Move Out Cleaning: All You Need to Know

Curious about hiring professional cleaners to guarantee a smooth move out? Discover all you need to know about a end-of-lease clean that will make your next chapter shine.

18 min read

Move Out Cleaning: All You Need to Know

Key takeaways

  1. Schedule your move out cleaning 1-2 weeks in advance to ensure availability and avoid last-minute stress.
  2. Clean once by hiring bond cleaners who know exactly what to clean to claim 100% of your bond back.
  3. Understand the type of clean you require, from standard to deep end-of-lease clean or specialised cleaning services, to meet your specific needs.
  4. A spotless home can help ensure the full return of your security deposit and leave a positive impression on your landlord.
  5. When choosing a move out cleaning service, think about their reputation, the services they offer, and customer reviews. Make sure to ask the right questions to help you decide.
  6. Provide specific instructions to your cleaning service and follow up to make sure everything meets your standards, the lettings agents and the landlord's expectations.

Moving out is stressful, isn't it? Between packing up your entire life, dealing with removalists or moving truck rentals and utility connections, and managing the emotional rollercoaster of leaving a familiar place, cleaning can feel like the last thing you want to tackle. But let’s face it, leaving your old place spotless is a must. Why? By law, tenants are required to return the rental property in a reasonable state, taking into account normal wear and tear. This helps when you want your bond deposit returned and to maintain a good rental history. A clean space is about leaving the property in an acceptable condition as it was before you rented the house. The real estate agent can then sign off on the end-of-lease agreement and the landlord can pursue their next plan with the property. So, let's take a closer look into all you need to know about a move out clean and why hiring professional cleaners might just be the best decision you make during this hectic time.

Why use professional cleaners?

So, why should you consider hiring bond cleaners for your move out? Let's break it down. First off, think about time. Moving is already a massive time sink hole, packing, coordinating, dealing with when to connect utilities for a new house, the list goes on. Do you really want to add a day of deep cleaning to that moving house checklist? Probably not. Professional cleaners can save you hours, maybe even days, allowing you to focus on the move itself.

But it's not just about time. It’s also about doing a job that will satisfy your landlord's eagle eye. Imagine thinking you've cleaned everything, only to have your landlord point out the dust on the ceiling fans or the grime in the oven or the grout lines aren't clean enough. Professional home cleaners know all the nooks and crannies that are often overlooked that we ourselves don't even bother to notice.professional cleaners for moving out

The most common areas overlooked

Ever thought you cleaned everything, only to have your landlord point out a missed spot? Then having to go back and clean it again. These are the most common areas that often get overlooked when cleaning your own move out:

  • Greasy kitchen appliances - Inside the oven and under the stove. Rangehood grease filters. When was the last time you inspected the grease inside the oven or the top kitchen cabinets? Grease can quickly build up in these often neglected.
  • Window frames, blinds, and tracks - We rarely pay attention to these areas, but window sills can quickly gather dust and grime if left neglected.
  • Door handles and light switches - Are the most commonly used, think about how many times you've touched these surfaces without giving them a second thought. An ideal environment for germs to thrive, so sanitising is best.
  • Bathroom fixtures - Tile grout lines, lime scale showerheads, and all those little corners that mould loves to hide in.
  • Ceiling fans, air vents and light fixtures - These are often forgotten until the last minute. Especially ceiling fans and bathroom fans where lots of dust gather because it's a nuisance to get the ladder out every month just to give it a dust and lights with coverings where we tend to forget to empty the dead bugs that gather. These need a good wipe down.
  • Carpets and floors - Vacuuming is great, but deep cleaning or steam cleaning carpets and scrubbing floors can make a huge difference.

What type of move out cleaning services do you need?

When you hire cleaners for a move out, quite often most of your household furniture has already been moved out  yourself or by your moving company. At this point, you can easily identify the specific areas that need attention so you know what to expect before exploring the the types of cleaning services you need to hire. Here's a breakdown of the different types of move out cleaning services available:

  • Standard end-of-lease-clean - This is usually the most basic option that covers all general cleaning tasks such as wiping surfaces, vacuuming carpets, mopping floors, and cleaning bathrooms as well as kitchen cleaning.
  • Deep clean services - Involve thorough cleaning tasks that go beyond regular housekeeping. This includes scrubbing and sanitising areas, cleaning hard-to-reach areas, wiping down skirting boards, blinds, washing windows, and thoroughly cleaning appliances, carpets, and upholstery to remove dirt, grime, and allergens.
  • Specialised cleaning - Are cleaning services that require specific skills, techniques, specific products or equipment to address unique or challenging cleaning requirement. This can include steam cleaning, carpet, cleaning, high pressure cleaning.

So, what’s included in each service?

Standard end-of-lease-cleaning or bond cleaningend-of-lease clean wipe down

The bond cleaners would:

  • Wipe down of all surfaces, including countertops, cabinets (inside and out), and shelves.
  • Cleaning all floor types thoroughly, including your carpets, hardwood floors, or tiled flooring.
  • Wipe and cleaning all glass surfaces including window and doors are streak-free and clear.
  • Scrubbing sinks, toilets, showers, and bath tubs to remove soap scum, grime, and any residue.
  • Cleaning all surfaces, including stove cooktops, kitchen benchtops, and sinks. This often includes wiping down the exterior of appliances.

Deep cleaning servicescleaning dirty oven

The cleaning team would:

  • Clean and degrease the inside of any built-in appliances such as ovens and cook tops, rangehood filters, cleaning out the filters in the AC or split system units.
  • Get to those hard-to-reach corners and walls which can gather lots of dust, cob webs and grime and give a little more focus and special attention using large ladders or extension poles to do the job.
  • Use professional equipment such as steam cleaners, tile cleaners or industry grade product solutions that can be used to remove tough and the most stubborn stains from carpets, upholstery, and other surfaces.
  • Clean the dust, crumbs, or dirt gathered on cabinets and drawers, including window ledges and skirting. A deeper clean may be required to remove stains or permanent markings from walls and cabinets.

Specialised cleaning servicerug cleaning

A cleaning professional can:

  • Neutralise or even remove pet odours and smells. if you have pets, lingering pet odours can be a major concern when moving out.
  • Treat or remove mould from the home, where fungi and mildew can be a major concern for bathrooms, basements, wet areas and other damp areas that lack ventilation. Living with mould in the long term is damaging to your health and the only way to fix it is several mould removal treatments from a specialised cleaning professional.
  • Steam clean carpets, upholstery, tiled floors, and even bathroom fixtures and grout lines. The high temperature of the steam not only loosens and lifts dirt and grease but also kills up to 99.9% of bacteria, mould, and dust mites.
  • High-pressure clean oil spills from concrete areas and driveways, blowing away the layer of dirt build up.
  • Clean windows in multi-level houses and townhouses using high access ladders and pole extension attachments.

What are customised bond cleaning packages?

Many bond cleaning services such as This is Neat cleaning offer customised vacate cleaning packages tailored to your specific needs and the requirements of your lease agreement:

  • Customised packages can combine multiple cleaning services for a thorough clean, often at a discounted rate.
  • Other options include picking and choosing the very specific services you require based on the condition of your house and budget you have to work with.

By using professional bond cleaners, you can ensure every inch of your place gets the attention it deserves, saving you from those awkward real estate agents or landlord conversations and claiming potential deductions from your bond for a clean that is not up to scratch. Selecting the right level of vacate cleaning service may be the difference between claiming your bond back or not.

Why leaving your rental in good condition matters?returning your rental to happy agent

Why is it so important to leave the rental property in good condition before moving out? Beyond just being courteous, its about:

Claiming full return of your security deposit

Yes! Getting your security deposit back. Landlords are notoriously picky when it comes to cleanliness, and a thorough clean can prevent deductions from your bond. Have you ever left a place thinking it was spotless, only to lose part of your deposit because of a the landlord wasn't satisfied with the state of the walls. Hiring end-of-lease cleaners that guarantee your bond back can help you avoid these pitfalls.

Leaving a positive impression

A clean home is not just about the money. It’s also about leaving a positive impression and preserving a good rental history. Leaving your rental in excellent condition increases the chances of getting positive references, simplifying the process of securing your next rental. Landlords and letting agents value tenants who maintain and respect their properties, so a clean exit can help you transition a lot easier into another rental.

When to book your end-of-lease clean?

Timing is everything, especially when it comes to booking your end-of-lease clean. But when exactly should you book this service to ensure everything goes smoothly?

Booking the clean

Ideally, you should book your cleaners about 1-2 weeks before your moving date. This gives you enough time to secure a spot with your preferred cleaning company and allows for any last-minute changes or additional cleaning that might be needed. Plus, you won’t be scrambling at the last minute trying to find a reliable move out cleaner.

Consider the season too. Are you moving during peak seasons like summer or around holidays? Cleaners tend to be busier during these times, so booking well in advance means, you won't get caught up in the rush!

Coordination with your moving timeline

Timing your cleaning company to fit perfectly into your moving schedule is key. Aim to have the cleaners come in after you've moved out most of your family belongings to the new property but before the final inspection by your letting agent. This way, there’s nothing left to get in the way of the cleaners from doing a full and thorough clean.

Communicating with your agent about the final inspection appointment can also help you schedule the cleaning at the right time. Knowing exactly when the inspection will take place allows you enough time to organise a cleaners to make the house pristine just before the inspection happens, maximising your chances of reclaiming a full bond refund.

How to choose the right cleaning service

Choosing the right cleaning service can make or break your move out experience. But with so many options out there, how do you pick the best one? Here are some key indicators to consider and what questions to ask.

  1. Look for a company with a solid track record. How long have they been in business? What do previous customers say about their services? Websites like Yelp, Google reviews, and even social media can provide insights into the quality of service you can expect from the cleaners you plan to hire.
  2. Make sure the cleaning service offers what you need. Do they provide standard move out cleaning as well as deep cleaning and specialised services? The more comprehensive their offerings, the better they can meet your specific needs.
  3. Can the cleaning company accommodate your schedule? Moving dates can change, so flexibility is important. Make sure they can work within your timeframe and are available when you need them.

What questions you can ask cleaners before hiringasking the cleaner important questions

When you’ve narrowed down your choices, here are some important questions to ask:

  • What is included in the standard cleaning package? Understanding what you’re paying for is crucial. Make sure you know exactly what the professional clean will tackle.
  • Do you offer any guarantees or warranties? A reputable cleaning company should stand by their work. Ask if they offer any bond return guarantees or warranties for their services.
  • Are your cleaners fully insured, have public liability and are police checked? This is important for your peace of mind. Insurance and public liability protect you in case anything gets damaged and a police check allows you peace of mind.
  • Can you provide references from past clients? Hearing directly from previous customers who've had a vacate clean can give you a better sense of what to expect.

By taking these factors into consideration and asking the right questions, you can find a vacate cleaning service that will make your bond cleaning process much smoother and stress-free.

How to prepare your home before the cleaners arrivehouse mates moving furniture out

So, now that you've booked your cleaning date, there are a few things you can do to get your home ready and make it ready for the cleaners so they can work their magic efficiently.

  1. Make sure all your personal belongings and bulky furniture are moved out of the house before the cleaners arrive. This includes furniture, refrigerator, white goods, clothes, kitchenware. A clear and empty house allows the cleaners to work more effectively.
  2. Fix up any small repairs you can handle yourself that are most likely going to create a little mess, like patching up nail holes in the walls, minor painting or fixing a broken cabinet hinge. These small jobs should be fixed before the cleaners come so they can clean up the mess. It can make a big difference in how the overall space looks and can also help you claim a full bond refund.
  3. Before the cleaners begin the clean, take photos or videos of each room in the house. This documentation will serve as a proof of the property's condition before and after the home cleaning, which may be the only deciding factor if any disputes arise with your real estate agent or landlord regarding the cleanliness.
  4. Cleaning checklists are a fantastic way to list the tasks you need the cleaners to focus on. You can hand them the checklist in advance or have a walk through with them before they begin. Maybe the oven is especially grimy or there’s a persistent stain on the carpet. Giving the cleaners a heads-up helps as they can organise to bring the right tools and cleaning products to handle these issues.

Reclaiming 100% bond back guarantee100 percent bond back guarantee logo

One of the biggest concerns when moving out is whether you’ll get your full security deposit back. Many moving cleaning services offer a "100% Bond Back Guarantee," but what does that really mean? Let’s break it down.

What does the bond back guarantee mean?

A bond back guarantee means that the cleaning service promises you’ll get your security deposit back, as long as the cleaning is the only issue. If your landlord finds the cleanliness unsatisfactory, the professional cleaners will come back and fix any problems at no extra cost. This guarantee gives you peace of mind, knowing that the company stands by their work and is committed to meeting the required standards.

