How Clean Does a Rental Property Need to Be for Inspection

Last update: 3 months ago

How Clean Does a Rental Property Need to Be for Inspection
Elnur /

When you think of rental property inspection, probably the first thing that comes to mind is heavy-duty cleaning and lots of stress. So, it’s only natural to feel panic when the actual thing is just around the corner.

However, negative emotions can only lead you down the wrong road, causing a disappointing outcome and more trouble. It will be more beneficial to leave your worries aside and invest your energy into actual work. To be more specific, find ways to clean the house or apartment up to standard, as best you can, within the shortest time.

What’s the point of a rental property inspection?

What’s the point of a rental property inspection?
Elnur /

Despite what most tenants think, the primary purpose of a routine rental inspection is not to judge your cleaning abilities. It’s actually to see to the condition of the place: whether any damages need fixing, if special maintenance is required, etc.

So, you don’t have to go overboard with the cleaning and organisation. The important thing is to make the place look presentable. Some landlords are indeed more demanding, but in most cases, only primary care is required. This could refer to making sure there are no dishes in the sink, no clothes just lying around or piles of laundry, and that the rooms look tidied up.

How to best prepare for your rental house inspection?

How to best prepare for your rental house inspection?
New Africa /

You probably think that there are a million things to take care of to prepare for your periodic inspection properly. Well, you are not far from the truth, but the good news is that you are entitled to at least 7-days notice before your rent inspection takes place.

Note: Depending on the part of Australia you live in, the notice period could differ and be either 24 hours or 14 days, too.

We can help you get organised and take full advantage of this time, so everything goes as planned. Here is how!

  • Don’t waste time – Good organisation will save you from stress and mistakes. As soon as you find out when your routine property inspection is taking place, think of the tasks you will have to do and the time each of them will take. Then make a plan. “As a tenant, the best thing you can do to prepare for a rental inspection is to maintain the property.” says Taylor Barrington, Senior Property Manager at Educated Property, real estate and property management service provider in Penrith. Barrington also reminds that doing “regular cleaning and gardening means that, when it’s time for an inspection, you aren’t stuck with hours of stressful cleaning the day before!”
  • Do a general check around the house – Take a trip around the house and see if everything is working properly, including doors, locks, windows, taps, light switches, fans, etc.
  • List your issues – It is possible to forget about a certain property problem and miss your chance to share it with your landlord on the day of the inspection. But making a list will definitely prevent that. It is better to print it all on paper, so it is easy to read and the agent or landlord can take it along.;
  • Get your cleaning kit ready – Keep all your cleaning supplies in one convenient spot, this can save you a lot of time. Depending on the tasks before you, it’s easy to know what products to get, so you are all set up for the big cleaning.
  • Stay on track with a rent inspection cleaning checklist – The good old to-do list will really simplify the preparation process. To make things even easier on you, we have prepared just that.

Rental inspection checklist

Rental inspection checklist
Brian A Jackson /

We suggest you start with cleaning the most “sensitive” house areas that are known to cause trouble. Here they are:


  1. Inspect the oven, stovetop and range hood in detail. “The stove and the oven should be cleaned well, this shows that you are looking after the property and are caring for it as if it were your own.”, recommends Leda Ahmadzai, Senior Property Manager for Location Property Group. According to Ahmadzai these are commonly neglected areas by the tenants that will certainly get checked during the inspection.
  2. Check the walls for stains and try to erase as many as you can. Cooking often causes wall marks, which may draw the attention of your landlord or agent.
  3. Don’t forget to inspect the rest of the appliances. The cupboards’ doors can easily get covered in greasy fingerprints over time. Organise your items and wipe the surfaces.
  4. Another thing that’s hard to miss is a sink filled with dishes. Your sink will need a good scrub before the rental house inspection anyway and you won’t be able to do it until those dishes are gone. So, don’t waste time but get them out of your hair right away.


