What is the difference between a domestic and a professional clean?

Cleaning Post 01

Cleaning is very subjective as one person’s view of cleanliness can often differ from another’s. It is important that tenants are aware that the condition of a property in respect of cleaning is not subject to fair wear and tear. This means that even if something was damaged when you moved in, it should still be clean when you move out.

Tenancy agreements can state that a property should be cleaned to a ‘professional standard’ at the end of a tenancy; however, this does not necessarily mean you must use a professional cleaner. In fact, landlords or their letting agents cannot insist that a tenant must use a professional cleaner. If you are able, you could clean the property yourself; remember though, over half of all end of tenancy charges include claims for some element of cleaning.

Cleaning to a professional standard generally means cleaning the property to a high standard, better than a general domestic clean. Imagine wiping every surface including covered spaces such as under sofas, or behind doors while wearing white gloves.

A professional clean will also cover the cleaning of items such as the extractor fan grills, dusting light bulbs and cleaning the windows, along with all edges and ledges

Here are some of the tasks you might be expected to complete if cleaning to a professional standard:

  • Empty all rubbish and replace rubbish bags
  • Remove cobwebs, dust skirting boards
  • Dust ceiling fans and light fixtures
  • Clean window sills and wipe down doors
  • Dust all furniture including bottoms and sides
  • Clean all glass surfaces including smudges on windows
  • Clean and disinfect bathrooms (dust light bulbs and wipe down cabinets)
  • Sweep, vacuum or mop all floors
  • Thoroughly clean the kitchen (including inside microwave, top of a refrigerator)
  • Defrost fridge/freezer and deep clean the oven, hob and extractor
  • Wipe down kitchen cabinet facings
  • Polish all glass surfaces and stainless steel in the kitchen

This is a long list, but professional cleaning services provided by a contractor can be expensive, so tenants could save themselves from a cleaning charge, if they spend the time and effort to clean as thoroughly as they can.