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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010

    Default Must I Hire Licensed and Insured Professionals to Clean My Apartment

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

    My husband and I are moving out of our 1 bedroom apartment. Our landlord handed us a form for an Initial Inspection which says that after he has inspected the apartment he will give us an itemized list of items that need to be repaired or cleaned. The part we're having a tough time is what follows (straight from the form):

    "Renter shall have the option to remedy any damage or uncleanliness in the Premises, and to restore, replace or return any personal property or appurtenances therein, as itemized by Owner, up to the date of termination and, if Renter chooses so to do,
    Renter shall have the obligation to hire licensed and insured professionals, approved in writing by Owner in advance of any work done in the Premises,
    to remedy damage or uncleanliness and/or to restore, replace or return any personal property or appurtenances in the Premises."

    I've read and re-read Ca Civ Code 1950.5 and can't find anything about this duty to hire "licensed and insured professionals". When I asked my Landlord about it he said "It's the law" and that he can take care of the cleaning and repairs for a charge of $150 to clean the apartment and $100 to clean the carpet. He did say that if the carpet is too damaged out of normal wear and tear he'll replace it at no cost to us -- this also doesn't make too much sense...if it's dirty (from normal wear and tear) he'll charge us but if it's damaged he won't...hmm... where are my shears now? (this is a side issue, but please feel free to give me your thoughts on this...we've been living in our apartment for 4 years and have no pets, do not smoke and any spots on the carpet are minimal).

    I haven't signed the form but I did request an initial inspection informally over the phone. He reiterated in that phone conversation that we cannot clean the apartment ourselves or make repairs but that the cleaning and repairs need to be done by someone licensed and insured...

    Does this sound right? Is this legal?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Toledo, OH

    Default Re: Must I Hire Licensed and Insured Professionals to Clean My Apartment

    Ask your landlord to cite "the law". Tell him you want the specific code section.

    California law provides that in order to receive your security deposit back, you must return the unit in the same condition in which you found it. It does not require you to do any more than clean it thoroughly yourself, no professionals required.

    You can read about getting your security deposit back here, and the California Tenants Handbook is here.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009

    Default Re: Must I Hire Licensed and Insured Professionals to Clean My Apartment

    Dirt, damage, and wear are three different things.

    Dirt, you are obligated to clean.

    Damage, you are obligated to repair.

    Wear (normal) is a cost of doing business and it's overhead for the owner.


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