Cleaning interim apartments

Vintage meets flowers - living room, cool styled apartment by City-Wohnen Hamburg

When moving into your newly-rented interim home, you expect to find a clean, well-kept apartment. What is the best way to regulate the cleaning of a temporary furnished apartment?


What is the best way to arrange the cleaning of a furnished apartment?


The cleanliness of an apartment is a topic that can create heated debate and many problems. This applies to both moving into and moving out of an apartment.

Cleaning for the move in

Even though apartments must be handed over well cleaned, they are not apartments with a hotel standard.  If the apartment is not sufficiently clean at move in (photos are important here), the apartment must be cleaned again. The costs are to be paid by the lessor.

Regular cleanings are a good solution

We wholeheartedly recommend engaging a regular cleaner for the apartment, perhaps once every two weeks. This way you avoid unpleasant surprises at the end of the rental period, and the apartment stays in good condition. For apartments that are cleaned regularly during the rental period, there is often no need for a separate final cleaning. The last regular cleaning takes place directly after moving out of the apartment. The costs for regular cleaning can be included in the rent.

Should the final cleaning at move-out be charged according to time and effort or as a fixed sum?

In the lease agreement, the final cleaning is usually agreed upon in one of two ways: either according to time and effort or with a fixed price. What is the best solution?

A fixed price for the final cleaning is a good and transparent solution. A fixed sum is always calculated for a normal final cleaning, not for extreme cases. If there are additional costs because the apartment is very dirty, additional charges can be made. For example, limescale build up and mold can only be removed with a lot of time and effort. Smoking in a non-smoking apartment can lead to very high cleaning and renovation costs.

Charging for the final cleaning according to time and effort is not transparent for the lessees. It very often leads to time-consuming discussions, so this option is not recommended.

What does besenrein mean?

The German Federal Court (BGH) has actually already dealt with this term: Clean and tidy or besenrein means that coarse soiling such as cobwebs or food leftovers must be removed.

If you tidy the apartment and vacuum it, dispose of garbage, leftovers and groceries, remove personal items such as shampoo and the like, your target is met. You do not have to clean as long as the degree of soiling is normal.

Final cleaning - Approximate costs

If the apartment is a normal level of dirty, the following time and effort can be expected. In the case of heavier soiling, the number of hours can vary significantly!

1-room-apartment   5-8 hours  
2-room-apartment   6-10 hours  
3-room-apartment   9-14 hours  
4-room-apartment   10-20 hours  
Larger apartments   15 Stunden hours or more

However, if the apartment is in a bad overall condition, a deep cleaning may be necessary. A deep cleaning is much more complex and expensive than the final cleaning of a well-kept apartment. It is therefore worthwhile to treat the apartment with care!

The costs for a professional cleaner through a cleaning company (i.e. insured and taxable), are approximately between € 25,- to € 29,- per hour. Cleaning supplies are generally included. The costs for the journey to and from the apartment are usually charged additionally. If the service provider is not a professional, the hourly costs are lower.

Who takes care of the organization and payment of the final cleaning?

The final cleaning is usually organized directly by the lessor. Clarify ahead of time which name should appear on the invoice and where it should be sent. Many lessees need the bill for tax purposes. If the costs are to be offset against the deposit and if the deposit is in the trust account of City-Wohnen, we need a copy of the invoice.

Suggestion for lessees: If the final cleaning is billed according to time and effort, clarify beforehand which costs you can expect to pay.

Suggestion for lessors: Please note that cleaning companies usually need at least two weeks' notice to get everything organized. Timely planning is especially important if new occupants will move into the apartment immediately afterwards.

City-Wohnen does not schedule final cleanings

In recent years, it has become increasingly difficult to find reliable cleaning companies that guarantee reliable and satisfactory final cleanings. Time and again, this has led to displeasure among customers and to endless communication loops.

Apart from that, it is almost impossible to find a single cleaning company with sufficient capacity to clean all apartments immediately after the apartment inspection.

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