To Clean or Not to Clean

Author: James Adkins

To Clean or Not to Clean

Having a clean property has several important implications. Presenting a clean property will appear idealistic in photos and during tours, appealing more to potential tenants. The state of your rental’s cleanliness also offers applicants insight toward the kind of person and landlord you will be. Your rental’s cleanliness even has legal repercussions for both landlord and tenant if unsatisfactory.

When preparing your property for rent, you don’t need to deep-clean every surface of the house. This only creates more work for you and adds unnecessary stress during the marketing period. Focus your time and energy on making the most noticeable parts of the house clean and presentable. These areas include:

  • Windows
  • Bathrooms (including toilets and showers)
  • Floors/carpets
  • Kitchen surfaces
  • Mirrors

These areas are the most noticeable when dirty. Having them quickly cleaned, dusted, or washed will give your property a more sophisticated appearance with minimal effort. Tenants will likely enact deeper cleaning measures upon moving in.

According to legislative requirements, your property is contractually required to be “reasonably clean.” Essentially, your property should be an inhabitable, safe dwelling space that is appealing to potential tenants. If it is dirty enough that you wouldn’t currently be comfortable living in it, it won’t appeal to applicants and will not meet legal requirements.

When a tenant moves out, they are generally obligated to leave the property as clean as they found it upon moving in. In cases where the property was immaculately clean to begin with, tenants are expected to restore it to that standard before they leave. Be sure to thoroughly discuss these terms with your tenants before their contract is signed to avoid later disputation and extra cleaning on your part.

If legal issues were to arise and you wanted to charge your tenants for lack of cleanliness upon ending their contract, you can only enforce the “reasonably clean” standard for your property.

Adkins Building and Construction can help you to give your property a facelift with our remodeling services.  With our team, your property will be in perfect shape for renting!


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James Adkins

22 years in commercial, industrial, and residential construction roles solving a broad array of building, construction and real time application challenges.

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