Nice kitchen apartment with white walls

Can a Landlord Tell You How Clean to Keep Your House?

Do I have to Keep my House Clean?

As a tenant, you have a right to live in a clean and well-maintained rental unit. You also have a responsibility to keep your rental unit clean and free of debris. However, your landlord cannot tell you how to keep your house clean. They can, however, set expectations in the lease agreement about the condition of the rental unit and common areas.

For example, the lease agreement may state that the rental unit must be kept clean and free of trash at all times. If there are specific cleaning requirements, such as mopping the floors or cleaning the stove top, these should be listed in the lease agreement too. If your landlord feels that you are not keeping the rental unit clean, they may send you a written notice asking you to clean up.

The notice should state what needs to be cleaned and give you a reasonable amount of time to do so. If you do not clean up the rental unit, your landlord may have the right to terminate your lease agreement.

What is considered dirty or a messy rental apartment?

A messy or dirty rental unit is typically one that is cluttered with personal belongings, has dirty floors or surfaces, or contains garbage. If your rental unit is messy or dirty, your landlord may send you a notice asking you to clean up. A great way of keeping your house clean is by adding a drop zone. This provides a place for your family to store everyday items in a tidy manner.

Your Rights as a Tenant

As long as your mess is not extremely noticeable, and you’re not breaching your contract with your landlord, you should be fine. To avoid any trouble, you should give your house a quick clean before your landlord has arranged to inspect your home.

If your landlord has agreed to you having a pet in your home, make sure to clean up after it. If your landlord sees your pet is making the property more dirty, they may ask you to give your pet away.

Signs that your landlord is harassing you

If your landlord is constantly asking you to clean up your rental unit, this may be considered harassment. If your landlord is making unreasonable demands, such as asking you to clean the entire house every day, this may also be considered harassment. If you feel that your landlord is harassing you, you may want to speak to an attorney.

5 Things Tenants Forget to Clean when Moving Out

A lot of tenants forget to clean important areas of their property before they move out. This can result in your landlord rightfully claiming some of your deposit money to clean the areas you’ve left dirty. If you want to receive your full deposit, make sure to clean these 5 areas of your home before you move out.

A certain way of getting your full deposit back when moving out is hiring a professional cleaner to clean your home. If you show your landlord the receipt, they cannot complain about the state of the property.


Typically, people seem to forget to clean their baseboards throughout their entire time of living in a house. This means when they leave there’s a thick layer of dust on the baseboards. You can use some Lysol wipes to give these a wipe down.

2. Electrical Outlets & Light Switches

These lights switches almost seem to have little hand prints and fingerprints, especially in the kitchen! They also have a similar problem like the baseboards do with a little layer of dirt. Make sure to give your electrical outlets and light switches a wipe before you move out. Clean these electricals to make your property feel clean.

3. Blinds

If you have a home with blinds, I’m pretty sure you’ve never wiped or dusted them down since you’ve moved in. You’re going to want to check this because they can be really hard to clean. You can use a feather duster to clean the dust off, but they will still have dirt on them. Ensure your blinds are also wiped down one by one. This is a nightmare to clean, but you can always take it off and put it in the shower and clean it in your shower. This can be a faster method. Your blinds need to be addressed because they make a house feel clean.

4. Cupboards & Drawers

Make sure to wipe all the kitchen cupboards down on the outside, and also remember to clean the inside of the cupboards and drawers. This is usually full of crumbs, so you want to make sure that all your drawers have been wiped out. When cleaning the outside of the cupboards, do not miss the handles as the handles are extra dirty!

5. Refrigerator & Stove

This is one that a lot of people are guilty of forgetting. Behind the stove, underneath the stove, and behind the fridge. Moving large appliances can be difficult in some houses if they’re not on wheels. This is just one of the areas that nobody cleans regularly, but it collects a lot of dirt. Make sure that you move back these appliances and clean underneath them before you move out, as I guarantee your landlord will look in these areas.

What if my Tenant doesn’t clean the Property?

If you have a tenant that is not keeping the rental unit clean, you may want to send them a written notice. The notice should state what needs to be cleaned and give the tenant a reasonable amount of time to do so. If the tenant does not clean up the rental unit, you may have the right to terminate their lease agreement.

So Can My Landlord Tell Me to Keep my House Clean?

Your landlord cannot tell you to keep your house extremely clean. As long as you’re not overly messy, and look like you regularly maintain the house, your landlord will not cause you any trouble.

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