End of Tenancy Cleaning

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One of the best ways to maintain your rental property in good condition between tenancies is to request that renters perform an end of tenancy cleaning before moving out. Having a property ready for new tenants quickly can help minimize the risk of income loss and vacancies

End of tenancy cleaning will also help maintain the value of your property and significantly reduce the risk of security deposit disputes.  

Don’t know how to get started? Keep on reading! In this comprehensive guide, the experts at Bigham & Associates will cover everything landlords should know about end of tenancy cleaning.

The Importance of End of Tenancy Cleaning

Requesting tenants to leave your rental property as clean as it was when they first moved in goes a long way. This helps ensure that your investment is well-cared for and increases your renters’ chances of getting their full security deposit back. Additionally, end of tenancy cleanings offer the following benefits:

  • Attracting new tenants. A clean and well-maintained property can help you attract a wider pool of prospective tenants, which increases your chances of filling your vacancies quickly.
  • Minimized security deposit disputes. Add an end of tenancy cleaning clause to all your leases. This will ensure tenants leave the property in good condition and, in turn, will increase their chances of getting their full security deposit back. If a tenant doesn’t comply with your standards, you’ll be able to make any needed deductions. 
Pair of hands holding a calculator and writing notes on a paper
  • Maintaining property value. The value of your property will increase over time if it’s maintained in good condition. With end of tenancy cleanings and property inspections, you can ensure that your rental remains in good condition throughout each tenancy.
  • Legal compliance. In most states, landlords are legally obligated to provide a clean and habitable living space for tenants. With an end of tenancy cleaning, you’ll save time ensuring your rental property complies with cleanliness and safety standards in Texas.

Preparing for End of Tenancy Cleaning

Before adding an end of tenancy cleaning clause to your lease, you must prepare adequately. The first thing you must do is determine your cleanliness standards. Different people have different ideas of what clean means. To avoid misunderstandings, it’s best to let tenants know exactly what you expect. 

The best way to set the standards for an end of tenancy cleaning is to request tenants leave the property as clean as it was when they first moved in. Provide them with pictures, videos, and even notes of the property’s condition before their move-in. 

This will ensure they understand what is expected from them. Additionally, this documentation will serve as protection in case of security deposit disputes.

Once you’ve set your cleanliness standards, you can go ahead and outline them in the lease agreement. Make sure tenants understand what you expect of an end of tenancy clean, and the penalties for not meeting the set cleanliness standards, before signing the lease. 

Printed paper that reads "Lease Agreement" at the top

The Process of End of Tenancy Cleaning

If you want to make sure your property is cleaned to your satisfaction when a tenant moves out, you should do the following things:

1. Provide Tenants with an End of Tenancy Cleaning Checklist

An end of tenancy cleaning checklist will prevent misunderstandings and ensure tenants thoroughly clean your property. Here are some things you can include in your checklist:

General Cleaning Guidelines

  • Dust all surfaces, including shelves, windowsills, and light fixtures.
  • Vacuum carpets and sweep hard floors, paying special attention to corners and under furniture.
  • Mop hard floors with a suitable cleaner.
  • Clean the windows and windowsills, both inside and outside, if accessible.


  • Clean the interior and exterior of all kitchen appliances, including the oven, refrigerator, and microwave.
  • Wipe down cabinets and countertops, removing any visible stains or spills.
  • Clean the sink, faucet, and drain. Ensure there are no blockages.
  • Clean the dishwasher, including the filter and door gasket.
  • Empty and clean all trash bins.


  • Thoroughly clean the toilet and the shower.
  • Remove soap scum and mold from tiles, grout, and fixtures.
  • Wipe down the sink, vanity, and mirrors.

Bedrooms and Living Areas

  • Clean and organize closets and shelves.
  • Dust and clean light fixtures.
  • Clean ceiling fans and ensure they;re in working order.
  • Check for scuff marks and clean as needed.

Outdoor Areas

  • Ensure outdoor areas are tidy and free of debris.
  • Mow the lawn and weed any flower beds.
  • If applicable, ensure the garage is clean and organized.
Red lawn mower on green grass

2. Inspect the Property

Once the end of tenancy cleaning is done, thoroughly inspect the property. Ensure that everything is in good condition, keeping an eye out for any areas that may have been overlooked. Make sure to document the whole process with photos, videos, and notes so you can address any necessary issues.

3. Make Deductions and Return the Security Deposit

If tenants don’t comply with the cleanliness standards you’ve set, it’s recommended to hire professional cleaning services to bring the property back to its original condition. In this case, landlords may be able to deduct the cleaning costs from the tenant’s security deposit. 

Just make sure to provide tenants with copies of the invoices and, if necessary, pictures of the property’s condition before and after cleaning. This will prevent disputes once you return their security deposit. 

Maintaining open lines of communication and returning tenants’ deposits timely goes a long way. This will not only help you keep former tenants happy but can also keep you and your investment protected in case of legal disputes.

Bottom Line

End of tenancy cleaning is a critical aspect of managing rental properties. By understanding the importance of end of tenancy cleaning and following best practices, you can maintain the value of your investment and foster a positive relationship with former tenants.

Need help maintaining your Austin rental property? Contact Bigham & Associates today! We’ve been helping landlords in Austin achieve peace of mind since 1987 and we can help you reach your investment goals!