Landlords responsibles for Window Cleaning?

7 Replies


I have a "stupid" question... does landloard respondsible for window cleaning?  I have a new tenant move in, I have taken care all the misc. small repair items, and not sure how to respond to a "all windows need to be cleaned" on their request.  any comments?

That is part of the move in make ready procedure for me, with the exception of exteriors in freezing weather. 

If you don't give them clean windows to start, they might never clean them while living there. And you won't have a leg to stand on at move out when you claim the windows are dirty and need cleaning. 

If you DID already have the windows cleaned, then be prepared for nit-pickiness. 

I sure as hell don't want them on a ladder, or leaning out of my (non-tilt-in) windows.

@Mike H. I always make sure that cleaning the windows and sills are a part of the make-ready. If this was not done, then it really doesn't take that much time/money to go do it. Why risk dirty windows turning what could be a good tenant/landlord relationship into a bad tenant/landlord relationship. Also do you have a checklist or similar that you give the new tenants that they fill out within a given set of time when moving in that allows them to make you aware of any areas/problems that you may have missed during the make-ready? If not, when you go to clean the windows you may want to take one with you (make sure it includes something to the effect that anything that is not listed will be looked at in the future as the doing of the tenant) and also have a place for the tenant to sign and date. Keep the original and give the tenant a copy.

If you have a professional receipt showing the windows (interior/exterior) were cleaned prior to their moving in, then you can require them to return the windows in the EXACT condition in which they received them. If there is visible evidence of cobweb, water streaks, thumb prints, etc. upon move-out, then I would hire a professional window cleaning vendor and back charge their deposit. Be sure and document (photos) in the move-out condition report. Do not let tenants get away with, "its clean enough!" attitude. If you do not have the windows in perfect condition, chances are the next tenant may mark down the windows were dirty and then eventually the property owner will get stuck with the cleaning bill. Also, make sure your expectations are clearly disclosed in the rental agreement.   

Thanks for all the great information and advices! I'll add one more item to my pre-move in work list. 

@Shelly Swanzy 

This window question just never popped up w/ past tenants and so I have never had it cleaned on the exterior side.  my typical cleaning procedure includs steam carpet clean and professional cleaning of the interiors, fresh coat of paint and thought that should cover it all. 

I like your suggestion of having something for them to sign off for record. 

again, very appreciate everyone's knowledge sharing, hope I get to help you sometimes in the future as well. 

All that being said, if they turn out to be good tenants, it would be a mighty nice yearly perk to have the windows cleaned (since they're not tilt-in). Like having the gutters cleaned, the HVAC serviced, etc., it shows renters you care about your property, not just milking the cash out of it.

The inside is NOT your problem after tenants move in.

Free eBook from BiggerPockets!

Ultimate Beginner's Guide Book Cover

Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

  • Actionable advice for getting started,
  • Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
  • Learn how to get started with or without money,
  • Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
  • And a LOT more.

Lock We hate spam just as much as you

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here