What exactly is an End of Tenancy Cleaning and why do I need it?

For most of you who are renting for the first time and your tenancy comes to an end, you will encounter the term end of tenancy cleaning. You might also be surprised to find out that this service is quite expensive comparing ot regular domestic cleaning but don’t get confused as an end of tenancy cleaning does not have anything to do with simple wiping of dust here and there. Obviously, the estate agents or your landlord may have preferred cleaning company which they may insist on using, however since you will be paying for this compulsory service is worth to note that you should be able to choose your preferred cleaning company.

This may involve some research for an end of tenancy cleaning normally using Google and also evaluating customer reviews on trusted review platforms. Ensure that you compare several cleaning companies and speak to some of them to get an idea of their customer service. Most end of tenancy cleaning companies would offer 72h return policy guarantee which means that if there are any issues with the cleaning service provided if reported within the 72h a free re-clean will be arranged.

Please note that an end of tenancy cleaning service would entail cleaning the property thoroughly everywhere including deep cleaning of the oven, bathroom and windows. All the kitchen appliances would need to be cleaned and degreased too as well as the extractor fan. Normally, the most build up grease is on the extractor fan and in the oven. This would require significant time to clean and the right products to be used. Then we go to the bathroom where we tackle the build-up limescale and of course you will need to know how to do this. Check with the cleaning company whether descaling the bathroom is included.

The need for an end of tenancy cleaning come with the problems the landlords faced when their tenants left the property. In the past, tenants were only conducting superficial cleaning which at most would involve wiping and dusting only, without any deep cleaning of oven and appliances. Not to mention that most rented properties were returned in terrible condition to the landlord to deal with the mess. Hence, the reason for imposing compulsory deep cleaning at the end of your tenancy to ensure that the property would be returned in a condition that’s been received. This is to protect the landlord of having to deal with cleanness but also protects the tenants.

If you move in a rented property you can check it yourself thoroughly everywhere and if you see any areas that haven’t been cleaned properly, you can call your estate agent or landlord and insist on further cleaning. Nowadays, many tenants are familiar with their rights and insist on anything that is in contradiction of these rights to be resolved. Therefore, bear in mind that you as a moving in tenant need ot ensure that you are happy with the state the property has been delivered and raise any concerns you may have regarding the state of cleanness and other issues.

We have earlier mentioned that the landlords or estate agents may insist on you to use their recommended cleaning company. Please note that they shouldn’t make this compulsory as obviously the cleaning company they want to introduce could be quite costly and almost certainly will do the same or even worse job than the cleaning company you can find yourself. Therefore, do your research and get to know more about an end of tenancy cleaning and how to find an excellent company to help you with this. By reading this article which will take less than 5min of your time you will be much more knowledgeable about this subject and you will be able to make the right decision. As you can see an end of tenancy cleaning is much more than just simple one-off cleaning service. You will need to know the estate agents or landlord’s requirements for the cleaning and how the property will pass inspection successfully so that you can get your full deposit back. Before hiring an end of tenancy cleaning company ensure that you get hold of the cleaning checklist to ensure that it matched the cleaning checklist of the cleaning company you are going to hire.

Most end of tenancy cleaning services will take between 4-6h, hence plan your day accordingly. If you need to schedule a checkout or cleaning inspection, ensure that it’s done in the afternoon so that the cleaning can be performed in the morning. Ideally, you should arrange the inspection on the day of the cleaning or max 2-3 days after the cleaning has been done. If you need to also arrange removal services, ideally arrange this a day before cleaning due date to ensure that the property is empty and ready for the cleaners. Avoid arranging everything on the same day e.g., removal services, cleaning, inspection. Put aside a day for the removal and cleaning, hence the removal to be performed in the morning and the cleaning to be done in the afternoon, and the inspection on the following day. Ensure also that the property remains unoccupied after the cleaning as any kind of dust or dirt will go into the inspection report and you may be fined for it.

As you can see conducting an end of tenancy cleaning service successfully requires a lot of time and preparation. Generally, a moving out involves many tasks such as packing and preparing all your belongings to be taken to the new property but don’t forget the cleaning and the condition of the property when you will be presenting it to the landlord. We know that the last thing on your mind when you are moving out is to deal with the cleaning but trust us on this, you need to treat this task carefully as it will save you a lot of headache.

How much an End of Tenancy Cleaning in London costs?

