Tenant Left Without Cleaning | What to Do

So, your tenant left without cleaning? Well, there are two ways to do this, and you’ll get to know them in a bit. Normally, when tenants are moving out, they need to leave the property in a good state. This aspect of the landlord-tenant relationship can be tricky and sometimes leads to disagreements, especially about the cleanliness of the property at the end of the tenancy.

Now, this is one of the reasons landlords require security deposits. So, you can either let it go or your tenant won’t get their complete security deposit or the entire security deposit back. This will depend on the amount of the security deposit and how much mess the landlord left behind.


Tenant Left Without Cleaning: What to Do

tenant left without cleaning

Unfortunately, some tenants just live in your house until they can no longer stand the filth they created then they move on to the next place. So, since you have their security deposit, you can cover the expense with that.  Hopefully, the cleaning will be less than the security deposit. You also need to send a copy of the receipt to your former tenants, along with a check for the balance, if any.


You need their new address or a place of business to serve them a court order to appear in court.

The problem you may face is proving that your rental was in good and clean condition when they moved in. This should not be a problem if you have pictures. Also, if you had it cleaned, the cleaning company agent might be able to testify for you in court.

Who Pays for Cleaning When a Tenant Moves Out?

tenant left without cleaning

When a tenant moves out, the tenant is expected to leave the property in the same condition as when they moved in, barring normal wear and tear. This means the tenant should handle basic cleaning. If the property requires more extensive cleaning or repairs due to damage caused by the tenant, they might be responsible for these costs too.


However, if the tenant has maintained the property well and the cleaning needed is just due to normal usage, the landlord might take on the cleaning responsibilities, especially if it’s for preparing the property for the next tenant. In some cases, the lease agreement may specify who is responsible for cleaning upon moving out.

Are Tenants Responsible for Cleaning When Moving Out?

tenant left without cleaning

When tenants are preparing to move out of a rental property, it’s generally expected that they clean the space. This usually means returning the property to the condition it was in when they first moved in, minus normal wear and tear.

The specifics depend on the rental agreement or local laws. In many cases, if the property is not cleaned adequately, the landlord can use the security deposit to cover cleaning costs.

Landlord Cleaning Responsibilities

Legal Responsibilities

tenant left without cleaning

Landlords are generally required by law to ensure that their properties meet certain health and safety standards, including cleaning and repairs. If the apartment is not clean after a tenant moves out, you may be failing to comply with these legal standards. Thus, take from the security deposit to cover the cleaning cost.

Preparing for New Tenants

tenant left without cleaning

A major reason for cleaning after a tenant moves out is to make the property appealing to prospective tenants. A dirty or poorly maintained property is less likely to attract new renters. You know this will result in lost income.

Security Deposit Issues

tenant left without cleaning

If a tenant fails to clean and maintain the property in the condition they met, you may have grounds for withholding their security deposit for cleaning or repair costs.

Reputation and Relationships

tenant left without cleaning

As a landlord, failure to maintain your property can hurt your reputation among tenants and within the community. If you don’t want difficulties renting your properties to other potential rental, make sure to keep it clean. Had the cleaning been the other way around, your moving tenant would have demanded compensation or rent reduction.

Does a Landlord Have to Clean Between Tenants?

In most cases, a landlord is expected to ensure that a rental property is clean and habitable for a new tenant. So, yes, you have to clean between tenants. If your previous tenant failed to do the cleaning, and left the apartment below the condition they met, take the cost from their security deposit.

The cleaning usually means cleaning floors, bathrooms, kitchens, and other living spaces. Some areas may require more specific attention, such as carpet cleaning or repainting, especially if the previous tenant lived there for a long time or if there’s noticeable wear and tear.


All in all, if a tenant left without cleaning, you can cover the cleaning cost with their security deposit. Make sure to mail the receipt to their new address or business place.

Read alsoCan a Landlord Bad Mouth a Tenant?

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