Can a landlord charge for routine carpet cleaning if it was not stated up front in the lease?

UPDATED: Apr 1, 2011

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Apr 1, 2011Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can a landlord charge for routine carpet cleaning if it was not stated up front in the lease?

My lease has a $100 non-refundable deposit and a $250 refundable security deposit. Upon move out, I was told that I would receive my deposit minus professional carpet and blind cleaning services. There were no stains on the carpet, it was in perfect condition. I understand that carpet cleaning is routine, however the lease said nothing about this being a deduction from my “refundable” deposit when they clearly knew this is something that would be deducted. I can’t tell from the landlord/tenant laws of WA state if this is legal or not. Any assistance is greatly appreciated.

Asked on April 1, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Washington


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

No, a landlord may not charge for routine (e.g. annual or end-of-lease or tenant moving out) cleaning of any kind--carpet or otherwise--unless there was a lease provision to that effect. Otherwise, a landlord may only charge for repairs, or the sort of extraordinary cleaning that's equivalent to a repair, if required by the tenant's (or tenant's family, pets or guests) actions. So if you spilled red wine on the carpet, that could justify the landlord charging you for a cleaning. On the other hand, if the landlord is just getting the apartment ready to re-rent, then he cannot--that's routine cleanin, which may not be charged for absent a lease provision.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption