Can a landlord require professional cleaning?

Moving into a new home marks a significant moment in one’s life, often carrying the anticipation of a fresh start and new beginnings. As the keys are handed over, a new chapter unfolds. However, amidst this transition, a common expectation often accompanies this change: the necessity for thorough cleaning. Can a landlord require professional cleaning?

Many landlords emphasize the significance of leaving the property pristine for the next tenant. But what does this entail exactly? And, more importantly, is it a compulsory obligation for the outgoing tenant? In this article, we will discuss one of the most frequently asked questions among tenants who will vacate the apartment so that a new one can move in: “Can a landlord require professional cleaning?”.


What does “professional cleaning” mean?

Regarding your rental, the term “professional cleaning” can sound intimidating, but it simply means a thorough and detailed cleaning performed by a professional cleaning service. Think of it as a deep clean on steroids, tackling every nook and cranny to leave your place sparkling for the next resident.

Can a landlord require professional cleaning?

What’s included in a professional cleaning?

Before knowing the answer to “Can a landlord require professional cleaning?” let’s find out what a professional cleaner does.

  • Floors: Whether you’re rocking hardwood, tile, or plush carpets, professional cleaners will get them spotless. They’ll scrub, mop, and buff, removing dirt, grime, and even those stubborn scuff marks.
  • Carpets: Beyond vacuuming, professional cleaning involves deep treatments that remove embedded dirt, dust mites, and allergens, leaving your carpets fresh and sanitized.
  • Windows: Sparkling windows make a huge difference in a space’s overall feel. Professional cleaners will expertly clean both the interior and exterior of your windows, letting the sunshine (and your fantastic view) shine through.
  • Appliances: From ovens and refrigerators to dishwashers and microwaves, professional cleaners will tackle all your appliances, removing grease, grime, and food residue for a like-new look.
  • Bathrooms: This is where the magic happens! Professional cleaners will leave your bathrooms sparkling, scrubbing toilets, showers, tubs, and sinks to a hygienic shine. They’ll also tackle grout and mildew, leaving your bathroom fresh and inviting.
  • Other areas: Don’t forget about baseboards, light fixtures, doorknobs, and other often-overlooked areas. Professional cleaners will pay attention to every detail, ensuring your entire space is spotless.
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Can landlords charge for carpet cleaning?

Yes, in fact, the landlord should be responsible for cleaning the carpets as long as they are not torn or worn. In the latter case, the landlord will charge the tenant for the damage caused to the rug.

Why choose professional cleaning?

Deep cleaning can be a real chore. Professional cleaners take the burden off your shoulders, allowing you to focus on other things and save time and effort. Professional cleaners have the knowledge and tools to tackle tough stains and grime that you might not be able to handle yourself. This way, you will get impeccable results, as professional cleaning ensures your place is left in pristine condition, making a positive impression on your landlord or the new tenant.

While professional cleaning can be a great option, it’s essential to check your lease agreement and local regulations regarding cleaning requirements. Some states may limit what landlords can demand, so be sure to clarify any doubts with your landlord.

Are landlords required to clean between tenants?

Landlords have a legal obligation to provide tenants with a habitable dwelling. This means the property must be safe, sanitary, and fit for human habitation. This includes ensuring that the property is clean and free of pests, mold, and other unsafe living conditions.

The Cost of Professional Cleaning vs DIY

Hiring professional cleaners can be a budget-friendly option, but it’s not always the case. Before making a decision, consider the cost involved and whether it aligns with your financial situation.

  • DIY Cleaning: If you’re feeling ambitious and have some free time on your hands, tackling the cleaning yourself can save you some serious cash. Grab your cleaning supplies, roll up your sleeves, and get ready to work some magic! Remember, a little elbow grease can go a long way, especially if the property requires minimal cleaning beyond regular wear and tear.
  • Professional Cleaning: If the thought of scrubbing floors and battling grime makes you break out in a cold sweat, professional cleaning might be your saving grace. These cleaning wizards are equipped with the knowledge, expertise, and tools to tackle even the toughest messes, leaving your place sparkling clean. However, be prepared to shell out some dough for their services.
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Can a landlord require professional cleaning?

Things to consider when cleaning before leaving

Whatever your decision, you must understand that a landlord can require professional cleaning. In most states and counties, the landlord has the ability to require the tenant to clean the entire apartment before turning it over (remember to check your lease).

Let’s suppose you have the choice between hiring a cleaning service or doing it yourself. Now, there are a few points to keep in mind to avoid any unpleasantness, especially if we are talking about economics.

  • Budget:Be honest with yourself. Can you comfortably afford professional cleaning? If not, DIY cleaning might be the more practical option.
  • Time: Do you have the time and energy to clean the property thoroughly? If your schedule is jam-packed, professional cleaning can free up your valuable time (although it can also “free up” your budget).
  • Cleaning Requirements: Does your lease agreement specify professional cleaning? If so, you might not have much choice. However, you can explore both options if they are not mandatory.
  • Condition of the Property: Is the property in relatively good condition, or does it require a deep clean? If it’s just a matter of basic cleaning, you might be able to handle it yourself. On the other hand, if the mess is extensive, professional cleaning might be the way to go.

Remember, open communication with your landlord can be your best friend. If you’re unsure about the cleaning requirements or prefer to handle it yourself, discuss your concerns with them.

Offer to provide thorough cleaning documentation or photos as evidence of your efforts. In some cases, landlords might be flexible and waive the professional cleaning requirement if they’re satisfied with your cleaning job.