‍The Complete Guide to Holiday Let Cleaning and Housekeeping



The Insider @ Houst
Last updated on
November 25, 2022

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‍The Complete Guide to Holiday Let Cleaning and Housekeeping

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As with any building or property, holiday let properties require regular cleaning and maintenance. Holiday let cleaning and maintenance involve several activities that help keep the holiday home in optimal condition to receive guests and make their stay on the property safe, healthy, and enjoyable. 

At first glance, it's easy to overlook the everyday maintenance and cleaning of your home, like vacuuming carpets, when you have spent so much time on details like painting walls and adding new furniture. However, it's important to remember that little day-to-day tasks can make a big difference to your property, especially if you want to attract and keep good quality guests.

In this guide, we will review important holiday let maintenance, cleaning, and housekeeping checklists before touching on frequently asked questions about the holiday let cleaning and maintenance process. 

Table of Contents

Importance of Holiday Let Cleaning and Maintenance

There are many reasons why you need to take your holiday let maintenance seriously. Here, we have listed the top reasons you should take advantage of all the essential touches that'd make your property the perfect home for your guests.

1. Sustainability of the Building

To maximise your building profitability, ensure that it is in good usable condition at all times. The failure to maintain a structure for extended periods may cause the building to experience gradual defects and damages, which may culminate in the dilapidation of the building. 

Considering that this is your business, there is a lot at stake if you refuse to carry out periodic and consistent cleaning and maintenance of the holiday let property. 

2. First Impressions

First impressions matter a lot, and this remains true, especially for holiday letting businesses. Regardless of the excellence of your accommodation services, your prospective customers first encounter the exterior of your holiday home. 

If, for any reason, the exterior of the holiday home has not been cleaned or looks dirty, there is a high chance that these prospective guests will seek other options. 

Therefore, to remain in business in a competitive industry, you need to constantly ensure that your holiday home is cleaned and that the exterior and interior remain in excellent condition and comfortable for people to use. 

3. Reviews

One of the most important things that affects the profitability of a holiday let business is the reviews it gets from guests that have stayed in the property. 

The more positive reviews, the better the chances of people getting drawn to the holiday home, and with negative reviews, the lower the chances of getting new and prospective guests to the property.

This is because new guests consider the reviews garnered by different holiday homes when researching the ideal holiday home. Old guests would also refer people they know to the holiday home where they had the best experience. 

‍Importance of Holiday Let Cleaning and Maintenance

While many things could affect the experience and, by extension, the reviews given by the occupants of the holiday home, the cleaning, maintenance, and housekeeping practices are among the most important. 

Therefore, if you get the holiday home cleaning and housekeeping right, there is a high chance that you will end up with a good review. Aside from regular cleaning, there are other inexpensive ways to make guests love your property, leave positive reviews, and give referrals.

The Cleaning, Maintenance, and Housekeeping Checklist

Here, we will discuss a concise holiday home cleaning and housekeeping checklist. This checklist was compiled from talking to guests, holiday cottage cleaning service providers, and of course, with government and industry guidance. 

The First Stage to Holiday Let Cleaning

Let's say a guest has just left the holiday home, and you have a few hours to clean and prepare the property for the next guest. The first line of action is to check the reviews provided by the guest in the guestbook. 

This review will most likely contain the things that need your attention in the building, and this is where you start the cleaning, maintenance, and housekeeping from. This is because, if it affected one guest, you can expect that other guests would be affected by the thing. 

After making the necessary adjustments, you can start routine checks for stains, damages, and missing items. Fixing all these helps put the building in a good state before the next guest comes in. 

Second Stage

Check The Windows

Windows are very important in a holiday home, not only because of their ventilating functions, but they also contribute to the views enjoyed by the guests while in the holiday home. 

Therefore, one of the parts of the house that guests would readily notice is the window. It is essential to clean the window and ensure it is in optimal condition. 

You should clean the window using the ideal cleaning method for the window type and open the curtain or blinds by the window. 

