Should Landlords Have to Clean Between Tenants?

written by: Terry Stevens

Published: February 1, 2024
Updated: February 1, 2024

reading time:  minutes


Being a landlord comes with many responsibilities. From collecting rent and staying on top of finances to managing property maintenance and repairs. And getting the place ready for a new tenant can bring even more burdens. One question that often arises is; does the cleaning between tenancies fall on the landlord or the tenant?

Cleanliness is vital for both landlords and tenants. For landlords, maintaining a clean property not only attracts good tenants but also maintains hygienic standards, contributing to a positive reputation for the property manager plus it can increase the lifespan of fixtures and fittings in the apartment like carpet and curtains.

Depending on the lease agreement, tenants may be obligated to clean the rented property before moving out. Generally, tenants are expected to leave the property in the same condition it was when they first rented it.

In this post, we will talk about the responsibilities of rental property owners, explore a landlord's legal obligations around cleanliness, and who is responsible for cleaning between tenants.

Are There Any Legal Obligations?

As a tenant, your obligation to clean the property before your contract ends depends on the state you live in. States have different local laws and responsibilities concerning lease agreements. Even if the laws seem quite similar, we recommend checking your state's specifics to make sure you know your obligations in advance.

For instance, a landlord may require and charge for carpet cleaning. However, this may not fall under the circumstances outlined in the regulation. Instead, it could be a separate payment made at the time of move-out, either by check or money order. It might be a case that according to the regulations, it may not be deducted from the security deposit or withheld before move-out. 

Cleaning Responsibilities in Rental Properties

Landlord Cleaning Responsibilities

In rental properties, the cleaning responsibilities are typically outlined in the lease agreement, specifying if tenants are required to clean before moving out. Clear communication and adherence to these responsibilities contribute to maintaining a well-kept living environment for both tenants and landlords.

Landlord Cleaning Responsibilities

Cleaning the place between tenants is considered common sense. Even if the tenant leaves the place reasonably clean, hiring a professional cleaning service not only ensures the rental unit is spotless but also promotes hygiene by eliminating odors and stains, especially from items like carpets. If you’re sharing with a flatmate, you could also consider splitting the cost to save money.

In some states, the landlord might be required by law to provide tenants with a move-out inspection checklist that outlines the cleaning tasks they must complete before moving out. Generally, landlords are responsible for maintaining their properties in a safe and habitable condition. This includes ensuring that the flooring, including carpets, is in good condition.

For landlords with multiple properties, it is easier to do property maintenance using software that can ease all these tasks. With rental property accounting software, you can easily keep track of the maintenance jobs done to each property.

Tenant Cleaning Responsibilities

Cleaning can become the tenants' responsibility if agreed upon in the rental contract. The property manager can expect the tenant to take care of this. If the cleaning is not done as agreed, the landlord can ask for extra payment for cleaners. This is okay as long as it was written in the contract and both parties signed it.

We recommend examining the condition of your lease agreement before signing the contract. It may contain specific cleaning procedures that, if not followed correctly, could result in the forfeiture of your security deposit.

Tips for Landlords Before New Renters

Tips for Landlords Before New Renters

You have hired a cleaning service firm to clean your place, but before renting the property again, there are still a few things you should check as a responsible landlord. Let us take a look at what you need to check:

  • Make sure your power system and roof are in good condition.
  • Check for any signs of mold, especially if your property has carpets.
  • Look out for any bugs or termite issues and consider getting pest control if the case.
  • Examine if the shower and sinks drain properly or if they need assistance.
  • Check that all furniture is in good shape and does not need any repairs.

Taking care of these details ensures not only that your property is in good condition, but also attracts responsible new tenants that will take good care of your property.

Cleaning costs, among other things within the world of real estate, haven’t gone down over the years. Landlords must budget for potential increased costs when cleaning in between tenants. Especially when a unit is harder to find a renter, cleaning it helps avoid vacancy, which can also destroy cash flow. Landlords can raise the monthly rent amount when tenants turnover to help keep up with higher housing expenses. This helps them have enough funds to maintain the house and keep it clean for each new tenant to come.


In conclusion, the debate over whether the landlords should clean between tenants continues, but finding a fair solution for both parties is essential. We believe it is common sense for tenants to leave the place as they found it and for the landlords to maintain it hygienically for its next tenants.

Lease agreements sometimes specify cleaning responsibilities for tenants, expecting them to return the place to its original condition. By having clear rules in lease agreements and talking openly, everyone can make sure the place stays clean and everyone is happy at the end of the rented lease.

Being a landlord is already a lot of work, and part of it involves getting the place ready for new tenants. Keeping things clean is important for everyone - it helps attract good tenants and keeps the property manager's reputation intact.


End of Lease Cleaning, Landlords, Maintenance, moving, Tenants

About the author 

Terry Stevens

The owner and founder of Sparkle and Shine. He is a seasoned professional in the home services industry with a decade of experience. He is dedicated to providing top-notch services for residential and commercial properties and has a wealth of knowledge to share on topics such as tips, tricks, industry trends, and the importance of loving your space.