Does Landlord Have To Clean Before The Tenant Move In? 

Woman is standing inside a room with basket and spray bottle

Does Landlord Have To Clean Before The Tenant Move In? 

By : Angelina
When tenants plan to move into a rental house, they often wonder does the landlord have to clean the property before they move in. It is a common question that most people face when renting a house or unit. You must know the correct answer because it is directly related to the refund of the bond money at the end of the lease period. Apart from the security deposit, it is also about moving to a place that is habitable and hygienic. A landlord has many responsibilities, and one of those responsibilities is to make sure that the tenant moves into the immaculate and damage-free property. As a tenant, if you are not satisfied with the cleaning, then you always have the option to hire professionals who offer the best end of lease cleaning Canberra. However, the landlord cannot give a dirty property to the tenant, particularly if mentioned clean in the contract. Then it will be a breach of contract. Here is a complete guide that will help you to understand the responsibilities of the landlord in terms of cleaning, the entry condition report and what should the approach of the tenant if the property is not clean.

Responsibilities of a Landlord Related to Property Cleaning

Before a renter moves into a rental living space, the landlord has some particular responsibilities to fulfil regarding the cleanliness and maintenance of the house/unit. As a tenant, you need to make sure that all the responsibilities mentioned in the lease agreement are complete.
  • Your landlord is responsible for maintaining the property, keeping it in good shape and making sure it is safe.
  • Landlord must take care of the essential repairs as quickly as possible. These repairs include a blocked or broken toilet, a massive roof leak, a dangerous electrical fault, a gas leak, floods or serious flood damage, etc.

Condition Report

You must receive two copies of the condition report from your landlord or real estate agent no later than the day after you move in. You should review the report to see if you agree with it. If you disagree with the report on cleaning conditions and damages, write a comment on the report explaining why you disagree. You might want to photograph the property’s condition, particularly any signs of uncleanliness, damage or parts of the condition report that you don’t agree with. When you return the condition report, you can include photos or videos. The condition report is used as evidence when you will move out to resolve disputes regarding any damage you may have caused at the end of the rental or substandard cleaning. So it’s important that it accurately reflects the property condition.

What Actions Can A Tenant Take If The Property Is Not Clean?

If the lease agreement says that the property owner will provide you with a clean rental property, but it is not, then your landlord is breaching your residential tenancy agreement. If you face a similar situation, you can take the following actions as a tenant.
  • Try to resolve the issue or disagreement by contacting your landlord or real estate agent to reach an agreement. If the property is too dirty, you can ask the landlord to clean the property with the help of certified end of lease cleaners in Canberra. They know how to clean wood floors, carpets, upholstery, toilets, etc.
  • Apply to ACAT for a temporary rent reduction as compensation for the breach.
  • Send the landlord a formal notice, known as ‘notice to remedy’, ordering them to correct the problem within two weeks. If the landlord fails to resolve the problem and you wish to leave, you can file a ‘notice of intention to vacate.’ This gives you an extra two weeks to end the tenancy.

How to Inspect a Property before you Move in?

When intending to live in a leased house or unit, it’s good to do a complete inspection to make sure it’s clean and liveable. It will help you to stay always from various allergies. Here are some things to look for when leasing a new property.
  • The carpets should be clean and free of dust, hair, debris and other contaminants.
  • Dust, grime, and other contaminants should not be present on the walls, floors, counters or other surfaces.
  • Make sure all of the ducts, vents and grills are clean.
  • There must be no mould growth inside the property.
  • There should be no signs of cockroaches, rodents, bedbugs, and other pests.
  • Spots like cabinets, wardrobes and other units for storage should clean
  • Check if the windows and doors and their frames are spotless or not.
  • The kitchen and bathroom must be clean and smell fresh.

What If The Property Is Clean?

If the landlord has cleaned the property before you move in, you must maintain the cleanliness as much as possible. Also, you should not intentionally or negligently damage the property. As a tenant, you need to make sure that you return the property in the same condition to the landlord. You can either hire professional end of lease cleaners in Canberra to clean the property or follow quick and safe DIY cleaning hacks. However, if the property owner can show you the proof that the property was cleaned professionally at the start of the lease period, then you also have to clean it professionally.


It is the landlord’s responsibility to make sure that the property is clean before the new tenants move in. So, do not hesitate to ask your new landlord about the property cleaning while signing the lease agreement. If it is not clean, you can either hire professionals who offer thorough end of lease cleaning in Canberra or take the action mentioned above.