Can a landlord charge for end of tenancy cleaning?

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    End of tenancy cleaning is a popular service commonly used by tenants or landlords for rental properties. The service is designed to provide a detailed cleaning solution that guarantees the property is disinfected, clean, and ready for a new lease agreement. One of the biggest reasons for disputes between tenants and landlords is the question of who should be held responsible for paying for an EOT cleaning service.

    Tenants are expected to leave the property in the same condition that it was in when moving in. However, it is unfair if a landlord charges for normal wear and tear and makes deductions from the original lease deposit. But there is a lot more to it than this simple answer.

    In this article, we’ll go into detail about when a landlord can charge for end of tenancy cleaning, how much you can be charged as a tenant, how to do an EOT by yourself and what you can do to avoid being charged by your landlord. In the end, we’ll share with you a useful and practical end of tenancy cleaning checklist that can make the process a whole lot easier.

    Are you looking for fantastic cleaning services or reliable handymen and technicians in London? Look no further - we are here to provide the professional services you need at the high quality you deserve.

    Can tenants be charged by landlords for end of tenancy cleaning services?

    Can tenants be charged by landlords for end of tenancy cleaning services?
    Generally speaking, the short answer is no. The following list outlines the payments that landlords can require tenants to pay by law:

    • The agreed rent amount
    • A capped refundable holding deposit
    • Early termination fees
    • Tenancy changes fees with a cap
    • Fees related to utilities, TV license, council tax, or communication services
    • Fees related to late rent payments or lost keys and access cards
    • A capped refundable tenancy deposit

    As professional cleaning services are not on this list, it is illegal for the landlords to charge tenants for a similar service. However, tenants are required to leave the property in the same condition it was when they moved in. Therefore, the landlord can deduct money from the security deposit to cover any expenses to restore the original condition of the property. It’s important to note that cleanliness is not subject to normal wear and tear.

    can a landlord charge for end of tenancy cleaning

    How much can a landlord charge for cleaning

    If there is proof that the property is in a condition poorer than that on moving date, you can be held liable for booking a professional end of tenancy cleaning service and paying for it with your security deposit. Your landlord cannot force you to use a specific cleaning company and the choice is up to you.

    The type of cleaning company that you choose will influence the cost of the service and therefore how much money will be deducted from your deposit. If the amount necessary exceeds your deposit, your landlord can ask you to pay additional money and can even go to court with the appeal.

    End of tenancy cleaning prices in London vary from company to company. The average price for end of tenancy cleaning is considered to be £238. You can expect to find a service from as low as £180 but it can also cost up to £400. The price is calculated considering a range of factors such as the size of the property, the type of cleaning required, the condition of the property, and more.

    The good news is that in most cases, tenants can put in a bit of work to restore the cleanliness of the property without any professional help.

    How can you protect yourself from being charged for end of tenancy cleaning

    Being fined or asked to pay for professional cleaning services when moving out doesn’t have to be something that you deal with. There are a few precautions you can take to ensure that your landlord is satisfied with the condition of the property and you are on the same page. For starters, one of the most important things is to remember to take pictures of the property when moving in. A snapshot of the property’s condition is the best way to prove your point and avoid being fined for things that were present when you moved in like marks on the wall, mould in the bathroom, or others.

    Your check-in report will have all the necessary information about the cleanliness of the property when you moved in. If your inventory states that the property was cleaned to a professional standard, you’ll be expected to return it in the same condition. You can do this by using an end of tenancy cleaning checklist and doing the work yourself. Unless the property has suffered from serious problems like stubborn stains or hard to remove marks, you can easily purchase a few cleaning materials, roll your sleeves up and do the work yourself.

    Set aside a full day for the cleaning process. If you’re not very experienced with cleaning, especially with an end of tenancy cleaning, the process may take longer than expected. The better you maintain the property during your tenancy, the less work you’ll have to put in when moving out.

    But let’s see how you can perform a full cleaning without the help of experts and still get satisfactory results.

    How to do an end of tenancy clean?

    End of tenancy cleaning is different from normal cleaning. It goes beyond the standard wiping, dusting, and hoovering the surfaces. It involves a cleaning process called deep cleaning that ensures all surfaces, appliances, and layers in the house are fully cleaned and disinfected. When approaching EOT cleaning, it’s best to think of the property as separated into the following areas:

    • Living room
    • Kitchen
    • Bathrooms
    • Bedrooms
    • Hallways

    Cleaning the living room before moving out

    Start by vacuuming all the carpets, rugs, or other flooring surfaces. If you have laminate or hard-floor zones, mop them. Go through all of the furniture, wall units, and shelves to clean their tops using a microfiber cloth or other suitable materials. Next, inspect for any cobwebs, skid marks, or spots on the walls and on the corners and remove them.

