Can a landlord make me pay for a professional cleaning company when i can clean it myself?

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Can a landlord make me pay for a professional cleaning company when i can clean it myself?

I rent a townhouse in Hubert NC. My landlord wants me to pay for a
professional cleaning company and exterminator in order to move out.
Do we have to pay that?

Asked on September 7, 2016 under Real Estate Law, North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If the degree of cleaning and the need for extermination exceeds what  would be the normal wear-and-tear (i.e. reasonable amount of dirt, etc.) that would be expected for a tenancy of however long you were there--e.g. there was heavy staining, ground in dirt, lots of garbage to dispose of, mold due to not keeping showers or toilets clean, and a pest condition due to how you kept the rental--then yes, they can require you to pay for it. Normal wear and tear, the landlord's cost; more than normal wear and tear, the tenant's cost.
Of course, this is more than slightly subjective: there is no hard and fast test for when it is normal wear and tear or not. If you disagree, you can refuse to pay, let the landlord sue you for the money, then try to prove in court it was normal  wear and tear; or if the landlord withholds your security deposit for this when you feel he should not have, you could sue him for its return, such as in small claims court.


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