As we have mentioned already don’t be surprised by the higher cleaning cost for an end of tenancy cleaning. After all, this service is much more in depth than a normal cleaning that’s performed in domestic cleaning services. The end of tenancy cleaning prices will depend on many factors such as condition of the property, location, size and even the time of the year the service is performed. Therefore, the prices will differ, and many cleaning companies set their own end of tenancy cleaning prices. Of course, we would advise you to choose adequate cleaning company with fair prices. Don’t go for the cheapest as you may end up with unexperienced cleaners who will perform the job poorly. Further, there are many scam ads on Gumtree with self-employed people who doesn’t have a clue how to perform an end of tenancy cleaning professionally and you won’t be able to obtain an invoice from them since they are not a registered company.

Ensure that you only go for a registered company so that you can provide a proof of having an end of tenancy cleaning done at your property. This is very important as you will be asked by your landlord or estate agent for that prove, and if you hired self-employed person to do the job they won’t be able to give you a professional invoice and only a piece of paper which would not serve as a proof. Be aware also from other sites such as Bark since anyone can register there and again you will be dealing with self-employed people. Do a proper search for an end of tenancy cleaning prices using Google and see the results there. There are many reputable end of tenancy cleaning companies on Google and you can rely on the results as this service has been established for a long time and the companies displayed had been settled for a long time also earned a reputation during the years for providing an excellent service.

What you need to look for is the time the business has been established, their online presence (website, reviews etc) and how they treat you over the phone. Also compare few companies and choose wisely by not only selecting the cheapest or the most expensive options. It should be somewhere in the middle. You can of course ask the cleaning company for how long they have been in the business and check their cleaning checklist to ensure that it will cover the checklist provided by the estate agent or the landlord. You may also want to know how many people will be attending the property and for how long the service will last. You need to be honest with the cleaning company and provide as much as detailed information as possible so that you can receive an accurate quote. Misleading or providing inadequate information may lead to price differences once the cleaners are on site. Therefore, it’s very important to describe the property in detail to avoid any misunderstandings.

Another key factor in determining the price for the end of tenancy cleaning is the location. Obviously, if the property is in the city and withing the congestion charge area there will be additional charges such as congestion charge fee and higher parking charges. On the other hand, if the property is too far and the cleaners need to travel you might be charged extra for travelling expenses. Generally, the cleaning companies operate within a specific city, hence London companies do not normally go outside and rarely go beyond M25. Further, most end of tenancy cleaning companies that operate in London would only go within some areas of M25 and normally stick with London postcodes only. This is because travelling can be difficult if your property is in zone 6 for example. The surrey area is commonly used by end of tenancy cleaning companies as the transport links are ok and cleaners can use a public transport. But as I said this will depend on the location of the property. Not all cleaning companies would go that far.

If you live in Sutton for example you may be better off by searching for a local cleaning company again by using Google. If you call a cleaning company that is based in North London would unlikely go that far to Sutton as the travelling can be quite dense and the cleaners may decide to cancel the service on the day which you obviously want to avoid. Therefore, ensure that the cleaning company is within a radius so that they can arrive. If you live in Zones 5-6 ensure that the cleaning companies know the area and don’t be surprised to pay extra. Another advise we can give you is to prepare a list of questions before calling the cleaning company. There are many things you may want to discuss with your cleaning company and surely you will forget some if you don’t write them down.

Can I do the End of Tenancy Cleaning myself and save money?

We would advice against that. If you are not familiar with an end of tenancy cleaning and you haven’t done this service before you wouldn’t know the scope and amount of work required to complete the end of tenancy cleaning successfully. Thus, instead of saving money and doing it yourself you may end up losing money from your deposit for poor cleaning and also you will lose a day of dealing with cleaning chores. Save yourself the hassle and hire someone that does this on daily basis. In this way you will not only be saving money and time but also a lot of headache of having to deal with estate agents and landlords and their inspectors.

What is an End of Tenancy Cleaning Checklist and what does it include?

The end of tenancy cleaning checklist is one of the most important elements for your end of tenancy cleaning. You need to be familiar with the cleaning checklist presented from your landlord and ensure that the cleaning company would cover that checklist so that you can get your full deposit back. The end of tenancy cleaning checklist basically covers all the areas in the property with detailed explanation of what needs to be done in each room. This is more as a guidance as there are many areas that need to be considered and failure to not clean adequately will result in your losing part of your deposit. Below is a summary of each areas in a property and the most important things that needs to be done.


