As soon as a rental property gets vacated, as a landlord, you need to ensure that it gets re-rented as soon as possible. After all, vacant properties do not generate income. In order to ensure that your property attracts new tenants, you need to make it look clean, new, and ready for occupancy.

Landlords should deep clean as soon as the previous occupants leave the house. Aside from cleaning every corner of the property, rental property owners should also address all repair and maintenance issues and make sure that the property meets the building, safety, and health standards, in your local city.

However, with all the responsibilities that need to be addressed, it can get a bit overwhelming for landlords to carry out an end-of-tenancy cleaning process. In this guide, we at Nelson Property Management will discuss the important aspects to consider when carrying out an end-of-tenancy cleaning so your property will be ready for staging and marketing.

What Is the End of Tenancy Cleaning?

In general, an end-of-tenancy cleaning is the process of deep cleaning a rental unit at the end of a lease term. It involves cleaning every aspect of the rental property, from ceilings to floors, furniture and appliances, and every room in the house.

Person in blue gloves cleaning a window

End-of-tenancy cleaning also involves repairing the damages that are due to wear and tear, as well as damages that were caused by tenants. It’s also a good idea to consider performing some home improvements and adding amenities that may increase the value of your rental home.

Also, make sure that all furniture and appliances are functioning properly. You need to ensure that the rental unit will appeal to new renters and you can get it occupied immediately.

How Clean Should a Property Be?

Essentially, tenants should clean the property on a regular basis during their occupancy to maintain its condition. However, some tenants fail to do this. Usually, tenants are expected to return the property to you in the same condition as it was before the lease started.

But there are cases when the property does not meet the standard level of cleanliness and landlords may need to perform an end-of-tenancy cleaning and repairs to ensure that the property is ready to rent.

As a landlord, you need to address all dirt and grime build-up, normal wear and tear, and other repair issues. This can help you find a quality tenant for your rental unit as soon as possible.

cleaner in white coveralls disinfecting a fridge

What Is Normal Wear and Tear?

Normal wear and tear refer to the expected physical deterioration of the property caused by everyday use. The physical decline of a property is to be expected, especially when it’s occupied. As a rental property owner, it’s your responsibility to address the repair of any damages caused by normal wear and tear.

On the other hand, damages that are not part of normal wear and tear are usually caused by a tenant’s negligence. Tenants have equal responsibility for taking care of the rental property while they occupy it. If damages happen because tenants fail to care for the rental unit, the cost of repairs should be charged to them. Typically, landlords deduct the cost from the security deposit.

What Should an End of Tenancy Cleaning Include?

To make the end of tenancy clean easier, it’s vital to have copies of your move-in checklist and a written description of the condition of the property. If you have copies of the photos of the property at the beginning of the tenancy, they can help you determine the extent of damages caused by the tenants.

Landlords can decide whether to require tenants to clean the property before they move out. If so, this must be clearly stated in the lease agreement. We also recommend mentioning this in a move-out letter. Keep in mind that while tenants are responsible for keeping the property in good condition, it’s the landlord’s responsibility to provide a habitable place for the next renters.

someone wearing a yellow gloves wiping down a bathroom counter

So whether or not tenants clean the property, you should always make sure that the rental unit is prepared for occupancy before you list it for rent.

If the tenants failed to return the rental unit in the same condition as it was at the start of the lease, you have the option to clean the property yourself. You also have the option to hire a third-party professional cleaning service to handle this task for you.

Here are a few things to do when cleaning the property:

Doors, Windows, Walls, and Ceilings

  • Check for stains and wipe them clean. You may need to use a stain-removing agent for stains that have been on the surface for quite a while.
  • Check every corner of the ceiling and remove any dust and cobwebs.
  • Polish the windowpanes and clean the windowsills.


  • The entire bathroom should be disinfected and dusted
  • Polish the fixtures and remove any rust buildup
  • Dust off the exhaust fan and polish the toilets and sink


  • Wipe and polish all kitchen appliances
  • Make sure all provided appliances are still functioning properly
  • Remove any grease buildup from the walls and every corner of the kitchen
  • Empty the cabinets and clean all the utensils
  • Check that pumping is working as it should

floor-duster being used on dark hardwood flooring

Floors and Carpets

  • Remove any stains from the floor and carpet
  • Vacuum and scrub the floors properly
  • If there are no carpets, polish the floor as needed
  • Clean baseboards and trim


  • Take away all the garbage
  • Keep the lawn clean and mowed as needed
  • Trim overgrown shrubs and trees
  • Consider power washing walkways and siding


Cleaning the property thoroughly and attending to repair issues as soon as tenants leave the rental unit can help you re-rent the property more quickly. Use your checklist to guide you with the end-of-tenancy cleaning procedure.

If you would like help managing your rentals, contact the team at Nelson Property Management today!