Ensuring that your rental property is perfectly clean at the end of your tenancy is important for many reasons; however the main one is to ensure that your rental deposit that will have paid at the start of the tenancy is returned to you. Landlords are fond of holding on to this if they possibly can! In addition, you can incur fees for extra cleaning if they think it is required.Firstly, ensure that if you have drilled or hammered any holes in the wall for pictures, etc. that you go around and fill them in, touching up the paintwork if appropriate. Refer to your moving-in inventory for help. Then create a list of cleaning tasks, and the rooms to which they apply. Start in the kitchen and the fridge first of all. Remove any shelves or drawers and wash in warm, soapy water. Then wipe down the inside with an antibacterial agent, paying particular attention to old spills or crevices. Then, turn your attention to the oven; probably the most-used piece of equipment in your kitchen. Take one or two cans of oven cleaner (depending on how dirty the oven is) and coat the inside thoroughly. Make sure you protect your floor with newspaper against any spills and leave for 24 hours. Then remove with a metal scraper and wipe down to remove any residue. All of the kitchen cabinets should be wiped down thoroughly, both inside and out with a multi-purpose cleaner. Check that the kitchen light fittings are secure and clean and free from dead insects. Then clean all surfaces and appliances. This shouldn’t take long. Provided that your kitchen is reasonably clean to start with you are looking at a task length of no more than 20-30 minutes. Once the surfaces are covered, you should sweep the floor free of dirt and debris and then mop it clean, using a solution of water and bleach. In the bathroom clean the basin, taps, toilet and bath thoroughly, making sure to get rid of any clinging dirt and hairs. Do the same for any mirrors, cabinets and lights or vents. They can be dusted or vacuumed clean if required. Check that the light bulbs work and then sweep and scrub the floor as you did in the kitchen, paying particular attention to around the toilet. Moving onto the bedrooms, you should tackle any shelves and wardrobes first. Empty the contents (if you haven’t packed) and then dust and clean inside and out. Look at the carpet and treat any stained spots appropriately, then vacuum thoroughly to ensure a clean floor. If there is no carpet, simply mop the floors as you did for kitchen and bathroom. In any living areas you will have a few more jobs to do. You should clean any windows, dust everywhere thoroughly, vacuum and take notice of ceiling fans or similar to ensure that they are as clean as possible also. And then – this is the part most people forget – concentrate on the outside of the property. This is vitally important because it will be the first thing the estate agent or landlord sees and if it’s dirty, and/or cluttered with rubbish then it will not give a good first impression of the property. Any rubbish bags not placed in bins should be secured and removed. Check that nothing has fallen out. You must check that all outside lights are working as they should, and if anything is broken, it needs to be replaced. Finally – take photos! It’s important to document the state of the property when you vacated in case of an unscrupulous landlord. They should be left in the property, and, as an extra protection, you should post them to yourself at the same time and leave the envelope unsealed. In case of any dispute the postmark may be a valuable piece of evidence.