  1. Clean the tiles, sink, taps, shower, toilet and other areas will make a nice impression for sure.
  2. While you are scrubbing, look around for any visible damages or signs of a mould. It is a red flag when it comes to routine rental property inspection and it’s best to get rid of the mould as soon as you see it. According to Barrington, “it’s becoming increasingly common to see mould in kitchens, bathrooms and laundries, as well as cluttered storage areas and behind furniture. This may be as a result of relaxed maintenance, wet carpet that hasn’t been dried properly, or inadequate aerating of bathrooms via windows and exhaust fans.” The fungus is fond of moisture and favours corners, ceilings and vents. Remember to keep an eye on these even after the routine house inspection is done.

Carpets and rugs

When you enter a room, one of the main things you notice is the floor. Especially when there are carpets or rugs, if you’ve been living in the house for a while, a little bit of wear and tear could be visible, and that’s not a problem.

Though, a big wine spot or coffee stain in the middle of the carpet will hardly go unnoticed. If you are responsible for it, then, in addition to vacuuming, we suggest you try and get the stain out. That won’t be easy if it’s an old one, but some cleaning methods could transform the affected spot. If they don’t – there’s always professional carpet cleaning.

Outdoor areas

Chances are your landlord has already seen the condition of the garden, lawn, patio, balcony or other outdoor spaces if they are visible from afar. However, this shouldn’t stop you from going the extra mile to improve them before your property’s inspection. If you keep many things on your balcony, now is the time to organise them neatly and clean around to make the space look presentable. As for the garden, a little weed plucking will suffice.

Important: If you have an outdoor pool, better check this one, too. Barrington reminds that there is a new safety regulation that you need to know about: “We often see inflatable pools that don’t meet regulations, primarily because tenants aren’t aware that inflatable pools capable of being filled with 30cm or more water require registration and fencing.”

Now, depending on the time you have left, tackle as much of the following as you can:

  • Cobwebs and visible dirty marks – Look for cobwebs in corners and on the ceiling. You may find dirty fingerprint marks or stains on walls or furniture that could easily disappear with a little elbow grease and an all-purpose cleaner.
  • Windows – In case you’ve recently done a spring cleaning, then this won’t be an issue. If not, it is good to at least give the sills and tracks a good wiping before the rental inspection.
  • Floors – Wiping the floors will certainly make a difference. Do it earlier, though, so there is enough time for the surface to dry completely, otherwise, you may contaminate it again.

The majority of tenants see these periodic property inspections as scary and unpleasant, but the truth is they can be beneficial for both sides. Tenants can raise any issues they have so that a solution can be provided sooner. As for landlords, they will rest assured that their property is being taken care of and any repairs and end-of-lease cleaning services are done on time to prevent more serious consequences. And that’s the best way to secure a healthy tenant-landlord relationship.

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3 years ago

I hate inspections. What I think is clean my landlord might not. I do live in my apartment. Apartments are small. Apartments can look cluttered too easily. I have our regularly scheduled pest control coming next week. Management always accompanies them. To me, it’s like an inspection.. If it were just the pest control people, all would be well, but knowing management will be there makes me have to clean as if it were an inspection. My apartment is generally very clean and organized. Currently it is a mess. Its in the worse shape I’ve allowed it in the 9… Read more »

admin Max
admin Max
2 years ago

nice post thanks keep sharing

1 year ago

Our real estate agent expects the home to look like a show room, which is unrealistic for a home that is lived in & on the older side. Now they are harping on about the garden looking overgrown, which it is, however due to the inordinate amount of rain we have had the ground is sloppy (just just soft, actually sloppy) making gardening incredibly difficult. I just can’t with these people. The sooner our house is finished & we can move in the better!

1 year ago
Reply to  Scarlett

Just had an inspection today we also have a garage that has been stock piling some mess its also an older property and we have a cupboard that has almost fallen off the wall. our gardens are dying because the absurd amount of heat and the oven was a dirty as we use it all the time i’m not keen for the list of recommendations as the landlord has yet to fix anything…

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