We start with the kitchen as we believe that this is the most important area of the end of tenancy cleaning checklist. The kitchen itself has many things to be done such as appliances, cupboards, cutlery etc. Ask the cleaning companies what they will include in their end of tenancy cleaning checklist and whether the oven cleaning is included. Some end of tenancy cleaning companies do not offer an oven cleaning free of charge, hence ensure that this is included. The cleanness of the oven is one of the most important elements that is looked very carefully by the estate agents and the landlords.

Depending on the condition of the oven, it can be cleaned using standard cleaning materials but will involve a lot of scrubbing. Bear in mind that an oven cleaning can last easily an hour. Some oven doors can get quite grease behind the glass door and often this area is very difficult to reach, hence unable to clean. We would advise you to maintain your oven in a descent state so that the cleaning company can clean it in such a way that will pass an inspection. You can clean the oven yourself if you know what you are doing but as we have mentioned it could easily take an hour.

Arguably, the oven is the most important kitchen appliance that needs to be cleaned but that doesn’t mean that the other kitchen appliances would be neglected. The extractor fan and the cooker can get greasy and cleaning it might take a lot of time and effort. For this you would need a degreaser and scrubbing for the cooker. The microwave is the easiest to clean due to its size and sometimes a simple wipe is enough. After you have dealt with the kitchen appliances then you need to ensure that the cupboards are cleaned and degreased in some extreme kitchens. Further, on top of kitchen cupboards needs to be cleaned as well as this is where the most dust will be accumulated. Descaling the sink is also important as well as the kitchen plot. Ensure that there are no grease marks left on the tiles and on the appliances.


The second most important area is the bathroom. The main thing here is to descale the shower screen and toilet. You will need to tackle the shower head as well for limescale and properly cleaning the bathroom tiles. In some properties with poor ventilation a mould can build and if its imbedded into the grouting and the walls, this will be a very difficult to remove. Don’t expect the cleaning companies to be able to remove the mould from these areas. The toilet will be cleaned and disinfected. The floors need to be vacuumed and mopped.


The lounge may involve moving some furniture around so that it can be cleaned behind and under them. Dust normally accumulates behind the sofa and would need to be moved so that the skirting board and the dust is cleaned. The cleaners would need to gently wipe the dust off from TV unit and other stereo and video equipment. You can ask the cleaning company to whether they can clean the balcony as well, but this is not normally included in the end of tenancy cleaning and it may cost a small fee. Ensure that the end of tenancy cleaning checklist provided from your estate agents or landlord does not involve cleaning the balcony and external window cleaning. It’s generally the landlord responsibility to clean the windows externally, hence you may not have to do it yourself.

Hallways and Stairs

If you have ordered a professional steam cleaning of the carpets the hallways could be the most difficult to clean as people are walking with their shoes on and damaging the carpets. The skirting boards need to be dusted and also the light fittings. The stairs can accumulate a lot of dust as well, hence the need for dusting on these areas. Please note that these areas are normally overlooked and ensure that the cleaning company has properly cleaned the hallway and the stairs.


The biggest problem with adequately cleaning the bedroom is to move the bed around. Many beds are quite heavy and difficult to move, which makes it impossible for the cleaners to clean behind and under the bed. If your bed is heavy or difficult to move, you may need to help the cleaning lady to move the bed around as she may not be able to do it by herself. The second problematic area is the wardrobe. Especially the ones that are quite heavy to move as almost certainly there will be a lot of dust behind them. The chest of drawers are easily to move so no need for help there.

That’s it. There you have it. The most important areas of your cleaning checklist discussed and explained. Read through this main points and get to know better about the end of tenancy cleaning checklist. Remember always to ask the cleaning company for their checklist to ensure that its compatible with yours. After you have obtained the cleaning checklist from the cleaning company, ensure that on the day the cleaners will clean according to the checklist and no points are missed.

Are there any additional services that need to be booked with an end of tenancy cleaning?

That will depend on your property and your contract. Not all properties have carpet layout, hence won’t need professional carpet steam cleaning but you might need to professionally steam clean the sofa, armchair, table chairs and curtains. You need to look into this in your end of tenancy cleaning requirement provided by your landlord or estate agent. Lets’ talk about the need to professional carpet steam cleaning. For those of you who are not familiar with this service, carpet cleaning is not just vacuuming of the carpets but actual steam cleaning. Some people are using the term shampooing but it’s basically the same thing.

