A landlord is generally not allowed to charge the routine carpet cleaning amount to his or her tenants. This is because the cleaning cost is usually considered to be included in the overall turnover costs. Most states require these costs to be borne by the landlord and not the tenant.  It is thus the responsibility of the landlord to get the carpet cleaned with the help of companies like Classy Carpet and Rug Cleaning in Pleasanton, CA after a tenant vacates and before a new tenant comes in. Who Pays for Carpet Cleaning – Tenant or Landlord?

What can a tenant do if charged for carpet cleaning?

There are three things that a tenant can do if he/she is charged by the landlord for the cleaning process.

  • Send the landlord a letter or an email that the routine carpet cleaning charges cannot be deducted from the tenant’s security deposit according to law. Do not forget to cite section ATCP 134.06(3)(c) as a reference.
  • Visit the website of the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection and file a written complaint. Alternatively, send them an email mentioning the actual incident. While it might be worth considering to call them up, having written proof is always beneficial in the long run.
  • Submit a claim in the Small Claims Court of your jurisdiction to help with the recovery of the amount withheld illegally from the security deposit for this purpose. If the claim is found to be valid, the landlord may be liable to pay twice the amount withheld.

When can the landlord charge for the carpet cleaning service ?

While the landlord cannot charge for routine cleaning of the carpet, there are instances where he/she can get the tenant to pay for this. It is advisable to mention them in the lease agreement to avoid a dispute later. Some of these instances are when:

  • The professional cleaning people charge a higher than normal rate for the cleaning.
  • There are hard stains, paints, oil or pets’ urine on the carpet.
  • The carpet is damaged and has holes, tears or burn marks because of the tenant’s cleaning attempt or for some other reason.

This charge is usually taken from the tenant by withholding the amount from the security deposit. How and what a landlord charges the tenant for the cleaning depends on the state laws. Thus, the landlord must keep himself/herself updated about the same before deciding to charge the tenant.

Some landlords require the tenants to clean the carpet for them when they vacate the place. If this is the case, this point must be clearly mentioned in the lease agreement. If the tenant feels that the landlord may withhold an amount from the security deposit for staining the carpet, he/she can consider using a mixture of baking soda and vinegar to clean it followed by a vacuum cleaning session. This vinegar and baking soda combination helps in the removal of almost any carpet stain and is not harsh on the carpet fabric either.

With various carpet cleaning companies competing with one another to offer their services, landlords should make a balanced decision in choosing one of them. They can talk to a few people in the field and get to know about their quotes and services. This can help to choose the right person for their needs.

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