Know how to qualify for the guarantee

To make sure you qualify for the bond back guarantee, understand the terms of the cleaners:

  1. Get back to the cleaning company as soon as possible. Some cleaning companies might need you to notify them within 36 hours to 72 hours window after the bond clean if it has not satisfactorily passed the agents cleanliness check and photos are provided.
  2. Let the cleaners know the particular areas of concern that failed the check from the landlord that needs rectification and make sure the request is part of the intial cleaning checklist and not subject to permanent damage.
  3. If it's possible arrange a final walkthrough with your landlord and real estate agent and the cleaning provider. This way, any issues can be addressed on the spot.

What to do if the guarantee is not honoured

While a company who claims to offer a bond guarantee will do what they can most of the time to honour it as it's in their best interest to do so. You may get in a situation where disputes arise and the bond back guarantee is refused to be honoured. If this is the case, there would be a compelling reason, such as weeks having passed since the cleaners completed the clean and the possibility of people entering the property and creating a new mess.

Here’s what you can do. Firstly, document everything by taking photos before and after the cleaning service. This can support your case if there’s a dispute. Next, contact the cleaners immediately to explain the situation. Most reputable cleaning companies will stand by their reputation and address the issue promptly. If direct communication doesn’t resolve the issue, consider if it's worth mediation services or small claims court as a last resort.

Can landlords make a partial claim on your bond?

Yes, landlords can claim a partial deduction from your rental bond, but they have to follow certain rules. In New South Wales, the Department of Fair Trading doesn't track detailed information on rental bond claims. If there's a disagreement or a claim made without both sides agreeing, Rental Bonds Online will hold the money for 14 days. During this time, either the landlord or tenant can ask the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) to help sort it out.

It's important to know that many bond claims made by real estate agents don't stand up in the rental tribunal because they ask the tenant for more than what's required of them legally. Sometimes, tenants simply agree to give up part of their bond without going through official channels because they're worried it might affect their rental references and therefore accept to bear the cost. But usually, tenants can get their whole bond back when they take the issue to the tribunal.

Costs for bond cleaning services

Let’s talk money. How much should you expect to pay for bond cleaning services, and how can you ensure you’re getting the best value for your buck? Here's a breakdown to help you budget:

Property Size Costs starting from
Unit or Studio apartment $200
1 Bedroom House $325
2 Bedroom House $360
3 Bedroom House $425
4 Bedroom House $540

What determines the pricing?

The cost of end-of-lease cleaning services can vary depending on:

  • How big is your home? Bigger homes take longer to clean, so you'll pay more if you're moving out of a large house compared to a small apartment.
  • How clean does it need to be? If your home needs a super deep clean or special services like getting rid of pet smells or mould, carpets clean or ovens need a full degrease it will cost more.
  • Where do you live? Cleaning prices change depending on where you live. Cities with a higher cost of living usually have higher cleaning rates.

On average, you might expect to pay anywhere from $200 to $600 for a standard bond clean when you move out. This range can increase as you start to add on specialised services such as carpet cleaning and deeper cleans so getting a personalised quote from a few companies is a good idea.

How to get the best value

  1. Don’t just choose the first cleaning service you find. Ask a few companies for their prices and what they offer. Make sure you’re comparing the same types of services.
  2. Some companies give discounts if you book more than one service or if you use them again. Look for these deals to save money.
  3. Know exactly what you’re paying for. Ask for a list of what’s included and if there are any extra charges.
  4. If you need other services like carpet cleaning or window washing, see if the company offers bundled services or packages for less money. It can be cheaper than hiring different companies for each job.
  5. Find the best time to move out, try to avoid busy times like weekends and the end of the month when prices might be higher. Some companies charge less for weekdays or off-peak times.

DIY vs. Professional cleaningcouple deciding to diy cleaning or use professional cleaners

When it comes to move out cleaning, you might be wondering: should I tackle it myself or hire professionals? Let’s weigh the pros and cons to help you make up your mind.

Pros and cons of DIY cleaning


  • Saving you money - Doing it yourself can save you money, which is great if you don't have much to spend.
  • Flexible schedule - You can clean whenever you want, without needing to book a cleaning service.
  • Full control on cleanliness - You know exactly what and how well you're cleaning.


  • Takes time - Cleaning a whole house or apartment can take a long time, and you might be busy with other things during your move.
  • Missing areas - Without the right experience and tools, you might not clean everything well enough.
  • Hard work - Deep cleaning is tough. It can be tiring and a lot of physical effort.

