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Is it necessary to pay for an
End of Tenancy Clean?

Whether or not a tenant is required to pay for a professional cleaning service at the end of their tenancy is a question that generates a lot of confusion. Often, we receive calls from potential customers asking for guidance, saying their landlord has told them it is a legal requirement. this article, we are going to explain whether or not this is correct, alongside some helpful advice so that you can be confident of receiving your entire deposit back for your landlord.

So.. is an End of Tenancy clean actually required?

In a word.. no! There cannot be any requirement placed on a tenant to pay for a professional cleaning company to carry out their Move Out clean. If this is included in a contract, then it is legally void, which means it cannot be upheld. So.. case closed? DEFINITELY NOT! If you want to ensure that you receive your deposit back, keep reading!

Although your landlord cannot enforce that you pay for professional cleaning services, you are required to return your property in the same condition that you found it (less fair wear and tear). If this is not done, then the landlord is able to retain a proportion (or all) of your deposit to pay for a professional clean, and believe us, when this happens it can end up costing a small fortune!

Landlords can essentially use whoever they wish to carry out this clean and therefore often opt for the most expensive provider to ensure a thorough job is done. Furthermore, to ensure as quick turn-around as possible and maximise rental income whilst minimise their own effort/ cost, they will likely pay a significant premium to have a same-day or next-day service.

BEWARE! There are cleaning companies set up with close ties to landlords and estate agencies whose business model relies on charging an astronomical amount to provide a same-day cleaning service, that you, the tenant, will be paying for after failing to clean it yourself.

In other words, the cost to the tenant will likely be significantly more than what an End of Tenancy clean should cost. For example, a basic 2 bed, 1 bath property, for which Scrubs Cleaning (London’s highest rated cleaning provider) charges the London market average of £205, often results in >£500 being deducted from tenants’ deposit when organised by the landlord. An End of Tenancy clean in Manchester, aswell as other UK cities out of London, will cost less.

Cleaning a property to a professional level service can’t be that hard, can it?

Cleaning a property to a professional level standard is often much harder than tenants first realise. Firstly, specialist equipment might be necessary to clean more complicated items such as carpets, the oven, extractor fans and other appliances like a dishwasher and washing machine. Even areas that might seem easy to clean like windows, metallic taps and skirting boards can be incredibly difficult to clean to End of Tenancy standard without the correct detergents or sufficient experience. Years ago, when we started Scrubs, we assumed that anyone with some basic cleaning experience would be able to perform these cleans to the standard required. How wrong we were! Now, all of our cleaning teams will have a Team Lead with an absolute minimum of 5 years’ cleaning experience, and in most cases it is >10 years’ experience!

What if I want to run the risk and save on the cleaning fee?

We understand that professional cleaning services are expensive! If you want to take a gamble and clean your property yourself, then go for it! Remember, NOBODY can force you to pay for a professional cleaning service. Just make sure you allocate sufficient time, as it will likely take significantly longer than you first think. Also, go and buy some high-quality detergents and supplies for each area of the property to give yourself the best chance of falling short of the required standards. Finally, be aware of the risks. It is possible that the landlord won’t bother carrying out an inventory check at all. However, be aware that in most cases they will, especially if you found the property through an estate agent. If you do run the risk, good luck! If you need any advice on what cleaning supplies and detergents are best, feel free to give us a call and we will do our best to help.

Apart from ensuring I receive my deposit back, are there any other reasons for using a professional cleaning company?

As well as providing piece of mind that you will have your deposit returned, choosing the right End of Tenancy cleaning provider can help it out in other ways. Firstly, it gives piece of mind, knowing there is one less thing to worry about in what is normally a very stressful couple of days. Most reputable cleaning providers offer some sort of guarantee that they will return to the property if anything is missed. However, BE CAREFUL, this is a claim many providers make but don’t fulfil. Make sure you read the reviews of any potential provider to ensure there aren’t any customer complaining about this. Otherwise, you might be forced to pay for two lots of cleans! Lastly, it saves time! As discussed above, cleaning a property to End of Tenancy standard for someone without the necessary experience can be incredibly time consuming. If you are on a tight schedule, we would advise to consider hiring a professional.


To conclude, nobody can force you to pay for a professional clean at the end of your tenancy. It’s important to know your rights, and if a landlord adds it to a contract, just know it is void i.e. won’t be upheld. However, if the property is not left in the same condition in which it was initially handed over, the landlord is permitted to do is use the tenants deposit to have the property cleaned. Almost always, this will cost significantly more than required, as landlords opt for the most expensive providers, paying their often-excessive same-day service premium. Therefore, we advise to do your research and use a highly reviewed End of Tenancy Clean specialist provider before moving out. In all likelihood, it will save you time, money and a load of stress !

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