You have already concluded your tenancy and are in a hurry to move out. It’s an exciting moment- moving out of your old place into a new one.

The last thing you want is anything that can hold you back; like cleaning up the rental. It might be tempting to leave a huge mess behind but there are consequences to it; your landlord may cut your deposit.

Of course, this is not something you would want to happen. Furthermore, it’s your obligation as a tenant to leave a clean rental, just the way you found it.

Here are some rental cleaning tips that will ensure you get your full deposit back.

1. Make It Look Like It Did the First Time You Moved In

When you first moved in, you found every single inch of the rental spotlessly clean. If you would have found it in a mess, you would have definitely raised a complaint to the landlord. So, it makes sense to leave the rental super clean in preparation for the next tenant.

The floor or carpet will seem a little old and worn out, but this is absolutely acceptable. What’s not acceptable is leaving the carpet or floor with a huge stain. The landlord might deduct from your deposit. So be sure to leave everything in good condition.

2. What to Clean: A Cleaning Checklist

Clean up as much as possible and remove all your belongings prior to cleaning. It will make it easier to clean since there will be fewer items to work around, and will also help you complete a more thorough cleaning job.


• Clean all kitchen appliances, cabinets and liners

• Clean and shine up the faucet and sink

• Clean and sanitize all countertops

• Clean the dishwasher if you have one

• Unplug all appliances and sweep behind them

• Scrub the floor and walls



• Clean the toilets, sinks, faucets, bathtubs, and showers

• Scrub the bathroom floors; remove scum off bathroom floor tiles, clean the shower and tub, bleach the grout

• Vacuum the surface of the exhaust fan to remove dust

• Clean the mirror with a glass cleaner

Bedroom/Living Room

• Dust, sweep, vacuum, and mop every single inch of the living room and bedroom

• Wipe down the windows and the walls

• Remove floor or carpet stains

Even if you have cleaned the entire place, don’t forget to remove all the trash. Otherwise, your landlord will charge you for its removal.

3. Revisit Your Rental Agreement

Your rental agreement may contain important details regarding some of the things you need to do before moving out. Review the agreement and check if there is a move-out checklist.

If you rented your house or apartment from a management company, ask them if they have a mover’s checklist to ensure you clean up as required. They may also have this information on their website, make sure you read through.

Most landlords or management firms require the tenants to do a final walk-through to ensure the property is left in good condition. So, be sure to read through the procedure.

4. I Don’t Have Time to Clean- What Options Do I Have?

Moving out can be overwhelming, tiresome, and might take you a lot of time to complete. If you have a job or business to manage, you might not find time to clean the place.

In such a case, you can opt to hire a cleaning company to do the cleaning for you. Be sure to provide the cleaning team with a copy of your landlord’s move-out cleaning checklist. You can also create one if you can’t get one from the landlord.

Before hiring the cleaning company, it’s important to negotiate the cost of the project to avoid surprises once the job is done. Also, hire a company that can clean the place at a respectable cost.

And if you decide to do the cleaning yourself, be sure to schedule the cleaning during the last paid month of your tenancy. It’s much more convenient as you will be able to do the final walk-through and give back the keys.

5. Will I Get the Full Deposit When Moving Out?

Yes. You will get your full deposit back, but only if you have cleaned up properly and returned the rental to its former glory. However, if you leave a mess behind or any damage, the landlord has the right to cut your deposit to pay for repair charges. The charges may include cleaning up the whole house/apartment, carpet cleaning to remove hard stains, repairing broken appliances or repainting the walls.

Because every state has put in place specific rental laws regarding what the landlord is supposed to deduct, make sure you confirm with your state to ensure your deposit is not reduced unfairly.

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