Can Landlord Charge For Carpet Cleaning California?

Does your landlord constantly bother you to pay after every carpet cleaning undertaking, and you are not sure “Can Landlord Charge For Carpet Cleaning California?”

Well, this is a big trouble, especially because it’s nearly impossible to know all the rules and laws related to a niche like carpet cleaning. But here, you’ll get to know about all the most critical laws that will help you deal with your landlord.

Let’s look at them one by one!

Can Landlord Charge For Carpet Cleaning California

Is There Any Carpet Cleaning Law In California?

Is There Any Carpet Cleaning Law In California

Surprisingly, there is no specific law related to carpet cleaning!

However, California has several codes covering different carpeting matters, such as carpet cleaning, carpet replacement, etc.

On this line, the California Civil Code section 1941.3 directs landlords to provide clean and habitable domiciles to a tenant. It means you can also count carpet cleaning as your right under this section.

So, from the above discussion, can we say that there are no laws for carpet cleaning in California at all? And you are free to update your rented home without your landlord’s intervention.

Let’s find it out!

Can Landlord Charge For Carpet Cleaning California?

Can Landlord Charge For Carpet Cleaning California

Yes, landlords can charge for carpet cleaning in California, but under some specific circumstances. Hence, it’s not a win-win situation for your innkeeper.

Now, let’s imagine this situation: Suppose you have called for a professional cleaning required due to normal wear and tear. In such a case, your landlord cannot deduct the charges from a tenant’s security. But if the damage is more than normal tearing and has excess filth, pet dander, or other stains, then your innkeeper can definitely make a cut.

In each case where there is such a dispute between landlord and tenant, two factors come into glare:

  • The law focuses on the original state of the carpet while the tenant moves in.
  • The law considers the kind of damage. If it is the result of normal wear-and-tear or due to a tenant’s actions.

These two points manifest that if you are moving in as a tenant and your landlord is asking to pay for carpet cleaning without you being responsible for it, then it is not a fair ask from his side.

What Are The Laws On Carpet Cleaning Charges In California?

The majority of issues for carpet cleaning occur on move-in or move-out conditions, and the basic question that arises is either who pays for the carpet cleaning tenant or the landlord, or do landlords have to replace the carpet. Therefore, for that, most of the states have made different laws saying,

  • The carpets in the rental section must be cleaned before a tenant moves in.
  • Also, when an old tenant leaves a place, he must return the carpets to the same condition as they were before you moved in.
  • In case of moving out from the apartment, carpet cleaning comes under the landlord’s responsibility.

These are the basic laws that you may or may not know. To discuss such laws in depth, let us categorize them according to their different purposes.

Security Deposit Related Laws

Security Deposit Related Laws

A security deposit is a one-time deposit of an amount to a landlord. It is generally 1 or 2 months of rent paid while lease signing, which gives an assurance to the landlord that the tenant will fulfill all the points on the lease agreement.

Now, you might be wondering what this lease agreement incorporates. then for your knowledge, it includes,

  • General information about landlord and tenant
  • The rent amount that the tenant has to pay every month
  • Security deposit details
  • Responsibility of tenant to maintain restrained property
  • Duration of lease
  • Penalties in case of damage

Security deposit is a covenant that the tenant is responsible for any damage that occurs during his sovereignty, and if he neglects his responsibilities, then the landlord has the right to seize the valid deposit, which is not more than a damage charge.

California Civil Code

California Civil Code

As we have already discussed above, the landlord has the right to charge for carpet cleaning in California, but under some specific circumstances.

Coming to these circumstances, the California civil code allows landlords to impose a cleaning charge on tenants if the carpet is excessively dirty while the leaseholder moves out.

But if the tenant hires a professional for this cleaning before the expiration of the lease agreement, then the above-discussed charging circumstance stands invalid.

Else, the tenant is not liable to pay routine carpet cleaning charges, and if your landlord ask for it, you can take judicial action against him.

When Can A Landlord Charge For Carpet Cleaning?

When Can A Landlord Charge For Carpet Cleaning

A landlord can charge the tenant in case of excessive wear & tear and highly filthy carpet while moving out. Other than this, a landlord can ask you to pay if your signed lease agreement contains specific provisions regarding tenant responsibility for carpet cleaning.

That is why, while signing a lease agreement, be attentive and go through all the clauses in detail so that there is no chance of an unnecessary dispute.

All About Security Deposit

All About Security Deposit

In California, a landlord has 21 days to return the whole amount of the security deposit. And if he finds any damage on the carpet or other parts of the rooms, then he can deduct an appropriate amount from the deposit.

If the deductions are for more than $125, then the landlord has to provide a copy of an invoice or receipts with the itemized statement and mention all the reasons for the deduction.

But if the tenant has complied with all the terms and rules mentioned in the lease agreement and left a carpet in good condition while moving out then he is entitled to get whole security deposit back.

Landlords Exploring Charges In Other Legal Ways

Landlords Exploring Charges In Other Legal Ways

Even if there are several codes and laws that secure the side of the tenant, there are still some legal ways according to which your landlord can retrieve his cleaning charge. Such as,

  • Increasing the rent or asking for a lump-sum payment to recover the cleaning charge.
  • Recovering from security deposit by showing it as an action against more than normal wear & tear.
  • Making the tenant sign a cleaning agreement or add a cleaning clause in the lease agreement.

Way To Tackle Such Situations

The best way to tackle or avoid such a situation is to have a clear discussion or get a cleaning agreement signed, which includes all the clauses that defend your and the landlord’s position.

Also, thoroughly check the carpet and other attachments to ensure that there is no old ripping or tearing. If there is any, ask the landlord to fix it before you move in to the place.


Your landlord may charge you for every regular carpet cleaning or seize your security deposit. In such cases, you will find yourself helpless as you don’t know “Can Landlord Charge For Carpet Cleaning California?”

To understand the answer to this question, first, try to understand all the clauses and laws related to carpet cleaning because then only you will be able to save your side well.


Will the landlord charge for carpet replacement in California?

According to California law, a tenant is not liable to pay for carpet replacement unless he is responsible for that damage, and it is more than normal wear & tear.

Can a landlord still charge if the tenant cleans the carpet by himself?

While moving out, if the tenant cleaned the carpet like a professional, then the landlord has no right to charge for it.

What is the 80/20 carpet rule in California?

The 80/20 rule signifies a requirement to cover at least 80 percent of floors with carpets for a tenant house. This rule is to help reduce noise from a living area.

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