Do Landlords Have To Clean Between Tenants? | Landlord Cleaning Responsibilities:

  • By: Peter Parker
  • Time to read: 5 min.
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Ideally, all apartment maintenance, including cleaning, between rentals falls with the landlord. 

Property should be thoroughly inspected and cleaned to be ready for the next tenant.

This article will go into further detail regarding the often asked question; Do landlords have to clean between tenants? What are landlord cleaning responsibilities? Do tenants have any responsibility themselves?

Moving into a Clean Property

The question is often debated, and we frequently see landlord vs. tenant arguments. But should a rental property be clean when new tenants move in?

Whether there is a legal answer to this or not is not what is most important here. As a good landlord, you should want your tenants to move into a clean property. 

There may also be a question as to why should the house have to be cleaned between tenants? Moving is exhausting for anyone, and after a long day of transferring your belongings from one place to another, the last thing you want is to move into a dirty place.

 A new home should be clean and fresh smelling. Nobody wants to move into someone else’s mess. 

Therefore, look at it as a straightforward rule. A property that is being transferred to a new tenant should be cleaned and live-in ready. 

Who is Responsible for End of Tenancy Cleaning?

If you have ever rented an apartment, you more than likely had to leave a security deposit. A security deposit is a form of insurance for the landlord. 

If you leave the apartment in filth or if something is severely damaged, then the landlord has the security deposit to pay for the needed maintenance or cleaning. 

A security deposit is aside from the fact that a tenant should clean the apartment after they leave. If they started renting the apartment in a clean condition, then it is really a moral obligation to return it in the same fashion.

But security deposit or not, it falls to the landlord at the end to ensure the apartment is clean, whether or not the previous tenant cleaned it after moving out.

Any new tenant is not responsible for the actions of those that lived there previously. And it shouldn’t be.

Some landlords may take more time than others to clean in between tenants, but this should never be put aside, nor is it a time to scrimp and save. 

Can a Tenant be Charged for Cleaning?

Yet another question arises when it comes to rental properties. Can a landlord claim for cleaning when you vacate the house? Do I have to pay for end-of-tenancy cleaning?

Though this may vary from state to state, generally, a landlord cannot legally charge you for what is considered a routine cleaning. However, as stated above, if you left the apartment dirty or left behind several of your belongings, the landlord may try to charge you extra. 

In most cases, a security deposit will cover any necessary costs. Be advised, though. You can be sued for costs if you did not leave a security deposit or if costs for clean-up extend past what the deposit was.

You can easily avoid any extra charges by simply doing a walkthrough before you leave. Have the landlord come with you to point out anything you missed. 

Also, take several pictures before you leave. If you feel that the property is in satisfactory condition, document it. That way, you have photos on your side should anything legal problems follow.

You will also want to be sure that you have arrangements in place for getting your security deposit back once you move out. In many states, you may be owed interest on your deposit that legally needs to be paid to you. 

What are the Landlord Cleaning Responsibilities?

As a landlord, you have a laundry list of responsibilities when it comes to cleaning an apartment. The following list goes into more detail and can also offer tips for cleaning between tenants?

  • As a landlord, you are responsible for all maintenance between tenants. You should thoroughly inspect the apartment either when the tenant is moving out or immediately afterward. 
  • If you should come across anything that needs a repair or poses a safety hazard, that should be taken care of right away.
  • The landlord is also responsible for any pest removal. Having tenants means that the infestation of roaches, ants, mice, and many other pests is possible. The agreement should be made that a tenant should inform the landlord of any pests, and the landlord should take care of the problem immediately. 
  • Any common areas, whether a yard or a pool or an entertainment area, should be kept clean. If tenants are using a shared space, the landlord needs to be sure that the area is kept clean and that it does not pose a safety risk to other tenants. 
  • Outside property should be kept clean, the grass mowed, and hedges trimmed. 
  • Snow removal is also the landlord’s responsibility as well as making sure walkways and stairs are safe.

Aren’t There Responsibilities for the Tenant?

While the majority of cleaning an apartment before new tenants are the responsibility of the landlord, this does mean that the tenant should be frivolous. 

It is their responsibility to keep the apartment clean not only before leaving but while living in it as well. Once a lease is signed, it is the tenant’s job to abide by the conditions. 

Garbage should be disposed of properly and on a regular basis. Any damage that is inflicted on the apartment willingly by the tenant should be their responsibility as well. 


In general, we’ve learned that the landlord is ultimately responsible for keeping an apartment clean between tenants, but that does not mean the tenant should leave the property in shambles either. 

Both landlord and tenant should want an apartment to be clean before and after any rentals. It shows good character on both parts and ensures a smooth transition for all involved.