Landlord vs Tenant Cleaning Responsibilities

When it comes to maintenance and cleaning responsibilities, landlords and tenants can disagree quite frequently. Importantly, ensure that everyone is on the same page and knows their responsibilities when it comes to cleaning the rental.

So what are landlord vs tenant cleaning responsibilities?

Below, we’ve outlined some common examples of what falls under landlord cleaning responsibilities and tenant cleaning responsibilities.

Of course, there will always be variations based on what the rental agreement says. Of course, always account for all legal guidelines for what each party should be responsible for.

What Are a Landlord’s Cleaning Responsibilities?

A landlord’s responsibilities are numerous. However, these can vary between what is a landlord’s maintenance responsibility and what is a landlord’s cleaning responsibility.

As noted above, the lease and landlord-tenant laws denote the exact requirements for maintenance & cleaning. Generally, it’s the landlord’s duty to keep the property in living condition and “good foundational order”. This includes maintaining the roof, power system, and safety features. Safety features can even include the upkeep of the smoke alarms. This can include both installing them and making sure that they are functional.

Additionally, windows and doors must all be reliable and have locks. Water also has to be running hot and cold through the faucets in the house. If there is an issue, the landlord must call a plumbing service or get the repairs carried out. 

What Are a Tenant’s Cleaning Responsibilities?

Typically, a tenant’s cleaning responsibilities are to keep the property in a clean and habitable state while living there. 

This can range from your usual cleaning list (sweeping, mopping, dusting, organizing, tidying, etc) to simple, everyday tasks of maintaining the unit.

For example, things like changing filters and lightbulbs when required. Some landlords might even have rental inspection checklists that they give to tenants as an overview of what to look out for or maintain.

The tenant also has the responsibility to stay in communication with the landlord and let them know about any issues. For instance, if there were a leak that required a plumber to be called. If tenants leave maintenance issues go on for too long, this can result in even larger issues for the unit, the tenant, and the landlord.

Landlord vs Tenant Cleaning Responsibilities

Typically, landlords are not responsible for cleaning duties in the interior of the rental. Although, they might be in charge of the exterior of the rental.

Landlord vs tenant cleaning responsibilities usually aren’t as strict as maintenance regulations. For example, nobody is going to get you into trouble if it is a few days since you vacuumed.

However, some significant failures to keep the rental clean can encourage rust, mold, and even pest control issues. These can be costly for both parties in the long run. Not cleaning can promote rust and other property issues. Problems like this can even eat into a security deposit the tenant may have paid.

Importantly, check out any state and local regulations about what’s required of each party. Additionally, your lease might outline what’s considered proper maintenance of the unit.

Cleaning Duties for Moving Out

Typically, at the end of any tenancy, it’s time for a deep clean. Ordinarily, contracts state that the tenant has to leave the property how they found it in terms of cleanliness. So, if you aren’t going to reach that state then it can be time to get cleaning!

Additonally, use move-in & move-out checklists to ensure you’re documenting what needs to be cleaned at the beginning and end of each tenancy.

For landlord vs tenant cleaning responsibilities, both parties should be clear about what is expected when they enter into the agreement. This is why leases and lease addendums are so important.

Guest Post: Author’s Bio

Claire Zimmerman is a content marketing specialist working with Allstate Service Group. Having almost 9 years of experience in home improvement, Claire is keen on sharing her knowledge on home design and renovation with others, especially HVAC, air filtration, and water damage issues. Claire’s articles are informative and entertaining, written both for homeowners and experienced contractors.