Cleaning Checklist for Landlords & Property Management Companies

Cleaning Checklist for Landlords & Property Management Companies

When it comes to the big project of turning over a rental property in between tenants, explore our move out cleaning checklist for helpful tips.

While turnover and vacancy rates are the lowest they’ve been in years, around 60 percent of renters say they plan to look for a new place in the next six months.

If some of those are your renters, you’ll need to plan to kick in your make-ready checklist covering everything from move-out cleaning to minor repairs. Setting a move out cleaning checklist or system helps you deliver quality results while cutting down on down time so you can get new tenants in as quickly as possible.

The cleanliness of a unit when a tenant moves in helps set the standard for how you expect them to maintain the property. It also ensures tenant satisfaction when they first move in and ongoing satisfaction with the cleanliness of common spaces. A clean place makes them feel that you care about your property and will care about them in turn.

Let’s take a look at what should be on your cleaning checklist anytime you have a rental turnover.

What This Guide Covers

Rental property covers a wide range of options, all of which have their own cleaning needs. This cleaning guide offers tips for the following:

  • Make-ready cleaning between short-term guests
  • Move-out checklist for long-term tenants
  • Make-ready cleaning for longer rentals
  • Seasonal larger cleaning projects
  • Common area cleaning for multi-tenant buildings
    • Lobby and corridors
    • Gyms and fitness centers
    • Public restrooms

Some of these areas require daily cleaning, while others only need to be dealt with when there’s a change between tenants. A fixed schedule and checklist ensure nothing is missed so you can keep your tenants happy.

Short-Term or Vacation Rentals

Because most short-term rentals are a week or less, you’ll need to do make-ready cleaning for these properties quite often. The cleanliness of the holiday home is one of the first things your guests will notice and is almost always mentioned in reviews they leave.

Your cleaning team often only has a couple of hours to turn the place over for the next guests, so a good routine and checklist help ensure everything is done quickly and completely. Here’s a good start to your move out cleaning checklist.

All living areas

  • Dust all surfaces, including ceiling fans
  • Wipe down all high-touch areas like door knobs and light switches
  • Sweep, mop, and/or vacuum floors
  • Organize decorative items
  • Replenish supplies like toilet paper and toiletries
  • Remove trash
  • Check for and remove any left-behind items


  • Clean and sanitize all surfaces and appliances
  • Wipe down inside fridge and oven
  • Remove food left behind
  • Run dishwasher
  • Wash and change dish rags and cloths


  • Change and wash linens
  • Clean mirrors
  • Wash blankets, pillows and duvets as needed


  • Clean and sanitize all surfaces
  • Wash and change towels
  • Check for mold and mildew
  • Refill soap dispensers

Laundry room

  • Clear lint trap
  • Wipe down machines


  • Wipe down furniture
  • Sweep patios and entrances

Deep Cleaning

In addition to the regular turnover cleaning, you should block out some time once or twice a year for more in-depth cleaning. This list should include the following:

  • Carpet cleaning
  • Curtain cleaning
  • Paint touch-up
  • Scuff treatment
  • Clean behind appliances
  • Wipe down kitchen cabinets
  • Exterior maintenance
  • Wear and tear of linens and towels

Keep essential cleaning supplies in the unit for guests to use while they’re there. Your cleaning team can bring in a broader range of supplies when they come for a turnover clean.

Apartment and House Rental Properties

Cleaning Services For Property Managers

Twice in the course of a lease you should document the condition of your property — when they move in and when they move out. You’ll want to have a cleaning checklist for your tenant to follow for a house or apartment move-out cleaning. A separate checklist for your cleaning crew covers everything else to ensure the place is perfect for the new tenant.

Tenant Move-out Cleaning Checklist

Many times, a lease requires that tenants leave a rental “broom clean”. A checklist helps you define that term for your renter. It also sets the expectations for the tenant so they will know what will be checked to determine whether they get their deposits back.

Your cleaning checklist should broadly include the following:

  • Remove all personal belongings
  • Remove all garbage and trash
  • Repair pet damage and treat for pests
  • Clean windows
  • Clean blinds
  • Sweep, mop and/or vacuum all floors
  • Clean doors
  • Clean ceiling fan blades
  • Clean HVAC vents
  • Spot scrub walls
  • Wipe down baseboards

Kitchen Cleaning Checklist

  • Clean and degrease range hood and stove
  • Clean inside oven including racks
  • Clean inside and out of dishwasher
  • Remove all food from refrigerator
  • Clean inside and out, including storage compartments
  • Wipe out cupboards and clean doors
  • Wipe out drawers
  • Clean and shine sinks, faucets, and handles
  • Clean backsplash areas

Bathroom Cleaning Checklist

  • Clean all toilet surfaces
  • Clean sinks
  • Clean mirrors and glass
  • Remove all items and clean inside cabinets

Make-Ready Cleaning Checklist

Even if your tenant does a passable job cleaning the place, you still need to take time to get the property ready for the next person to live there. A professionally cleaned property helps attract high-quality tenants and gets you top dollar for your rental.

