The BEST End of Lease Cleaning Checklist (Easily Secure Your Deposit!)

In my last place, I had a ~pesky~ property manager and I was SO worried about losing my deposit. Even though I didn’t *technically* have to deep clean my house before I moved (legally), I knew it was a good idea to make it easier to get my full deposit back, and that I should follow an end of lease cleaning checklist to cover my behind with my property manager.

That’s why I’ve compiled this end of lease cleaning checklist, which is the exact one I used for my last flat to make sure I got my deposit back quickly and in full at the end of my tenancy.

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end of lease cleaning checklist

Cleaning Tips

Before we get into my end of lease cleaning checklist, here are my top tips for cleaning to make sure you get your deposit back!

1. Make sure you take pictures of the finished product.

Dust can accumulate between when you move in and when your tenancy officially ends and you shouldn’t be responsible for that.

2. In addition to pictures, keep a log (like this checklist) of what you’ve done cleaning-wise.

This will help provide evidence should there be any disputes (which, usually the deposit holding company would mediate in the first instance).

3. Deep clean even if they have a professional cleaner coming.

It’s a lot of work, but it’ll make it easier to get your deposit back.

If they say it needs to be professionally cleaned (and you don’t live in the UK, where they can no longer require you to pay for it), DON’T TRY TO CLEAN IT YOURSELF INSTEAD. Just pay someone to do it and make sure you get a proper invoice from them as proof. Seriously, you’re asking for a fight with your landlord over your deposit if you try to do it on your own. You want to remove as many roadblocks as possible to getting your full deposit back.

4. Do a final light clean on the day your tenancy ends.

Make sure you pick up any loose hairs or anything that might’ve accumulated as you’re walking through the final time. (Literally, in my friend’s building, the property managers tried not to give someone’s deposit back because there was a piece of hair on the floor so they said it wasn’t cleaned).

5. Consider specially buying super heavy duty cleaning products for the job.

For day to day cleaning, I was using a lot of natural products, but bought the good stuff for my final clean. Just make sure you ventilate the area (I definitely almost passed out trying to clean my tiny bathroom with mould cleaner oops!). Here are my top cleaning product recommendations:

End of Lease Cleaning Checklist

Now, on to the end of lease cleaning checklist, which I’ve organised by room for convenience.

cleaning checklist for apartment move out

Entire House / Living Areas

🔲 Hoover floor, including behind all furniture, skirting, etc.
🔲 Scrub floor, including behind all furniture, skirting, etc.
🔲 Hoover floor again
🔲 Wipe any interior doors
🔲 Clean the glass on the inside of all of your windows
🔲 Clean all window pulls
🔲 Clean the edges / trim on all of your windows
🔲 Clean any window shades / blinds / other window treatments
🔲 Wipe any bulbs or light fixtures
🔲 Wipe all outlets
🔲 Clean all radiators
🔲 Wipe any railings
🔲 Wipe end tables (top, sides, and legs)
🔲 Wipe coffee tables (top, sides, and legs)
🔲 Wipe any additional living room furniture (top, sides, and legs)
🔲 Hoover soft surfaces
🔲 Wash cushion covers where possible

deep cleaning a house

Kitchen

🔲 Wipe the outside (top, doors, side) of the fridge / freezer
🔲 Wipe the inside (top, doors, side) of the fridge / freezer
🔲 Wipe the outside of drawers
🔲 Wipe the inside of drawers
🔲 Wipe the outside of cabinets
🔲 Wipe the inside of cabinets
🔲 Wipe kitchen walls
🔲 Wipe countertops
🔲 Wipe cooktop
🔲 Wipe backsplash
🔲 Wipe extractor fan
🔲 Clean outside of oven
🔲 Clean inside of oven and racks
🔲 Clean kitchen sink
🔲 Clean kitchen tap
🔲 Clean the outside of the microwave (top, sides, front, and buttons)
🔲 Clean the inside of the microwave
🔲 Clean the plate inside of the microwave
🔲 Wipe the outside of the washing machine
🔲 Wipe the inside of the washing machine and door
🔲 Wipe the soap tray in the washing machine

cleaning checklist by room

Dining Room

🔲 Wipe table (top and legs)
🔲 Wipe chairs (seat, top, and legs)
🔲 Wash cushion covers where possible

deep cleaning house checklist

Bedrooms

🔲 Clean the top of your chest of drawers
🔲 Clean the outside of all dresser drawers (including drawer pulls)
🔲 Clean the sides of your chest of drawers
🔲 Clean the inside of drawers in chest of drawers
🔲 Clean the outside of drawers and sides of nightstand
🔲 Clean the top of nightstand
🔲 Clean the inside of nightstand drawers
🔲 Wipe any bulbs or light fixtures
🔲 Wipe all surfaces of bed
🔲 Make sure mattress is clean (remove loose hairs or anything)
🔲 Move the bed and wipe any further dust that has accumulated
🔲 Wipe desk and additional chairs (if present)

cleaning checklist bathroom

Bathrooms

🔲 Clean any exposed pipes in bathroom
🔲 Clean bathroom sink
🔲 Clean bathroom tap
🔲 Clean outside of bathroom cabinets
🔲 Clean inside of bathroom cabinets
🔲 Clean exterior of toilet (including under bowl)
🔲 Clean interior of toilet
🔲 Clean inside of shower door
🔲 Clean outside of shower door
🔲 Clean trim on shower door
🔲 Clean shower tiles
🔲 Clean floor of shower
🔲 Clean shower drain
🔲 Clean any built-in soap dishes
🔲 Clean entire shower head
🔲 Clean shower cord if shower head is detachable
🔲 Clean shower unit (if applicable)
🔲 Clean outside of medicine cabinet
🔲 Clean inside of medicine cabinet
🔲 Clean top of medicine cabinet
🔲 Clean the bathroom backsplash
🔲 Clean extractor fan

cleaning checklist apartment

Miscellaneous

🔲 Wipe inside of front door
🔲 Wipe intercom

Okay, so that’s the full end of lease cleaning checklist I used when I moved out of my last place! Let me know below if you used it and found it helpful.

For more flat moving tips, check out this article on mistakes people make moving house in London and this article on what you should buy for your first flat in London.

2 thoughts on “The BEST End of Lease Cleaning Checklist (Easily Secure Your Deposit!)”

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