End of tenancy cleaning questions

Looking for answers to your end of tenancy cleaning related questions?

You’ve come to the right place.

In this article we’ll answer commonly asked questions we’ve received from the 1000s of customers we’ve served in and around London.

What is end of tenancy cleaning?

Put simply, it’s the deep cleaning of a property pre and post tenancy. It involves cleaning areas which a weekly or monthly clean typically doesn’t cover, including deep cleaning the oven, fridge and other appliances. Depending on the condition of the property it can take anything from 2-6 hours for a small team of cleaners to complete. Read our article on the difference between deep cleaning and regular cleaning.

Most assured shorthold tenancy agreements (ASTs) require that you use a professional cleaning company to clean the property before you move out, ready for the next tenants. Your landlord or inventory clerk will often ask to see a copy of a receipt for the cleaning. 

How much does it cost?

What you will pay depends on a number of factors:

  • Size of the property: number of bedrooms and bathrooms, etc.
  • Are there any carpets to be professionally cleaned?
  • Location of property
  • Is the property over a split level?
  • Is any external cleaning required?
  • When was the last time the property was cleaned? Dirtier properties may attract additional costs on the day.

The average cost of a 2 bedroom flat in London with carpets is around £250

Polina Petrova – Twinkle Clean

The quoted price will vary greatly if the company charges VAT. It’s not uncommon for smaller cleaning companies to not be VAT registered.

Always shop around for the best quote and don’t be afraid to ask for discounts if you are booking multiple serivces.

Can my landlord force me to do end of tenancy cleaning?

The short answer is yes!

If the property was professionally cleaned before you moved in, you have an obligation to return the property to its original state of cleanliness. We advise tenants to carefully read through their tenancy agreement to ensure that they fully understand their obligations.

If you’re still unsure seek clarification from your landlord or estate agents.

Can I get away with doing the cleaning myself?

We do a decent amount of customers who try to do the move out cleaning themselves only to realise how much time and effort is involved. They then often call in the professionals to get the job done quickly and to the high standard required by the landlord or letting agent.

What’s included?

For a full breakdown of what is typically included in an end of tenancy cleaning service please read our checklist. Here is an example of what Twinkle Clean includes for the kitchen:

KITCHENExterior & InteriorDoor frame
Door Handle
Dust/wash skirting boards
Remove cobwebs from corner
Light switch plate
WindowWindow frames
Fixtures and fittingsCupboard doors
Inside cupboards
Underneath cupboards
Kitchen sink inc Limescale
Boiler front and side
Plug sockets
Wipe outside bin
Oven door
Oven grills
Inside oven
Draw under oven
Hob and Gills
Hob fan and extractor
Wipe kettle and toaster
Wipe table and chairs
Washing machine seal
Washing machine tray
Washing machine outside
Fridge and Freezer inc Seal
CeilingHoover cobwebs

How long does it normally take?

We get asked this question a lot.

The answer is, it depends on the size and condition of the property being cleaned. We ask customers to allow between 3 and 5 hours, however, this can take longer if the property is in a particularly dirty condition. You should be notified on the day if it will take longer and by how much. A professional cleaning company should carry out an inspection of the property upon arrival and report any damages or issues at the very beginning.

Can I do most of it myself?

It depends.

Does you tenancy agreement state you need to get the property professionally cleaned? If it does the chances are you will need to present the landlord or letting agent with a receipt from a professional cleaning company. 

It’s also worth nothing that if you have not performed an end of tenancy cleaning before you move out, your landlord may be within his rights hire a company to do the cleaning, while discounting the bill from your deposit.

The TDS tells us that:

Landlords can claim money for cleaning from the tenancy deposit under certain circumstances. In fact, whilst cleaning standards can be subjective, it is the most common claim made by a landlord for a deduction from the deposit.  It is important to know a few fundamental principles:

  • You should leave a property in the same standard of cleanliness at the end of the tenancy as it was at the start of the tenancy.
  • Cleanliness is not subject to fair wear and tear – while an item can be worn and aged, it should still be clean.
  • Cleaning can be expensive, so the more you can do yourself, the less likely you are to be faced with expensive bills at the end of the tenancy.

Source: https://www.tenancydepositscheme.com/ask-tds-can-my-landlord-charge-me-for-cleaning/

Some landlords don’t require a professional cleaning company to carry out the move out cleaning. As long as you give the property a deep cleaning and cover off everything on our cleaning checklist, you should be ok.

If you do attempt to do the cleaning yourself make sure you take plenty of high resolution photos before and after, just incase you get into a dispute with landlord or agent at a later stage.