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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    2

    Default Can a Landlord Charge a Tenant for Unnecessary Carpet Cleaning

    My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: Massachusetts

    My father is his friend's (my 'uncle') rep payee for him because he has disabilities and is on section 8 housing. He was at this one apartment for 7 years and the landlord started to create issues. The landlord is known to be an issue in the city, as for he's called the police 40 - 50 times on his various tenants during the past YEAR. He entered my uncle's apartment without with his permission, and attempted to file a complaint against my uncle with the housing authority, where his complaint was dismissed. So due to that my father decided to move my uncle out of the apartment. He gave the landlord a month's notice (he wasn't happy at all!) and we moved him out and cleaned out his apartment. The landlord was unavailable to do any kind of walkthrough at the end of things, but he asked my father for money to have the carpet professionally cleaned. My father told him that he wouldn't pay for the professional cleaning of the apartment's carpet when it was left in clean and well vacuumed condition. He took pictures of the apartment and we left it in a clean condition. Well just today we got a letter from the landlord with the security deposit. The landlord charged $200 for a professional carpet cleaning against the security deposit. He also charged us for him to clean the bathroom ($45) and clean the baseboards ($45). Is he allowed to do that? Is that something we could fight for improper use of the security deposit? What would the requirements be for us to prove that he improperly used the security deposit?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    1,023

    Default Re: Can a Landlord Use My Security Deposit to Clean Already Clean Carpets

    A landlord can use the security deposit to address both repair issues and cleaning issues above normal wear and tear. Baseboard, bathroom and carpet cleaning can all fit this category IF NEEDED.

    If a tenant (or, in this case, your father as your uncles rep payee) disagrees with the amount kept from the security deposit, the first step is to typically write what is known as a "demand" letter, demanding what he believes was wrongly kept from the security deposit and demanding the landlord forward this amount within a certain time period (say, two weeks after the landlord receives the letter).

    If no response (or a response that is not to satisfaction) the next step is to consider whether this is worth filing a lawsuit over. Such lawsuits are typically handled through Small Claims court as they involve relatively small amounts of money in dispute. Your father would use the pictures he took of the rental unit at move out to dispute any of these claims of cleaning.

    Gail

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Can a Landlord Charge a Tenant for Unnecessary Carpet Cleaning

    What does the lease say about cleaning fees, and the state in which the premises are to be left by the tenant (e.g., "broom clean")?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Can a Landlord Use My Security Deposit to Clean Already Clean Carpets

    Thanks Gail! That was helpful! :-D

    - - - Updated - - -

    Mr.Knowitall,
    Thanks! I didn't think check the lease. I know my father has it so we'll have to check it and see what it says.
    -JB

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