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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011

    Default Landlord Taking Security Deposit for Carpet Cleaning

    My question involves a security deposit in the State of: CA

    We leased a single family home last summer. Our lease expired today and we have already moved out of the home (we bought a home in May).
    When we moved in, the home had recently been purchased by our landlord and several things in the house were brand-new, including the carpet. We left the house in pristine condition--nothing was damaged and nothing beyond normal wear and tear.
    Our landlord wants to take $$ out of our security deposit to get the carpets cleaned, even though there are no stains on the carpet. He is stating that he can do so because of this statement from the Dept of Consumer Affairs website: 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 We are thinking he shouldn't be allowed to do this because how is he ever going to get the carpet back to being brand new? He can't. We believe this: 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 and also this: Normal wear and tear to carpets, drapes and other furnishings cannot be charged against a tenant's security deposit.243 Normal wear and tear includes simple wearing down of carpet and drapes because of normal use or aging, and includes moderate dirt or spotting.
    Who is right in this case? He told us that there is nothing else he'll be taking out of our deposit, as the house looks great (in our opinion, better than when we first moved in, as he left us with dirty bathrooms and a new kitchen that had drawers full of sawdust.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: Landlord Taking Security Deposit for Carpet Cleaning

    I agree with what appears to be your interpretation - that the fact that the carpet is not "as clean as new" falls into ordinary wear and tear - it's no longer new. If the carpet had no spots, stains or other issues that needed to be resolved by professional cleaning, then the landlord appears to be trying to charge you for the routine costs of preparing the unit for the next tenant.

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