Check Outside Spaces

The exterior part of the holiday let property is as important as the interior. It is one of the parts of the building that prospective guests would see on entering your holiday home. 

Therefore, you should ensure that the deck, patio, or terrace is well-cleaned and maintained. Apart from attracting prospective customers, many guests prefer to eat or relax outdoors, especially when you have garden furniture in these outdoor areas. 

Check Pantry, Fridge, or Freezer

Most guests arrive with their supplies for a holiday, and after settling down, they will proceed to store these supplies properly. The guests would most likely check or use the pantry, fridge, or freezer. Thus, you should clean them and ensure they are safe for use. 

Hence, you should also look out for debris from the last usage that could stain or cause the fridge to smell bad. Clean out this debris and find a way to remove the foul smell from the refrigerator.

Housekeeping Essentials for Holiday Lets

The following checklists will help you get your bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, and exterior space in order and perfect for your guests.

Bedroom Checklist

  • Check for any stains, wear and tear or dampness on the bed linen, mattress covers, throws and pillows.
  • Vacuum the floor and areas under the bed.
  • Dust furniture and clean mirrors and windows to create a welcoming environment.
  • Check and remove any personal effects and belongings left in rooms by past guests and disinfect the rooms.
  • Ensure the closet has all the necessary items, such as hangers, extra blankets, bedsheets, and pillows.

Kitchen Checklist

  • Basic cleaning including the worktops, chairs, sink, tables, and units, chairs with a damp cloth. Also, sweep and mop the kitchen floor.
  • Empty the trash bins and sanitise.
  • Thoroughly clean appliances such as your microwave, dishwasher, refrigerator, and so on, and ensure they are working perfectly.
  • Refill or put a new pack of washing-up liquid, dishwasher tablets, bin bags, and dishcloths by the sink.
  • Check the kitchen for grime, broken dishes or utensils and chipped glassware.
  • If your living room is separate to your kitchen, ensure it too is completely dirt-free and the sofas look inviting.

Bathroom Checklist

  • Clean the shower, bath, and sink.
  • Clean the toilet and make sure the flushing works and the seats don't wobble.
  • Make sure that the plumbing is in good working order.
  • Clean the mirror, wipe the bath mat, and mop the floor.
  • Be sure to clear away any debris from the plughole.
  • Stock up on hand soap, toiletries, and toilet paper.
  • Keep clean towels in the bathroom.
  • Ensure the window is clean.

Exterior Space Checklist

  • Check the corners and remove any cobwebs.
  • Clean and dry the paths, so they are not slippery.
  • Check for stains on rugs, carpets, and soft furnishings.
  • Clean windows, external glass doors and mirrors to keep the house looking sparkly.
  • Weed and remove any debris from the garden, trim the bushes, and mow the lawn. 
  • Clean all outdoor furniture and disinfect eating areas and tables, if any.


  • Check smoke detectors to confirm they are all working appropriately.
  • Set the thermostat to the right or pre-approved temperature.
  • Remove magazines or publications that are older than six months unless they are specifically requested.
  • Indicate the outlets for charging and make sure they are safe.
  • Ensure that the TV, stereos, and game systems are functional and their remote is visible.
  • If you provide board games, ensure that they are easily accessible.
  • Ensure that all lights (interior and exterior) are working.

Provide Cleaning and Laundry Equipment

As much as the cleaning and maintenance of the holiday home is your responsibility, you want to make it possible for guests to wash and clean your bathroom, kitchen or bedroom if need be. 

  • Provide a washing machine and ensure it's clean.
  • Keep the washing machine detergent in an accessible place.
  • Ensure that the ironing board and cloth dryer are in good condition.
  • Keep enough pegs.

It's important to make sure that your property is safe for guests, both in terms of its cleanliness and potential hazards. Read our guide on holiday let safety checks to learn more about the regulations that ensure the safety of guests in any holiday home. This way, you will avoid fines and keep your business legal. 