    Clean the doors and door frames by dusting them and disinfect the door handles. If you have any art installations or pictures on the walls, dust them off. Wipe any curtain rails or dado rails and make sure there is no dirt on any light fittings or shades. Disinfect sockets, plugs, switches and remove dust from bannisters. Vacuum the upholstery and make sure all stains are removed.

    Kitchen cleaning at end of tenancy

    Cleaning your kitchen requires more specific work, mainly due to the appliances. When you start, make sure your cupboards and drawers are cleaned and polished. When you move on to the appliances, do your research on how to clean them internally. For example, the refrigerator and freezer may need to be defrosted in advance. Clean all of your appliances on the outside too. Polish your oven, remove limescale from the dishwasher and make sure there is no grease on the extractor fans.

    Clean the plugs and light switches in the area, clean the flooring, and vacuum.

    End of tenancy bathroom cleaning

    When it comes to the bathroom, make sure all limescale is removed, eliminate mould spots, and if necessary clean your grout tiles. Clean the shower cabinet inside and out, disinfect the toilet inside and out, descale the sink, and polish the taps. Clean the mirrors to remove any stains, wipe the cupboards and shelving, polish the stainless steel, and clean any windows if present. Clean the tower rail, the extractor fan, and remember to remove any dirt and fingerprints on the plugs and light switches. 

    Bedroom cleaning prior to moving out

    Eliminate any cobwebs, clean the cupboards and wardrobes inside and out, and make sure your windows are spotless on the inside. Clean any skirting boards and furniture to eliminate dust and dirt build-up. Clean the doors and the areas on top of the doors. Next, dust off any picture rails, curtain rails, clean and polish the mirrors, remove dirt from the plugs, sockets, light switches, and fittings, clean the radiators or fire surround and don’t forget to pay attention to the zones underneath the furniture. 

    Vacuum the upholstery and the floors. If there are some nasty stubborn stains on the furniture – do your best to remove them. If you’re unable to do so you can rely on local upholstery cleaning experts to help you with it!

    Cleaning the hallways before moving out

    Cleaning the hallways always starts with an inspection for cobwebs. Remove them if there are any and clean the cornice or curtain rails. If there are any mirrors, clean and polish them and make sure the windows are clean and free of stains and spots. Vacuum the upholstery and carefully clean any cushions. Clean the doors, the skirting boards, the banister, the stairway, and railings.

    Wipe the light switches and light fittings, clean the plugs, the lampshades, and sockets. Make sure all flat surfaces are dusted and polished and vacuum and mop the floors.

    We can draw a personal quote for you based on your needs and the volume of services you require. Just let us know.

    End of tenancy cleaning checklist

    You may be surprised to learn that most professional EOT cleaning companies use a cleaning checklist for the service. This ensures that all main areas are covered and nothing is left behind unseen or forgotten. Cleaning with a checklist will help you tick all the important boxes and will guarantee that your landlord or agent is satisfied with the condition of the property.

    There are numerous end of tenancy cleaning checklists you can find online. However, we’ve summarized all the important areas to focus on to make the process simpler and quicker:

    Living room

    • Carpet cleaning
    • Floor cleaning
    • Cleaning of walls, skirts, and ceilings
    • Window & sill cleaning (internal & external)


    • Cleaning of built-in wardrobes
    • Carpet cleaning
    • Floor cleaning
    • Walls, skirts & ceiling cleaning
    • Window cleaning


    • Floor cleaning
    • Wall cleaning
    • Sink cleaning
    • Extractor hood cleaning
    • Appliance cleaning (fridge, freezer, microwave, oven, washing machine, dryer, others)


    • Carpet cleaning
    • Floor cleaning
    • Walls, skirts & ceiling cleaning
    • Window cleaning


    • Floor cleaning
    • Wall cleaning
    • Window & sills cleaning (internal & external)
    • Limescale removal
    • Mould removal
    • Bath, shower, toilet & sink cleaning


    • Door cleaning
    • Door handles disinfection
    • Socket cleaning
    • Switches cleaning
    Moving out of a leased property doesn’t have to mean stress and additional expenses for cleaning services. We hope that this article will help you avoid disputes with your landlord and return the property in the clean and perfect condition that it was in when you first moved in.​

    We can draw a personal quote for you based on your needs and the volume of services you require. Just let us know.

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