8 Common Mistakes to Avoid During End-of-Lease Cleaning

End-of-lease cleaning is crucial for tenants and property owners, as they share a common objective: preserving the property’s condition. For tenants, it’s the quest to secure the return of their security deposit, which represents their hard-earned money.

On the other hand, property owners aim to uphold the value and appeal of their investment.

This blog post will explore the shared challenges tenants and owners face during the end-of-lease cleaning process. Understanding and avoiding these common pitfalls, both parties can navigate this pivotal phase successfully.

Common Mistakes to Avoid During End-of-Lease Cleaning

Our insights will empower tenants to leave the property in impeccable shape, ensuring a smooth refund process. In contrast, property owners can maintain their asset’s condition for future occupants, minimising disputes and facilitating a seamless transition.

1. Lack of Planning

Effective planning for end-of-lease cleaning is crucial to ensure a successful process. Start by creating a detailed checklist that covers all cleaning tasks, prioritising high-traffic and heavily soiled areas.

Allocate more time than you anticipate, as the process can be time-consuming. Deep cleaning is essential, including tasks like grout scrubbing and appliance cleaning.

Additionally, tackle minor repairs and test cleaning products to avoid damaging surfaces. Declutter and organise belongings before cleaning to streamline the process, and document your progress with photos or notes.

Sticking to your schedule and enlisting help when needed will help you complete the job efficiently and increase the chances of a smooth security deposit refund process.

2. Neglecting the Walls and Ceilings

Neglecting the walls and ceilings during end-of-lease cleaning can have significant consequences. Firstly, it can accumulate dirt, grime, and unsightly stains, diminishing the property’s overall appearance.

This can lead to a negative impression during the final inspection, potentially jeopardising the return of the tenant’s security deposit.

Additionally, failing to address issues on the walls and ceilings may result in more substantial problems over time, such as mould growth or mildew in damp areas. These issues affect the aesthetics and pose health concerns for future occupants.

Addressing these issues is crucial because it ensures that the property is clean and well-maintained, meeting the expectations outlined in the lease agreement.

It also minimises the risk of disputes between tenants and landlords, as a well-kept property is more likely to pass inspection and lead to the return of the security deposit.

3. Ignoring Small Repair

Ignoring minor repairs can have significant consequences when preparing for a final inspection during the end of a lease. First and foremost, neglecting minor repairs can result in a less-than-impressive overall property condition. Even minor issues like nail holes, loose fixtures, or chipped paint can diminish the property’s appeal and leave a negative impression on the landlord or the leasing agency.

Furthermore, unaddressed minor repairs may lead to more significant problems over time, potentially costing the tenant and the landlord more money in the long run.

For instance, a small leak that goes unattended can escalate into a more substantial water damage issue. In such cases, the tenant might be held responsible for the escalated damage, risking the security deposit refund.

Addressing minor repairs before the final inspection demonstrates responsibility and diligence on the part of the tenant. It enhances the chances of a smooth handover and ensures that the property is in the best possible condition, which is vital for both parties’ interests.

By taking care of minor repairs promptly, tenants can minimise the risk of disputes and secure a successful end to their lease agreement.

4. Skipping Deep Cleaning

Skipping deep cleaning before a final inspection can lead to losing your security deposit, deter potential tenants, cause property damage, and result in unpleasant odours.

Deep cleaning includes cleaning kitchen appliances, scrubbing bathroom surfaces, and cleaning carpets. Deep cleaning contributes to a professional appearance, impressing landlords and potential tenants and increasing the likelihood of a successful inspection.

5. Rushing Through the Cleaning Process

Rushing during cleaning can lead to subpar results because it results in overlooking details, improper product use, and fatigue.

To stay organised and efficient, create a checklist, allocate enough time, prioritise tasks, gather supplies beforehand, work methodically, use suitable products, take short breaks, consider teaming up, and perform a final inspection to ensure nothing is missed. These steps help ensure a thorough end-of-lease cleaning process.

6. Not Testing Cleaning Products

One standard error is not testing cleaning products before using them. Skipping this step can damage surfaces or materials in your rental property. Always perform a small spot test to ensure the product won’t harm your cleaning area. It’s a simple precaution that can save you from costly mistakes.

7. Overlooking Exterior Areas

Overlooking exterior areas during end-of-lease cleaning can lead to several consequences. Firstly, it may result in a deduction from your security deposit, as landlords typically expect interior and exterior spaces to be well-maintained and clean.

Neglecting outdoor areas like gardens, balconies, or porches can give the impression of negligence and lack of responsibility, potentially leading to disputes over deposit returns.

Additionally, if these spaces are left uncleaned, it could require the landlord to hire professional cleaners or undertake maintenance, which they may charge back to you.

In some cases, failing to clean exterior areas might breach the terms of your lease agreement, further complicating matters and potentially leading to legal action or eviction.

Lastly, a poor exterior appearance can deter potential new tenants, causing delays in re-renting the property and financial losses for the landlord.

8. Failing to Document the Cleaned Areas

Failing to document the cleaned areas can have significant consequences for tenants during the end of the lease process. Without proper documentation, tenants may be unable to prove the extent of their cleaning efforts, making it difficult to dispute any disputes or claims made by the landlord or property manager.

This lack of evidence can lead to the forfeiture or reduction of the security deposit, as the landlord might argue that cleaning was not performed adequately.

Moreover, not documenting the cleaned areas can result in misunderstandings and disagreements between tenants and property owners, potentially leading to legal disputes and extra expenses for both parties.

Proper documentation, including photographs, checklists, and written records, serves as a clear reference point and can be crucial in resolving disputes amicably and ensuring a fair return of the security deposit.


Avoiding common mistakes during the end-of-lease cleaning process is important for a smooth transition and securing the return of your security deposit. Thorough planning, attention to detail, and proper documentation can make a significant difference.

At ACS Cleaning, we understand the challenges tenants face, and our commercial cleaning services are here to assist both tenants and property owners. Our experienced team specialises in end-of-lease cleaning, ensuring that properties remain impeccable.

For tenants, our services can help ease the burden of cleaning, while property owners can benefit from a well-maintained and market-ready property.

Call us at 03 9114 9778 today to learn how we can streamline the end-of-lease cleaning process for you.