotten, but this is not an area that should take up too much time to tidy up.
- Sweep and tidy
- Dispose of any cigarette stubs/empty ashtrays
- Clear away any junk that has accumulated
- Wipe down any garden furniture if applicable
Each tenant should be responsible for cleaning their own bedroom space and removing their personal possessions. Because the rooms need to be stripped of all the bedding and drawers/shelves/wardrobes emptied, you should allow ample time to allow for a thorough job to be done.
- Dust all shelving, fireplace, bed side tables/desk/furniture and light fittings
- Clean away all cobwebs
- Wipe down skirting boards/dado/picture rails
- Clean window sills/dust curtain rails
- Clean all mirrors
- Remove all personal possessions
- Strip beds and vacuum mattresses
- Wash mattress protector and fit back onto the beds (if supplied by the Landlord)
- Vacuum carpeted areas and remove any stains
- Gently clean all stains on walls and remove any posters/blu tack etc.
- Don't forget to clean/check under the beds!
In a shared property, a bathroom/toilet will most likely need an intensive deep clean! Where stains have accumulated in the bath/sink and toilet, ensure you use the correct cleaning materials to get them sparkling! A toilet will probably require a vigorous scrub (with gloves on!), bleach/toilet cleaner and an effective toilet bowl cleaning tablet (i.e. Harpic Power Plus) is good to drop in just before you leave the property.
- Remove all limescale where possible
- Scrub away/clean all signs of mould
- Clean the bath and remove any marks/scum
- Wash the sinks, showers/curtain/screens etc. and polish all taps
- Clean the toilet thoroughly (inside and out) with appropriate cleaner
- Wipe down all tiles
- Clean bathroom cabinet/mirror
- Remove all toiletries, toothbrushes, sponges, cleaning material, used toilet brush etc.
- Vacuum and mop the floor
- Empty bins
It's always a good idea not to leave the end of tenancy cleaning to the last minute. Whether you hire professional cleaners or undertake the task yourselves, make sure you are prepared and have allowed sufficient time to get the job done properly!
Good luck and happy cleaning!