How do I prepare for my end of lease clean to get my bond back?

By Anika Legal | Sat 24th Feb. '24

For renters, leaving your rental property in a satisfactory condition is one of the most important steps in getting your full bond back!

It also helps you leave a great impression on your rental agency, and makes sure you’re fulfilling your obligations as a tenant. According to the law, renters must return the property in the same condition as when they moved in (except for reasonable wear and tear).

This blog post will explain:

  1. What the standard of cleaning requires;
  2. How to prepare for your end-of-lease clean;
  3. How to properly document the property; and
  4. How to follow up with your rental provider after moving out.

What is the standard of cleaning required?

Basically, the property can’t be worse off compared to when you entered. In other words - it has to be at least as clean, or cleaner, than how it looked when you started your lease.

However, even if the property was completely disgusting when you moved in, we still recommend you try cleaning it to the best of your abilities to avoid issues with the rental provider.

How do I prepare for my end of lease cleaning?

Landlords will often try and claim a cleaning fee out of your bond, even if you believe you’ve thoroughly cleaned the property. To minimise the likelihood of this happening, we recommend you do a few things:

Step 1 - Document the state of the property when you move in

Thoroughly document the property’s condition at the beginning of your tenancy through photographs and an inspection report. This can be used as evidence if there’s a dispute about cleaning or repairs needed.

For example, if there are stains present in the carpet before you move in, take a photo and make sure you document it in the incoming inspection report.

Step 2 - Focus on key areas

It can help to pay attention to areas which are often scrutinised by the landlord or agent in the final inspection.


  • Clean inside and outside of appliances (oven, microwave, refrigerator)
  • Wipe down countertops, cabinets, and backsplash
  • Clean sinks, faucets, and dispose of any food residue
  • Clean the exhaust fans above the stovetop


  • Scrub and disinfect the shower, bathtub, and tiles
  • Clean the toilet, including the base and behind
  • Wipe down mirrors, countertops, and cabinets

Living Spaces:

  • Vacuum and mop floors
  • Dust and wipe down surfaces, including skirting boards and light fixtures
  • Clean windows and window sills

Outdoor Areas:

  • Sweep and tidy up outdoor spaces
  • Dispose of any garden waste or rubbish
  • Ensure the outside of the property looks clean and presentable

Step 3 - Seek professional services if necessary

If you think that certain tasks are beyond your capabilities, or if you’re running low on time, consider hiring professional cleaners (especially one that specialises in end-of-lease cleans).

We recommend you email a copy of your receipt to yourself after you’ve paid for the service. This gives you evidence to prove that you paid for the service, just in case your landlord claims otherwise (and you can access it even if you lose your phone or laptop).

Step 4 - Document the state of your Property when you move out

When you move out, make sure you compile your own evidence of the cleanliness you left the Property in. This evidence becomes very helpful if the matter does become a VCAT dispute.

There are 3 main ways you can document how clean you’ve left the property:

  • Written record
  • Photographs
  • Videos

Here are a few tips for doing these effectively - and remember, a thorough record needs to be made for every area in the property!

Written record:

  • Note the date and time you’re recording the state of the property.
  • Note down any repairs made during your time at the property.


  • Take photos of the same area from different angles and with different lighting (this helps prevent agents from hyperfocusing on random marks that aren’t clearly visible under normal lighting!)
  • Start with wide-angle shots of each room to provide an overall view
  • Follow up with close-up shots of specific areas (such as countertops, appliances, and flooring) to highlight cleanliness
  • Pay attention to details like corners, edges, and window ledges where dust and dirt may accumulate


  • Take a video while walking through the property for the final time
  • If you’re leaving any items there (e.g. remote controls), clearly show where those items are left in the video as you ‘close the door for the last time’

Remember to keep a copy of these pieces of evidence in a secure location and consider backing them up in case they are needed in the future (you can email a copy of them to yourself for easy access!).

Step 5 - Attend the final inspection if needed

Remember that you, as a renter, are entitled to be at the final inspection!

You can use this opportunity to:

  1. Talk to the agent or rental provider in person about the cleanliness of the property
  2. Negotiate / resolve any further issues or defects they highlight
  3. Witness that they’ve seen the property in the condition you’ve recorded
  4. Proactively follow up after vacating

So you’ve moved out… what’s next?

Well, we recommend you email the agent or rental provider asking to be notified of any potential defects.

Use this as an opportunity to proactively solve issues before they progress further. For example, ask to be able to reclean the property yourself before the agent incurs additional fees by using professional cleaning services.

In summary, you can increase your chances of a successful end-of-lease clean and the return of your bond by:

  • Understanding your responsibilities;
  • Taking photos before and after you live at the property;
  • And thoroughly cleaning each area (either yourself or through professional cleaning services)

If you’re currently having issues with getting your bond back and need help, please feel free to apply for help from Anika Legal by filling in an online intake form here.

We last updated this page in February 2024. Please remember that this is only legal information. If you're thinking about taking action, you should chat to a lawyer for advice about your situation first.

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