For Landlords

Move Out Conditions: How Clean Should It Be?

The time has come. Your tenant’s rental period has come to an end, so you send him a reminder to pack up his things and get ready to move out of the property. But you can’t help but worry: – if your tenant needs to clean up, how clean should it be? 

Surely he doesn’t just clear out his things and leave the place as is. But cleaning every square inch seems too unreasonable. To adhere to the tenancy agreement, what parts of the property are included when it comes to your tenant cleaning up? Does he handle some things but leave other parts for you to handle? 

Of course you would want for your property to be clean and ready for the next tenant. Here are some areas to be mindful of so you can keep your tenant accountable and have your property ready for when the tenant moves out. 

Time to clean up and move out!

What Does the Agreement Say?

When it comes down to the extent of cleaning your property and who should handle it, this particular area – among other things – should be included in the tenancy agreement. As all landlords would know: the tenancy agreement underlines the terms for tenants who would like to rent your property for a period of time, which would also include the landlord’s responsibilities as well as the tenant’s. A few clauses which may be found in a tenancy agreement are:

  1. Landlord’s Responsibilities,
  2. Tenant’s Responsibilities, and especially
  3. the Move Out Conditions clause. 

Having a written tenancy agreement can help make things clear in showing who is responsible for cleaning.

Responsibilities: Landlord vs Tenant

When it comes down to the condition of the property, the responsibilities for both landlord and tenant are distinct and unique to each respective party in relation to the property. 

A landlord’s responsibilities include things such as:

  • Paying annual taxes to authorities,
  • Ensuring the property is well insured,
  • Providing fixtures and furniture on the property in working condition,
  • Paying the rental income tax, 
  • And etc. 

On the other hand, the tenant’s responsibilities include: 

  • Paying the monthly rental fee on time to the landlord on time, 
  • Paying utility bills on time, 
  • Maintaining the fixtures and furniture that are provided,
  • Updating the landlord on any necessary repairs, and
  • Keeping to the rules and regulations set by the landlord and the property. 

So, who is responsible for cleaning up the property prior to moving out? That’s right, the tenants!

How do we ensure that the tenant honours his responsibility? By putting it into writing. 

Move Out Conditions Clause

The ‘Move Out Conditions’ clause is typically a common clause that should be found within any and all tenancy agreements. This clause details the responsibility of the tenant to retain the condition of the property as it was given to them by the landlord. An example of a Move Out Condition clause may sound something like:

‘Move Out Condition. (a) At the time this Agreement ends, Tenant shall surrender the Premises in the same condition as when received, except for normal wear and tear. Tenant shall leave the Premises in a clean condition free of all rubbish, debris, personal property, hazardous materials, and environmental contaminants. Tenant shall, at Tenant’s expense, remove all of Tenant’s personal property from the Premises. If the Premises are found to not be thoroughly cleaned prior to moving out, Tenant shall be charged accordingly.“

As such, this clause enforces the responsibility of cleaning the unit to the tenant prior to their moving out of the unit.

Of course, depending on which unit and landlord you get, you may see a more elaborate and detailed version of this clause in your tenancy agreement, if not multiple clauses which talk about cleaning prior to moving out.

Cleaning Checklist

Now that we know that the tenant is responsible for cleaning the unit before moving out, here is a list of things to check in your unit to make sure they are clean!

  • The kitchen: the oven needs to be clean and degreased; stove clean; refrigerator clean, clear and odourless; cabinets and drawers clean and empty; dishwasher (if any) clean; sink clean. 
  • Living room and bedrooms: the floor needs to be clean, the walls free of any markings, and the fans and air conditioner clean and working properly. 
  • Bathrooms: the toilets ought to be clean and disinfected, the shower area should be clean, sink and drainage clean, and the mirrors ought to be wiped clean. 


What if the tenant moves out and leaves behind a dirty property or unit? Like the floors are dusty, there’s rubbish lying around everywhere, the oven and stove are greasy, and the kitchen sink is full with rubbish and leftover food. 

You can’t just leave rubbish lying around the house!

Most tenancy arrangements will require the tenant to notify you beforehand to confirm the move out date, in the case that they will not renew for another time period. Take this time to discuss with the tenant about the condition of the unit and your right to withhold the security deposit to pay cleaning services for your property. That is the consequence of the tenant to bear the responsibility of maintaining the unit’s cleanliness.

Approaching the move out date, conduct an inspection and judge the condition of your unit. This is where you may have disputes with your tenant. 


There is no doubt that when it comes to having tenants rent your home, spelling out the details in writing really helps to ensure the tenant is kept accountable to his responsibility of the property’s upkeep.

With SPEEDHOME, our homerunners can conduct your move out inspection for you, with a standardised system. This ensures the evaluation will be fair and ease a landlord’s worries about the condition of their unit. Since we now offer services for units with a deposit, we can also handle security deposit disputes and communicate with your tenant for you.

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