July 14, 2021

How Clean is Clean?

If you’re moving out of a property that you have been renting, it’s likely you’ve got a lengthy to-do list of tasks to complete before you hand the keys back.  If a deep clean isn’t on that list, it should be.  In this post we look at end of tenancy, how clean is clean?

Why should you clean a rental property before you leave?

Did you know that the most common reason for tenancy disputes is cleanliness? Figures from the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) show that over 50% of the disputes that they adjudicate involve cleaning.  So, if you want all of your deposit back, increase your chances by leaving your property as clean as it was when you first moved in.

If you have not performed an end of tenancy cleaning before you’ve moved out, your landlord will hire a company to do the cleaning, while discounting the bill from your deposit. This does not work your in your favour as the landlord will prioritise getting a good cleaning service, rather than keeping the price low.

However, your landlord cannot deduct more than the total cost of the cleaning service. The receipt will be required as proof that the cleaning has been paid. Make sure you request to see the receipt for the cleaning service before you approve the deposit deduction.

Who is responsible for cleaning what?

Tenants are in charge of daily cleaning and maintenance in the property. They can be held liable if they allow lack of hygiene to cause a rise and spread of health hazards diseases, pest infestation and mould. The removal of these hazards is costly and the renters will be charged for the bill. The garden, driveway and patio are often assigned to the tenant, as part of the property as well. When doing the check in inspection, remember to confirm these areas are your responsibility.

In the shared building areas, cleaning duties might are usually a responsibility of the landlord.. Some specialised cleaning services in the property are considered a responsibility of the landlord. A good example would be gutter cleaning, which is handled by your landlord.

How to clean

Most landlords define “clean” as sparkling, brand-new, and barely able to tell the unit was recently inhabited. This means that if you’re cleaning it yourself, you’ll need to be thorough in your cleaning – very thorough.

This goes beyond just scrubbing out the toilet and wiping off the counters, although those are important, too. You’ll want to make sure you clean all of the following areas:


Tops of cabinets & the fridge
Crown molding
Cabinet shelves & inside drawers
Fridge shelves & freezer
Oven (should be scraped out and self-cleaned)
Drip pans
Tile grout


All parts of the toilet (including the back)
Shower doors and tub
Under-sink storage area
Living Room/Bedrooms


Carpet stains (you may need to do some carpet cleaning before moving out)
Extra Space

Front yard

All of these are important places to sweep, dust, or scrub. Do a thorough job and you’ll have a better chance at getting your security deposit back in full.

Allow time for a final check

Be sure that you allow time for a final check of the property. Run through your inventory one last time and walk around the property to make sure you’ve ticked every box.

We hope that you’ve found this post on End of Tenancy, How Clean is Clean? useful.

Are you considering letting your property in London, but you’re not sure what it takes? Find out about the rental services Keatons offer today.


How much is your home worth?

Let's crunch the numbers