Cleaning checklist

Overview of the move-out cleaning standard

When you vacate your Service Residence it is your responsibility to ensure that it is cleaned to the cleaning standards as agreed to between DHA and the Department of Defence.

In order to minimise associated costs for extra cleaning which have not met the required standard, you should pay particular attention to certain aspects of your final clean. For example, make sure the oven and grill have no burnt-on grease or carbon deposits and ensure mould, mildew or soap scum is removed from bathrooms.

We will complete a thorough cleaning and maintenance check (including a professional steam clean of the carpets) after your departure in preparation for the new tenants. Carpet cleaning charges will be automatically deducted from your salary.

After uplift you do not need to clean the area where your large appliances or pieces of furniture were positioned during your tenancy.

General cleaning of outside areas: 1-2 weeks before uplift

You must ensure that:

  • You continue to water all gardens and lawns until the day of uplift, subject to local water restrictions
  • All garden beds, lawns and paths are weeded
  • Shrubs and trees are trimmed back from the house, gutters, clothesline and pathways (if required)
  • Lawns are mowed and the edges trimmed
  • Garden clippings and house-hold rubbish are removed
  • Wet grease and oil stains are to be cleaned off the driveway and parking areas
  • Arrangements are made for the collection of any skips and trash packs etc
  • Rubbish is removed and the bins are cleaned and secured in the garage or garden shed
  • The residence and grounds are free from pest infestations stemming from pets
  • The garage is swept out, and
  • You clean all gutters that can be reached with a standard 1.8 metre step ladder (contact your local regional office for assistance with high set gutters).

General cleaning of internal rooms: 2-3 days before uplift

You are required to:

  • Vacuum all carpeted floor areas
  • Sweep and mop any non-carpeted floors
  • Remove all rubbish from the Service Residence and surrounding grounds
  • Clean heating and cooling filters
  • Replace all blown light globes, and
  • Replace batteries in smoke detectors and all remotes.

You do not need to re-clean the floors after your uplift.

Wet areas

As close as possible to your uplift, you are required to clean all wet areas thoroughly, removing mildew and soap scum. On the day of uplift you must ensure that the toilet and shower areas are clean.


You are required to remove food residue and grease from sinks, splashbacks and bench tops. The hot plates, oven, grill, range hood and filters must be cleaned before uplift to remove all burnt on deposits and grease. Place sink plugs under the sink to ensure they are not packed at uplift.

The Pre-vacation Inspection cleaning standard is intended to be a reasonable starting point for us to prepare the property for the next tenant. Your Property Manager is available to discuss these cleaning standards with you at any time.

Self move - cleaning requirements

It’s important to know that when you’re relocating at your own expense as a Defence tenant you are not entitled to a Defence funded clean when vacating an SR and you are responsible for cleaning the residence to the Defence standard. This cleaning advice is not to be used when conducting a government funded removal, please refer to the Tenant Handbook (PDF 1.4MB) when this is occurring.

DHA will provide and offer you access to our contractors for cleaning if requested and you will be required to pay the full costs of the clean and any additional cleaning charges. 

If you have any concerns or questions please ensure to discuss these matters with your Property Manager at the time of your Pre-vacation Inspection or contact 139 342.

View the Self move cleaning checklist  to assist in the requirements needed when you have decided to conduct a self-move.