Can a landlord take money from the security deposit to clean carpets from normal wear and tear?

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Can a landlord take money from the security deposit to clean carpets from normal wear and tear?

And can they charge to have every window and window sills to be professionally cleaned?

Asked on November 28, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Nebraska

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Legally, only damage caused by a tenant can be charged for; a tenant cannot be charged for normal wear and tear. Nor can a tenant be charged for cleaning (in this case for every window/window sill), unless they caused excessive dirt and/or damage.

At this point, if you are being so charged, you're best bet is to let the landlord know that you disagree with them and that you're willing to let a judge sort it out if necessary. Your landlord will then have to follow a somewhat tedious process and take you to court. Bottom line, just be polite but let your landlord know you'll fight them if they try to charge you for carpet/window cleaning. The fact is that your chances of winning are good since most judges are tenant-friendly.

Just try to bring whatever evidence you have of the carpets condition upon your moving in. For example photos (moving in/moving out), witnesses, the name of the company called in to initially clean it, etc.

Note:  If your landlord tries to deduct any amounts from your security deposit, this too may be actionable. 


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