For the majority of tenancy agreements, ensuring the property is left clean once the tenancy is completed is one of the points you’ll agree to when you sign your contract. Read on to understand what EOTC is, why it’s important, and how to go about it.
What is end of tenancy cleaning?
One of your responsibilities as a good tenant, known contractually as ‘behaving in a tenant-like manner’, is maintaining the upkeep of the property you’re living in. Though you’re advised to do so for the entire period of your tenancy, there’s more.
Before you leave, you need to return the property to the state in which you moved into it. This means putting furniture back as it was if you have reorganised, painting over any blu-tack marks, and doing an incredibly thorough, top to bottom clean.
When you moved in, it’s likely the landlord or a representative of the lettings agency did a walkthrough of the property and went over a check-in inventory with you as you moved in – you must restore the property to the levels described in this document.
EOTC cleaning checklist:
According to our research, the mammoth task of an EOT clean can include cleaning, disinfecting everything from floor to ceiling, walls, all of the doors, and every single skirting board. You’ll even need to scrub the limescale from your taps!
Vacuuming and mopping throughout the entire house is mandatory. That also includes pulling out large furniture and moveable appliances in order to get rid of the gathered dust and debris of your tenancy.
Any stains on the carpet that you caused should be shampooed to the best of your ability. All appliances, from fridge to oven to microwave, should be deep cleaned and scrubbed until shiny.
It’s likely that the landlord will also expect your lawn (if there is one) to be thoroughly mown and well-kept, as well as the windows on all floors of the property to be polished on the inside, and outside where possible.
Every single room must be sanitised, but especially the kitchen and bathroom. As humans, we leave behind a lot of natural bacteria, and the risk of passing things on to new tenants is high, so this is an imperative part of the process.
Whose responsibility is end-of-tenancy cleaning?
As stipulated in your contract, the end-of-tenancy cleaning is the responsibility of all tenants in the property. Whilst the landlord is responsible for ensuring the property is up to scratch for the new tenants, you agreed to sort this out for them by signing.
Legally, you are obligated to make sure the property is left exactly as you found it, though landlords will go to extreme lengths to prove it was cleaner than it was, in the hopes you won’t have the energy to contest them in court.
Because you’re liable for this, if the landlord believes that the tenants haven’t cleaned sufficiently, they can deduct money from your deposit to rectify any problems, and will likely do their best to get as much as possible.
Why do I need end-of-tenancy cleaning?
First and foremost, your primary motivation for getting sorted is receiving as much of your deposit back as you can. Ideally, you want the full sum, but anything the landlord deems not up to scratch will be fixed with funds deducted from your cash.
When performing a sweep of the property once vacated, the landlord will be looking to charge you for anything they can as a reason to keep your deposit, and they will almost certainly take advantage of their authority in this respect.
If you want a glowing review from your landlord as a reference for renting future properties – which are increasingly becoming a requirement – then staying in their good books by cleaning to a satisfactory standard is in your best interest.
Should I do it myself or hire a professional?
The answer to this question is absolutely up to you and your fellow tenants. Your landlord cannot force you to hire a professional, though they will probably advise you to in your contract. They may even offer their own cleaning service for a hefty fee!
If you and your housemates reckon you can clean the house as well as a professional would – and believe me, your landlord will be scrupulous in checking every nook and cranny of the property – then go for it.
We really do advise you are as thorough as possible, using that inventory from your check in, which you should have hopefully filed away with your contract. This can serve as a checklist so you tick all the boxes your landlord is expecting.
The money you get deducted from your deposit to fix any spots you missed, replace or repair any broken goods, or sort out anything else not covered by general wear and tear, might add up to more than you would have spent on a cleaning service.
Benefits of professional clean?
In hiring a professional company to do the work for you, however, not only do you maximize your chances of getting the entire deposit back, but you won’t exert huge amounts of energy in cleaning the place only to fail the landlord’s inspection.
As cleaners are paid to think about the areas everyday folks might forget, you’ll ensure that when your house gets thoroughly examined by the lettings company or your landlord, there’ll be no spot that hasn’t been brought up to standard.
You’ll be able to relax and focus on moving into your new place, without having to worry about whether you’re going to get that big chunk of cash back or not. Plus, it’ll only take the cleaning crew between four to six hours – that’s nothing!
Again, this really depends on your situation. It might be worth looking up reviews of your lettings agent or landlord in order to find out how hard previous tenants found it to get their deposit back. Maybe you’ll get lucky and it’ll be a breeze!