Can Landlords Charge For Carpet Cleaning? (Find Out Now!)

Tiffany Nichols
by Tiffany Nichols

Who wants to live in a filthy house with dirty floors? Most people don’t. But who’s responsibility is it to clean the carpets? Better yet, can landlords charge for carpet cleaning in a home that belongs to them? The answer may surprise you.

Landlords should try their best to provide tenants with a clean and safe environment. So, most property managers will add carpet cleaning to the damage deposit. Then, if you maintain the home correctly, you can get some of that deposit back.

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Should Landlords Clean Carpets?

Yes, landlords should try to keep their properties habitable. In many states, it’s illegal for a property manager to neglect cleaning residences between tenants. So, make sure your place is ready before moving in because most landlords charge for carpet cleaning upfront via a damage deposit.

Meanwhile, landlords won’t clean your house until after you move. So, the last person’s damage deposit pays for your carpet cleaning services. And in true “pay it forward” fashion, the people’s choices before and after you have a significant impact.

No two tenants are the same. So, it’s unfair for a landlord to enforce carpet cleaning when the home doesn’t need it. Some property managers will try to dupe tenants into paying for a deep clean. However, many tenants maintained the house correctly and can keep their damage deposit.

TIP: Look at your lease and talk to your landlord for more specific information about move-in and move-out procedures.

Do Landlords Have to Deep Clean Between Tenants?

In some states, landlords must deep clean carpets and floors before a new tenant can move into a residence. In other states, it’s up to the tenant and landlord to decide. Either way, nobody wants to move into a dirty home with filthy floors. So, most properties pay for professional carpet cleaning services regardless of who lives in the house.

Moreover, the new tenants could be allergic to some of the debris left behind in the fabric. And nobody wants to suffer allergic reactions just to stay in the house. That’s why many land managers wash carpets, walls, and surfaces with disinfectants. They help get rid of dirt, pollen, and pet dander that could drive someone crazy.

NOTE: Routine carpet cleaning and deep cleaning are not the same things, so you’ll pay a different price for each.

Can a Landlord Make You Pay for Carpet Cleaning?

A landlord can make you pay for carpet cleaning but only under specific circumstances. For example, if you need to clean the carpet before moving in, that’s the property manager’s responsibility. But if you destroy the flooring while you live there, it will be up to you to pay for repairs.

Your landlord should outline the details of your residential responsibilities before you sign the rental agreement. Also, you should be able to do a walk-through of the residence afterward. At that time, be sure to note the condition of your floors. Then, use that information to defend yourself against unscrupulous landlords.

Should a Landlord Replace the Flooring? If So, When?

Landlords have every right to leave the flooring in your home alone as long as it’s safe. And most rental contracts are based on an as-is principle, which means you take what you get. That’s why you should walk through the home before agreeing to rent it for any length of time.

The owner and manager of your property may be obligated to install new carpets if it becomes a safety issue. So, broken boards and drooping beams are bad news for a neglectful landlord. However, always check the state and local residency laws for more specific information.

In most cases, landlords take care of flooring issues before a tenant takes possession of the property. Still, others try to continue remodeling even after a tenant is there. Remember, you don’t have to agree to everything they do or say just to find a home. Read your state’s Equal Housing laws to make sure everything is up to snuff.

TIP: Don’t let dirty or disheveled flooring be a dealbreaker. Instead, ask the landlord how they intend on addressing the issue.

Can You Get Out of Paying for Carpet Cleaning After a Move?

Under certain circumstances, you can get out of having to pay for carpet cleaning after you move. However, those cases are rare and generally rely on landlord negligence. And this is another reason why tenants do a walk-through before they sign a rental agreement. It’s the perfect time for them to find flaws in the property and cover their bases.

If your carpets are already stained before you move in, be sure to take note. Some landlords may try to charge you for stain removal services even though the problem isn’t your fault. And if you can prove the move-in and move-out condition of the home, you might not have to pay for a deep clean after all.

Are You Allowed to Remove Carpet in a Rental?

You’re usually not allowed to make any alterations to your rental property. But that’s not just because the property belongs to someone else. Renovating or remodeling a rental home is also a waste of money because you don’t get to take any of the changes with you.

Moreover, many landlords prefer work from professionals to cover liabilities. So, they don’t want tenants taking risks. Insurance companies may also have problems with rental tenants making structural changes. And the only way to avoid a problem is by not doing anything at all.

NOTE: Some property managers may make special accommodations for some tenants. Just ask.

Related Questions

Do Landlords Have to Provide a Vacuum Cleaner?

No, landlords do not have to provide tenants with cleaning supplies for their homes. It’s up to the tenant to gather the items needed to keep their house clean. Some landlords may give used appliances to people or allow them to borrow equipment. However, that’s not a guarantee because it’s not a requirement for occupancy.

How Often Should Landlords Replace the Carpet?

A landlord should replace carpets in a home as often as needed. If the carpets become unhealthy or unsafe, it is their responsibility to repair or replace them. Landlords must also keep in mind that no two tenants share the same lifestyle. So, it is not the responsibility of the incoming tenant to pay for the mistakes of the outgoing tenant.Moreover, landlords must follow state rental laws no matter what. That means they have to check the condition of their structure in regular intervals to prevent property damage and liability. Thus, most property managers swap the flooring once every five to ten years or as needed.

Do Landlords Try to Cover Up Carpet Damage?

Less scrupulous landlords may try to distract incoming tenants during the initial walk-through. The reason is that many potential renters walk away when they see property damages. So, you might run into situations where landlords draw your attention to other aspects of the property. Try to look at the floors anyway.Meanwhile, it’s common for realtors to cover up carpet stains with a rug or furniture. And that means you have to look closely when sizing up your new place. Ask the landlord for deep-cleaning services before you take possession. Then, note any remaining damages to protect yourself from litigation.

Do You Need Carpet Cleaning Services?

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Stay Safe with Clean Carpets

Clean carpets are about more than simple aesthetics and resale value. They’re also safer and more pleasant to use. But not all rentals have clean carpets waiting for your arrival. So, be sure not to pay for problems that aren’t your own. Then, hold your landlord accountable for stains that were already there.

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Tiffany Nichols
Tiffany Nichols

Tiffany Nichols specializes in aesthetics, design, marketing, and manufacturing. She's a copywriter and editor for several home renovation companies in the U.S. and works alongside some of the biggest names in the industry. Her hobbies include architecture, art, mental health, and fashion.

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