Before you can even start to clean, you need to remove anything the tenants left behind. Keep in mind that you can’t just dump it, and the rules differ if stuff was left behind because of an eviction. North Carolina has some detailed rules for how to deal with abandoned property, and you should follow those before you begin the deep clean.

Your cleaning services for move-out of a rental property should include:

Kitchen Cleaning Checklist

  • Countertops and backsplash
  • Sinks and fixtures
  • Inside and outside of cabinets and drawers
  • Outside and inside of large appliances
  • Stove top
Cleaning checklist

Bathroom Cleaning Checklist

  • Showers and bathtubs
  • Toilets
  • Countertops
  • Sinks and fixtures
  • Mirrors
  • Inside and outside of cabinets and drawers
Cleaning a sink in the bathroom

Bedrooms and Living Areas Cleaning Checklist

  • Dust light fixtures and ceiling fans
  • Dust for cobwebs
  • Dust blinds
  • Interior glass: Windows, doors, mirrors, etc.
  • Wipe light switch and outlet covers
  • Molding and baseboards
  • Doors and door frames
  • Dust intake vents and air return vents
  • Sweep and mop floors
  • Vacuum carpets and rugs
Bedroom cleaning


  • Light fixtures
  • Trim molding
  • Walls and doors
  • Windows and blinds
  • Marks on walls or ceiling
  • Floors
  • Laundry and storage areas
Floor cleaning sweeping and vacuum carpets

After everything has been scrubbed, you should go back over everything a second time with a sanitizing mixture. As you clean, look for damage, pests, and mildew so you can fix those issues before your new tenant moves in.

You can also move a bit beyond clean in getting your property ready for a new tenant. This includes replacing any burned-out light bulbs and replacing HVAC air filters. You should also check the smoke detectors and replace the batteries as needed.

Common Areas

Cleaning common areas in multi-tenant property, charlotte NC

multi-tenant or commercial property

If you manage a multi-tenant or commercial property, your needs extend far beyond move-in and move-out cleaning services for individual units or offices. You also have common areas and amenities used by tenants that need to be cared for.

That could be an on-site fitness center — a high-traffic area with lots of moisture and locker rooms trafficked by shoes and bare feet. Your tenants also travel through spaces like the lobby, hallways, and stairways. These are full of high-touch surfaces and dirt carried in from outside.

This particular cleaning checklist might cover the following:

Lobby and Corridors Cleaning Checklist

  • Sweep, mop, and/or vacuum floors
  • Spot clean carpets
  • Clean and disinfect high-touch areas — doorknobs, bars, railings, and elevator buttons
  • Clean door and window glass
  • Remove trash and clutter
Cleaning lobby at multi tenant office building

Lobby and Corridors Cleaning Checklist

  • Sweep, mop, and/or vacuum floors
  • Spot clean carpets
  • Clean and disinfect high-touch areas — doorknobs, bars, railings, and elevator buttons
  • Clean door and window glass
  • Remove trash and clutter
Cleaning and disinfecting restrooms at multi unit property in charlotte nc

Restroom Cleaning Checklist

  • Sweep and mop floors
  • Clean and disinfect all fixtures
  • Clean and polish mirrors and glass
  • Spot clean doors and partition walls
  • Wipe clean dispensers
  • Remove trash
Fitness center exercise equipment cleaning

Fitness Center Cleaning Checklist

  • Wipe machines with disinfectant
  • Scrub and clean locker surfaces and benches
  • Scrub and clean faucets, handles, sinks, toilets
  • Clean floors
  • Remove trash

Special Cleaning Services

For property managers and landlords, there are often other situations where professional cleaning services are called for. This might be commercial move-out cleaning, which is similar but more straightforward from apartment cleaning. It could also be post-construction cleaning to clear up all the dust and debris leftover after a remodel.

Need Professional Move-Out Cleaning?

Getting your rental properties ready for the next tenant plays a key role in attracting great tenants and setting expectations for how they should maintain the property. A cleaning checklist ensures everything gets done for the quick rental turnover needed on vacation properties as well as the more thorough cleaning needed for a new long-term tenant. It also can ensure consistency for the common areas of your multi-unit properties.

Looking for help with a move-out cleaning in Charlotte NC or property management cleaning services? Get an estimate to have our team take care of your rental, office, or other commercial property for a move-out or regular professional cleaning service.

Looking for Property management cleaning In Charlotte NC? >>

Contact us today to schedule a walk-through and get a detailed cleaning estimate.

Home » Blog » Cleaning Checklist for Landlords & Property Management Companies