When to opt for professional cleaners

  1. If you’re running short on time, professional bond cleaners can get the job done quickly and efficiently, freeing you up to handle other moving-related tasks.
  2. If you’re moving out of a large house or if the property is particularly dirty (maybe you had pets or kids), professionals have the expertise and equipment to handle it better.
  3. Landlords often have specific cleanliness standards, and professionals are familiar with these expectations. They can help ensure you meet all the requirements, reducing the risk of the agent or landlord claiming a partial or even full bond deduction.
  4. Hiring cleaning experts gives you peace of mind, knowing the job will be done right. You can focus on settling into your new place without worrying about cleaning the old one.

Final wrap

Let’s wrap things up. We've covered a lot you need to know about move out cleaning, and by now, you should have a clear idea of why it's essential and how to go about it. Throughout this guide, we've delved into the critical aspects of vacate cleaning, emphasising the importance of thoroughness and the advantages of hiring professional cleaners. We've learned that scheduling your cleaning service 1-2 weeks in advance not only ensures availability but also helps you avoid last-minute stress. Professional cleaners bring expertise and efficiency, saving you valuable time and ensuring a thorough clean that meets your landlord's standards. This significantly boosts your chances of getting your full bond back, allowing you to leave on good terms and with a positive rental history.

By selecting the right cleaning company and really looking into their reputation, range of services, and customer reviews before you hire. You know you're putting the right steps in place to return the property the way it before you first occupied it.

These steps can set you up for a clean move out experience and a good move in to your new home, confident in the knowledge that your old home will be professionally cleaned which allows you to reclaim your bond. Here’s to celebrate you moving house with a fresh start and the peace of mind that comes with a well-executed move out clean!

Helpful moving out resources

If you're planning to moving out, want to claim your bond back or have some disputes, these resources can be helpful:

  1. South Australia Residential Bonds -. Information on lodging, managing, and refunding residential bonds in South Australia.
  2. - Rental Bonds and Leases - Guidance on paying rental bonds, understanding rental agreements, and tips for managing your bond and lease.
  3. NSW Fair Trading - Rental Bonds Online - A secure service for tenants, landlords, and agents to lodge and refund bond money in New South Wales.
  4. Tenants' Union NSW - Rental Bonds - Detailed information on paying, lodging, and claiming rental bonds in New South Wales, including tenant rights and obligations.
  5. Service NSW - Lodge a Residential Rental Bond - Instructions for tenants to lodge their rental bonds directly with NSW Fair Trading using the Rental Bonds Online service.
  6. ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal (ACAT) - Rental Bond Disputes - Information on how to handle rental bond and security deposit disputes, including the process for lodging claims and responding to disputes in the Australian Capital Territory.
  7. CBoS Tasmania - Rental Bond Lodgement - Consumer, Building and Occupational Services offers guidance on lodging rental bonds and paying bond contributions in Tasmania, along with details on the rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords.


All values, prices, and related financial information provided on this platform or in our communications are general in nature and for informational purposes only. While we strive to maintain accurate and up-to-date information, errors or discrepancies may occur. Furthermore, values and prices can fluctuate based on various factors, including market dynamics, time, geographic region, and external influences.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

When it comes to move out cleaning, you probably have a few questions. Let's tackle some of the most common ones to help you feel more prepared and confident about the process.

How long does a typical move out clean take?

The time needed for a move out cleaning depends on the size and condition of the property. Small apartments usually take 1-2 hours. Medium-sized homes may need 2-4 hours, especially with multiple rooms and bathrooms. Large homes or those that need deep cleaning can take 4 hours or more, sometimes an entire day. The cleaner can provide an estimate based on a walkthrough at the time of the clean.

What if I’m not satisfied with the cleaning job?

If you have a problem with a cleaning service, first tell them right away so they can fix it. Take pictures of the areas they missed or didn't clean well. Good companies will usually come back and clean those spots for free.

Can I be present during the cleaning process?

Yes, you can stay during the cleaning. You can guide and give feedback. If you can't be there, leave clear instructions and contact information.

How far in advance should I book my move out clean?

To ensure availability and avoid last-minute stress, it’s best to book your move out cleaning at least 1-2 weeks in advance. During peak seasons (like the end of the month or summer), you might want to book even earlier to secure your preferred time slot.

Do cleaning services provide their own supplies?

Most move out cleaning services bring their own supplies and equipment, including eco-friendly cleaning products if requested. It’s always good to confirm this when booking to avoid any surprises.

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