Handling the Holiday Let Cleaning and Maintenance

There are two approaches for handling the cleaning, housekeeping, and maintenance of the holiday home, and they include; 

Owner Managed Holiday Home Cleaning and Maintenance

You can take over the management of the holiday home and do the cleaning and maintenance yourself. However, this could be inconvenient as you may have to spend more time in the holiday let. Ideally, you'd need to live near or around the holiday home for regular changeovers and check-ins. 

In a situation where you don't want to be involved with the cleaning, you could employ holiday cottage cleaners to do the work while you supervise. They can also take care of housekeeping practices such as changing bed linens, laundry, and other activities that help keep the holiday home clean and comfortable.  

Agency Managed Holiday Let Maintenance and Cleaning

One alternative to cleaning, housekeeping, and maintaining a holiday home yourself is to let it out through an Airbnb management company like Houst. 

The cleaning and housekeeping activities will be handled by professionals who deliver standard services. Thus, you need not worry about if the holiday home is well-cleaned or if you miss out on certain aspects of the cleaning and housekeeping process. 

At Houst, we've built a cleaning service that helps ensure every cleaning is done thoroughly, keeping guests in mind. We don't rely on texting or emailing to schedule cleans. Instead, we built an ''Uber for cleaning'' app.

Agency Managed Holiday Let Maintenance and Cleaning

With our dedicated housekeeping app, our cleaners receive and accept jobs, view instructions, upload pictures and receive feedback all in one place. From the photographs uploaded after each clean, we ascertain if there's a need for any wear and tear repairs. 

Another advantage of opting for an agency is that you can focus on other aspects of your life or business by letting them handle this integral part of the holiday home operations. As you can already guess, the downside of this approach is that you pay for the service, but you are sure to get value for your money. 

Let Houst's Holiday Let Management Service Take the Hassle out of Owning Property

You cannot separate thorough cleaning and efficient housekeeping activities from a successfully operated holiday home. You must properly clean the property to attract new guests and keep the holiday home booked all year round. We touched on important aspects of holiday let cleaning, housekeeping, and maintenance in this article. 

Houst is a professional hosting service provider for landlords and homeowners. We handle listings and hosting management and ensure hosts make more money from their properties without putting in the extra effort. 

Are you a homeowner or property manager looking to keep your house in optimum condition for guests? Kindly get in touch with our team today.

FAQs About Holiday Let Cleaning, Housekeeping, and Maintenance 

How Do You Clean a Holiday Let?

There are different approaches to cleaning a holiday let: owner-managed cleaning and agency cleaning. The first approach involves taking over the cleaning process by yourself, while the second approach involves employing the services of either a professional holiday cottage cleaner or a short let management company. 

When cleaning, dust and wipe all the surfaces, including the furniture, picture frames, shelves, blinds, window sills, lamps, and ornaments. Inspect your carpets and rugs for stains. You should vacuum under the couch cushions too. 

How Long Does a Three-bedroom Holiday Home Take to Clean? 

Depending on the size of the rooms in the house and the severity of any stains, it could take several hours to get a three-bedroom holiday home cleaned. A single cleaner could spend about 3 to 4 hours cleaning the apartment, whereas an agency can complete professional cleaning standards in less time, which is much less time consuming for you. 

Do Landlords Have to Deep Clean Between Guests? 

Ideally, you would not need to deep clean between guests at the holiday home. However, if the stains in the rooms are challenging to remove, you may need to deep clean a house after the guests leave the property. 

The Insider @ Houst

The Insider @ Houst

The Insider team at Houst is dedicated to providing up-to-date and relevant information on short-term rentals. If you have hosting inquiries, please write to us at expert@houst.com. For guest inquiries, reach out at guest@houst.com. We are here to help you navigate the world of short lets and look forward to assisting you with your needs.

The Insider @ Houst

The Insider @ Houst

The Insider team at Houst is dedicated to providing up-to-date and relevant information on short-term rentals. If you have hosting inquiries, please write to us at expert@houst.com. For guest inquiries, reach out at guest@houst.com. We are here to help you navigate the world of short lets and look forward to assisting you with your needs.

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