If you need an end of tenancy carpet cleaning, ensure that you ask the cleaning company what type of carpet cleaning equipment they use. The most widely used is carpet cleaning equipment and products from Prochem. It’s an American brand, established for more than 30 years. If the company uses Prochem surely you will be getting a quality carpet cleaning. Please also note that carpet cleaning is a separate service to the end of tenancy cleaning and as such will have a minimum call out charges as it will be performed by different cleaner to the ones doing the end of tenancy cleaning.

Drying times will vary depending on the time of the year the service is performed and the level of humidity. Generally, 3 to 4h drying time is common and if you can leave the windows open, the carpets will dry quicker and will smell fresh too. For those customers that would be booking a carpet cleaning just to remove some stubborn stains, please note that a guarantee can’t be given for stain removal as this will depend on many factors such as quality of your carpet, the nature and duration of the stain. If you are only looking for stain removal service, you might be better off by finding someone who does just that, as stain removal service is slightly different to the general carpet cleaning.

The prices for carpet cleaning would also vary between £25 – £35 per room and the duration of the service. Obviously, some neglected carpets would require more time and effort to clean, hence it’s common the price to be higher to reflect on the additional work and chemicals needed. Further, the price will depend on the equipment and methods the cleaning company uses. Ask them upfront about how your carpets will be cleaned and what’s the best method for treating your carpets correctly.

Soft furnishings like sofa, armchairs, table chairs and curtains may need to be professionally cleaned. Some tenancy agreements would insist on simple vacuuming, but others would make it compulsory to steam clean your upholstery professionally. If this is the case, then you will need the help of professional upholstery cleaner. In most cases the carpet cleaner can do the upholstery as well using the same machine as it’s made for cleaning carpet and upholstery. Please note that generally stains on upholstery are more difficult to remove than the carpet. It’s generally to remove dirt from your sofa, as dust and other debris can accumulate, and you will need something stronger to freshen up your sofa. The curtains will be wet cleaned whilst hanged. The upholstery cleaner would not take your curtains somewhere to clean them. It will use a tool that will spray water with chemicals so that the dust and some stains can be removed.

The procedure for cleaning your armchair and table chairs is the same. They will be steam cleaned and again no guarantee can be given for stain removal. Some tenants would hope to remove those stubborn stains but unfortunately that’s not always possible even with professional cleaning equipment.

Do I need to do Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning and can I do it myself?

As we have discussed above the need for carpet and upholstery will depend on your property and the clause in your tenancy agreement. If there’s a clause in your tenancy agreement that all upholstery and carpet areas in the property would need to be steam cleaned, then yes you would need the help of professional carpet and upholstery cleaner. Some of you may have heard for Rug doctor or other such carpet or upholstery stain removals but note that these products would not get the job anywhere near like professional carpet and upholstery cleaning equipment from Prochem. The Rug doctor that you can hire from some of the shops will cost you almost the same of hiring someone to come with professional equipment to clean your carpets. Further, Rug doctor would not have anywhere near the power that a professional equipment produces nor the cleaning detergents or stain removal capabilities.

We know that some of you are tempted to find a solution to treat the stains only on your carpets and saving on your carpet cleaning fees but you will be paying more in the end as the estate agents will ask you for a receipt and if carpet cleaning is not mentioned in that receipt you will be in trouble. The estate agent can then tell you that you will need to pay for their carpet cleaning company which would cost at least double than the one you could have found at the beginning. Therefore, we would strongly advise you against using after-market carpet cleaning equipment and solutions from non-professional companies such as Rug doctor and hire professional that know how to clean your carpets professionally and treating your stains with the most up-to-date cleaning equipment and detergents.

The same applies to the upholstery cleaning. This is something that can be hardly done without professional equipment and you will be risking making it even worse by trying to deal with this yourself. Save yourself the hassle and hire the professionals that know how to clean upholstery. Don’t forget what you will be presenting to your landlord or estate agents. You need these services to be mentioned on your invoice so that you can get your full deposit back. We hope these tips have provided some understanding in the concept of end of tenancy cleaning, the cleaning checklist, the average cost for the service and carpet and upholstery cleaning. We are all years and should you like to add something to our article we are open for suggestions and further tips.