Cleaning Your Rental: New Tenant Checklist for Landlords

by Lidia Staron

Keeping your rental property clean and well-maintained is important to keep it in good shape and maximize its earning potential. Before a tenant moves in, you as the landlord should take the necessary steps to make the property conducive for your tenants.


First, make sure to check the property for any damage. Before a tenant moves in, you want to check any existing damage at the property and have it repaired. Even small holes in the roof can grow into a costly nightmare if left ignored for a long time. You should also check for problems that can result to safety and health issues, such as mold build-up and presence of hazardous construction products like lead and asbestos (if your property is very old).


Second, you want to make sure that the house will provide a high level of comfort to your tenants. Check the heating, cooling and ventilation systems and make sure all utilities are working. Same thing with the electricity. Loose wires and old electrical panels can trigger accidents such as fire, so have everything inspected and repaired (if needed) by a certified electrician.


Third, clean before your tenant arrives. Now this is often the toughest job and needs time and enough preparation. Great if your previous tenant has been very good and left the property spotless. Otherwise, you might be left with a lot of work on your hands.


Even though rental property cleaning is a taxing job, it does pay off. It goes without saying that a pristine rental comes with higher rent prices. Deep cleaning the property between tenants add to its longevity. More importantly, it helps you identify problems easily and see if there’s a need for an emergency home repair or some critical property improvements.


The following checklist should help you create a systematic and less stressful cleanup process before a tenant moves in:

Rental Cleaning Checklist for Landlords

Living Spaces and Bedrooms


  1. Take out all trash. And everything else that the previous tenant has left behind.
  2. It is easier to move around the property and clean surfaces if you first get rid of trash. Check the closets, drawers and cabinets.  
  3. Clean ceilings and walls. It’s a good idea to tackle the ceilings first since dust falling off will settle on the floor. Use a handled duster so you won’t need a ladder anymore. For stubborn dirt, use a long-handled paint roller covered with duct tape (sticky side out). Dust the walls as well. After dusting, clean them soap and water. Remove markings. Ink can be removed by spraying or dab rubbing with alcohol. If possible, pull furniture towards the center of the room so you can also clean the surfaces behind them.
  4. Clean lighting fixtures by wiping them with cleaning wipes. Do the same thing with switch plates and door handles. Check all lights if they are still working. Replace as necessary.
  5. Wipe ceiling fans, furniture, windows, doors, and floor trims with microfiber cloth. This cleaning material works great in removing dust and dirt without causing scratches or damage on the surface.
  6. Wash the windows, in and out with soap and water or better yet, a glass cleaner.
  7. Now, you can work on the floors. Mop floors and vacuum carpets. Check if there’s mold behind carpets. If the dirt is difficult to handle, consider hiring a professional carpet cleaner.


One of the toughest areas to clean, take the following steps for a smooth workflow:


  • Remove all items from the cabinets, drawers, cupboards and refrigerator. Take out all trash.
  • Wipe down all surfaces with cleansers – from the top and insides of cabinets to the countertops, appliances, etc.
  • Try to remove stains on the kitchen counter or sink. They really are an eyesore.
  • Disinfect and sanitize the fridge and dishwasher.
  • Clean stovetop and sink.
  • Clean the inside of the oven with appropriate cleaner.
  • Clean the hood fan and vent filter.
  • Lastly, sweep or vacuum floor.


  1. Don’t forget to wear appropriate gears such as mask and hand gloves before getting started.
  2. Scrub the shower, sink and tub with disinfectant cleanser.
  3. Take time to eliminate dirt, grime and stain.
  4. Scrub the toilet in and out. Use a reliable cleaning solution and disinfectant.
  5. Make sure the drain is not clogged.
  6. Wipe all surfaces, including cabinets, mirror, glass and drawer with cleanser and microfiber cloth.
  7. Sweep or vacuum floor.
  8. Disinfect the entire bathroom.


Before starting, make sure to have all the tools and supplies you need and enlist help whenever possible. Don’t forget to clean the outdoor area too. Mow the lawn, power wash the driveway, trim trees and bushes, and cut grass at recommended height. These will make your rental property more appealing to potential tenants.


Lastly, before you turn over the property to your next tenant, make sure that their obligations to keep the house clean are clear. Specify in the lease agreement what are expected from them if they decide to move out, and that should include cleaning the entire property.


Date : 10/11/2018