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How to clean your property at the end of the lease

How to clean your property at the end of the lease

Packing up and moving home is a stressful process, especially if you’ve been renting. At the end of the lease, the estate agent or landlord will do an inspection of the property. If they are satisfied with the state of the home, then you are more likely to get your deposit back. However, this means that the property needs to be spotless when the inspection is performed.

Any broken facilities, appliances and features need to be replaced. Dirt, stains and scuff marks should be cleaned and removed from any surfaces. The empty home should be in a state fit for the new tenants - there is nothing more infuriating than moving into a property that is dirty and tatty. Cleanliness is one of the leading causes of disputes between landlords and tenants, so be sure to cover your back at the end of your lease and follow these cleaning tips.

What is end-of-lease cleaning?

This refers to the deep cleaning of a property (both internal and external) before a tenant moves out. Usually, the end-of-lease cleaning requirements and expectations are outlined in the rental agreement, which will be signed by both parties. Some landlords will ask that the garden be maintained, if there is one, and this can fall under the cleaning requirements. Be sure that you know what is expected of you when you move out.

To help you with your end-of-lease cleaning, here are some checklists for each room that you can use to double-check that the cleanliness will meet the landlord’s expectations.


  • Sweep and mop kitchen tiles

  • Clean countertops

  • Degrease walls.

  • If any appliances are staying behind, clean these too and switch them off or unplug them from the wall. The oven should be thoroughly cleaned and any food remnants completely removed. The freezer should be defrosted and cleaned well. Be sure to remove all bread crumbs from the inside of the toaster and wipe it down.

  • Clean the extractor fan and filter, if the kitchen has one.

  • Polish metal surfaces to remove any smudges and water marks.

  • Kitchen cupboards and the pantry should be vacuumed or wiped down with a damp, soapy cloth to remove any dust, crumbs and grime.

  • The sink and taps should be polished to remove any limescale or water marks.

  • Clean the dustbins and wipe down the walls or surfaces around the bin.

Bedrooms and living areas

  • Move every piece of furniture that is staying behind and vacuum or mop the floor underneath it. Remember to vacuum skirting boards and any upholstery or curtains staying behind too.

  • Wipe down window blinds with a damp, soapy cloth.

  • Ensure that all corners and cupboards are dusted and free from cobwebs, including light fittings, window sills, curtain rails and fans.

  • Vacuum underneath any mattresses, then clean them according to these guidelines.

  • Sweep and mop floor tiles or vacuum the carpets. Try to remove any stains.

  • Wipe down and clean glass surfaces (windows, mirrors, coffee tables, etc.) with an alcohol-based cleaner. This will prevent water marks.

  • Wipe down all wooden surfaces (bed frames, window sills, tables, cabinets, etc.) with a soft cloth and use wood polish to make them look new.

  • Wipe down the top of the door and clean the door handles.

  • Clear all cupboards of clothing and linen and vacuum the interior or wipe down with a damp, soapy cloth.

Bathrooms and toilets

  • Unblock and clean the drains, if necessary.

  • Remove limescale from shower doors, tiles, taps and windows.

  • Remove all mold and wipe down the walls with a soapy cloth.

  • Wash the bathtub with a disinfectant and polish the taps.

  • Clean and polish the mirrors and windows.

  • Sweep and mop floor tiles. Wipe down wall tiles and clean the grout if necessary.

  • Brush the inside of the toilet bowl with a disinfectant cleaner and flush it a couple of times. Disinfect and wipe down the toilet seat.

General checks

  • Ensure that all lights work and replace any bulbs that have blown.

  • Ensure that all doors and windows close and latch properly.

  • Report any breakages and damage before the landlord or estate agent performs the inspection. This will prevent any shocks and help to improve your standing with them.

  • Return the keys in working order and replace any lost keys.

  • Switch off the geyser and any unnecessary switches on the mainboard.

  • Walk through each room and see if you would be happy moving into this home in its current state.

If you simply do not have time to clean your home as thoroughly as you’d like, then speak to us about our once-off cleaning services. We can perform the deep cleaning necessary to bring the property back to its original condition and save you some time. Our professional services will ensure a thoroughly clean, disinfected and polished property, ready for the final inspection.


IWESCO offers specialised cleaning and waste control services to industrial and commercial customers in South Africa. These services are aimed at minimising our customers’ impact on the environment. Our services also include pest control, garden maintenance, fogging and disinfecting. Our staff are highly trained to offer the most professional services. IWESCO is a Level 2 B-BBEE supplier with ISO 14001 certification for environmental management.

We are a one-stop shop for all your contract cleaning and waste control needs and have a national footprint. Our head office is located in Tshwane but we can provide services to any industrial and commercial client in the major metropolitan areas around South Africa, including Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Mbombela and more.

For more information on our offerings and insights into the latest industry news, follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn.


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