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Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #1 
I'm actually not a Landlord but a tenant hopefully it's okay to post in here, I figured who better to ask than actual LL's 

Here's the situation. I am moving out of an apartment in two weeks, and the LL is asking me to setup an appointment with a cleaning lady and Stanley Steamer:

Can you schedule the cleaning and pay the cleaning Lady directly. I can schedule the carpet shampoo and deduct from you security deposit.

I have only lived here a year and the place is not any dirtier than when we moved in, i.e. nothing beyond normal wear and tear. I was planning on doing a standard cleaning job myself before i left. Is this something California allows LL's to charge tenants for? I've done some research but the clearest answers I've been able to find have been from other states where LL's can't legally charge for cleaning carpets even if it's in the lease. Is this true of CA?

Also, they are having me schedule an appointment with a plumber because there is a leaking pipe (weird open pipe coming out of the ceiling) in the second bathroom that is staining the bathtub orange. Apparently it is the condensation from the A/C condenser line that shares pipes with the bathtub/shower. The apartment was built this way, this just started happening a month or two ago but it's a second bathroom that only guests ever use so we just noticed it. The LL hasn't said they want us to pay for this, but could they? My assumption is no.

P.S. This is actually a condo that the owners are renting out with a strict HOA, not sure if that would make any difference.

Any assistance is greatly appreciated, even just links to the proper resources. Thanks for reading all the way down here.

Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #2 
IF indeed the carpet is as dirty as it was when you first rented it, in my interpretation of CA's law in this matter, you do not need to pay to have the carpets cleaned.  But even if it is dirtier, there are rules covering that too, that you would only pay a fraction of the amount assuming the dirtiness exceeds normal wear and tear(For normal wear and tear, again you don't need to pay for cleaning)   I've only had one instance of dealing with this though and my tenant had a long haired dog......

Quoting from California's security deposit information:



1. Costs of cleaning

A landlord may properly deduct from the departing tenant's security deposit to make the rental unit as clean as it was when the tenant moved in.

A landlord cannot routinely charge each tenant for cleaning carpets, drapes, walls, or windows in order to prepare the rental unit for the next tenancy. Instead, the landlord must look at how well the departing tenant cleaned the rental unit, and may charge cleaning costs only if the departing tenant left the rental unit (or a portion of it) less clean than when he or she moved in. Reasonable cleaning costs would include the cost of such things as eliminating flea infestations left by the tenant's animals, cleaning the oven, removing decals from walls, removing mildew in bathrooms, defrosting the refrigerator, or washing the kitchen floor. But the landlord could not charge for cleaning any of these conditions if they existed at the time that the departing tenant moved in. In addition, the landlord could not charge for the cumulative effects of wear and tear. Suppose, for example, that the tenant had washed the kitchen floor but that it remained dingy because of wax built up over the years. The landlord could not charge the tenant for stripping the built-up wax from the kitchen floor.

The The landlord is allowed to deduct from the tenant's security deposit only the reasonable cost of cleaning the rental unit.

2. Carpets and drapes - "useful life" rule

Normal wear and tear to carpets, drapes and other furnishings cannot be charged against a tenant's security deposit.  Normal wear and tear includes simple wearing down of carpet and drapes because of normal use or aging, and includes moderate dirt or spotting. In contrast, large rips or indelible stains justify a deduction from the tenant's security deposit for repairing the carpet or drapes, or replacing them if that is reasonably necessary.

One common method of calculating the deduction for replacement prorates the total cost of replacement so that the tenant pays only for the remaining useful life of the item that the tenant has damaged or destroyed. For example, suppose a tenant has damaged beyond repair an eight-year-old carpet that had a life expectancy of ten years, and that a replacement carpet of similar quality would cost $1,000. The landlord could properly charge only $200 for the two years' worth of life (use) that would have remained if the tenant had not damaged the carpet.



Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #3 
This seems kind of subjective:

A landlord may properly deduct from the departing tenant's security deposit to make the rental unit as clean as it was when the tenant moved in

In my opinion after a standard vacuuming the carpets were "as clean as before". But to what detail do we judge, should we break out the microscope . I imagine its judged more on a general to the naked eye basis (just read this that probably answers the question "and includes moderate dirt or spotting"). But if they say it was steam-cleaned before we moved in do we need to match that?

I imagine we could argue against paying for this if we wanted. We ended up just renting a steam-cleaner from Home Depot for ~$30 (as opposed to $100 for Stanley Steamer).

Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #4 
If the place is not dirty as you say, then I don't think it's your responsibility to clean the carpet or pay for it. You can call some cleansing inspection agent and have him look the house and carpet thoroughly, then wait for his response. Though, you can do one thing, clean the carpet yourself by using Best Pet Stain cleaners for indoor carpets before you leave the home.

Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #5 
Carpet is such thing which you have to place on the floor and it might be in touch with the dust and dirt so regular Carpet cleaning is very necessary for the long life of the Carpet.

Posts: 3,804
Reply with quote  #6 
Again, I know I'm responding to an old post. But to clear up inaccuracies to help current people:
First, it is ambiguous to say "dirtier than when you moved in" In whose opinion? A tenant and landlord need to document the condition of the unit at move in. If a LL can show the carpets were freshly cleaned at move in, the tenant would be smart to clean them before move out. If the dirt wasn't there before, clean it.
One post here speaks of calculating remaining life on depreciation. The IRS has held that carpet has a life of 5-7 years. Not 10. An 8 yr old carpet would be fully depreciated, and thus be worthless. But the LL can charge a tenant the prorated portion of life that would have been left from the 5 or 7 years.

Posts: 5
Reply with quote  #7 
We have the carpets professionally steam cleaned before the tenants move in.  The tenant is responsible for paying to have the carpets professionally cleaned on move-out.  We have no idea what lurks within the carpet fibers so that's the only guarantee that its clean.
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