Move-out cleaning, also known as end-of-tenancy cleaning or exit cleaning, refers to the thorough cleaning of a rented or leased property before a tenant moves out. This type of cleaning is typically required by landlords, property management companies, or leasing agencies as part of the lease or rental agreement. The purpose of move-out cleaning is to ensure that the property is returned to a clean and well-maintained condition, ready for the next tenant to move in.

Move-out cleaning typically involves a deep and comprehensive cleaning of the entire property, including:

Cleaning all rooms: This includes cleaning and sanitizing all surfaces, such as floors, walls, countertops, and appliances in the kitchen, as well as in the bathrooms and bedrooms.

Carpet cleaning: Carpets are often professionally cleaned to remove stains and odors.

Window cleaning: Cleaning the windows, both inside and outside, to ensure they are clear and streak-free.

Removing trash and debris: Ensuring that all personal belongings and trash left behind by the departing tenant are removed.

Repairing any damages: Fixing any damage to the property, such as holes in walls, broken fixtures, or other issues that go beyond normal wear and tear.

Disinfection: Sanitizing surfaces to ensure a clean and hygienic environment.

Dusting and polishing: Dusting all surfaces and polishing fixtures to make the property look as good as new.

The goal of move-out cleaning is to return the property to a condition that is comparable to when the tenant first moved in, minus the expected wear and tear. This cleaning is typically the responsibility of the outgoing tenant, and if it is not done to the satisfaction of the landlord or property manager, they may deduct cleaning costs from the tenant’s security deposit. It’s important for tenants to follow any specific cleaning guidelines outlined in their lease agreement to ensure a smooth transition at the end of their tenancy.

Is move out cleaning important when your lease ends?

Yes, move-out cleaning is important when your lease ends for several reasons:

Legal Requirement: Many lease agreements and rental contracts include a clause that requires tenants to return the property in a clean and well-maintained condition. Failing to do so could result in financial penalties or a deduction from your security deposit.

Deposit Return: A thorough move-out cleaning is essential to ensure the return of your security deposit. Landlords or property managers may use a portion of your deposit to cover the cost of cleaning and repairs if the property is not left in good condition.

Next Tenant’s Experience: Providing a clean and well-maintained property for the next tenant is considerate and helps maintain a positive reputation as a responsible tenant. It can also reduce the time the property stays vacant between leases.

Legal Disputes: Failure to perform proper move-out cleaning can lead to disputes with your landlord or property management. This can result in legal complications and extra expenses.

Positive References: A clean and well-maintained rental history can be valuable when seeking future rental opportunities. It can serve as a reference for your reliability and responsibility as a tenant.

Personal Responsibility: Ensuring a clean and hygienic living space for the next occupant is simply a responsible and ethical thing to do.

It’s essential to read your lease agreement carefully to understand the specific cleaning requirements and expectations outlined by your landlord or property management. In many cases, they may provide you with a move-out cleaning checklist or specific guidelines to follow. If you’re unsure about what’s expected, consider discussing the cleaning requirements with your landlord or property manager well in advance of your lease expiration date to avoid any misunderstandings or disputes.

What is the average cost of move out cleaning in Nashville, TN?

The cost of move-out cleaning in Nashville, TN, can vary depending on several factors, including the size of the property, its condition, the specific cleaning services needed, and the cleaning company you choose to hire. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $150 to $400 or more for move-out cleaning services in Nashville. However, it’s important to keep in mind that these are approximate figures, and prices can be higher or lower based on the unique circumstances of your situation.

To get an accurate estimate for move-out cleaning in Nashville, it’s a good idea to contact several cleaning companies or professionals in the area and request quotes. They may want to assess the property in person or ask you questions about the size, condition, and specific cleaning requirements to provide you with a more precise quote.

Additionally, some cleaning companies may offer package deals or customized services, allowing you to choose the specific tasks you need to be done, which can affect the overall cost. Keep in mind that extra services, such as carpet cleaning or window cleaning, can add to the total cost.

Ultimately, the cost of move-out cleaning will depend on your individual needs and preferences, so it’s a good practice to gather quotes from different providers and compare their services and pricing to find the best fit for your budget and requirements.

What is included in a move out cleaning checklist?

A move-out cleaning checklist typically includes a comprehensive list of tasks and areas that need to be cleaned and prepared before leaving a rented or leased property. The specific checklist may vary depending on the size of the property, its condition, and any additional cleaning requirements outlined in your lease agreement or by your landlord. Here’s a general move-out cleaning checklist to give you an idea of what is commonly included:

General Cleaning:

Dust and Wipe: Dust all surfaces, including baseboards, windowsills, and light fixtures. Wipe down surfaces to remove dirt, dust, and grime.

Walls: Check for scuffs and marks on the walls and clean them. Patch up any holes or damage.

Ceilings and Corners: Remove cobwebs and clean corners and ceiling areas.

Doors and Door Frames: Clean doors, knobs, and frames. Ensure they are free of smudges and fingerprints.

Switches and Outlets: Clean light switches, electrical outlets, and cover plates.

Floor Cleaning: Sweep and mop all floors, and vacuum carpets. Consider professional carpet cleaning if needed.

Windows: Clean interior and exterior windows, including tracks and frames.


Appliances: Clean inside and outside of all kitchen appliances, including the refrigerator, oven, stove, microwave, and dishwasher.

Cabinets and Drawers: Wipe down cabinet doors and drawers. Remove any residue or food particles.

Countertops and Sink: Clean and disinfect countertops, sink, and faucet.

Pantry and Shelves: Clean and remove any remaining food items or debris from pantry and shelves.


Toilet: Scrub and disinfect the toilet, including the bowl, seat, and exterior.

Shower and Tub: Clean and scrub the shower, bathtub, tiles, and grout.

Sink and Vanity: Clean and disinfect the sink, faucet, and vanity area.

Mirrors: Clean mirrors and glass surfaces.

Cabinets and Storage: Wipe down cabinets and remove any personal items.

Bedrooms and Living Areas:

Closets: Remove any remaining items, sweep, and wipe down closet surfaces.

Ceiling Fans: Dust and clean ceiling fans and light fixtures.

Baseboards: Clean baseboards in bedrooms and living areas.

Blinds or Curtains: Dust or clean blinds or curtains.

Outdoor Areas (if applicable):

Patio or Balcony: Sweep and clean outdoor areas, removing any debris.

Garage (if applicable):

Garage: Clean and sweep the garage, removing any items or trash.

Remember to check your lease agreement or communicate with your landlord for any specific requirements they may have for move-out cleaning. Completing a thorough and well-documented cleaning process can help ensure the return of your security deposit and leave a positive impression on the property owner or management.