Apartment cleaning fees



I had leased a studio in Boston for 6 months. At move out time, I had sent the landlord an email with pictures documenting that I had left the apartment clean (the landlord lives out of state and does not employ amanagement company to oversee the apartment). The landlord just sent me an email saying that he would be deducting a “cleaning fee” from my security deposit. My lease did not specify such a fee. And given that I have proof that the apartment was cleaned at the time of move out (which was sent to him). Can the landlord do this?.

Edited on: Monday, June 20th, 2011 1:40 am

3 Responses to “Apartment cleaning fees”

My response: (We welcome stories, examples, explanations, answers and a touch of your personality)


September 18th, 2008 5:52 am

My simple advice for renters dealing with refund of deposits is this: you can dispute any charge to your deposits.

Question: Can my landlord do this?

Answer: Yes he can, but you can dispute the charge.

It obviously sounds like your landlord is trying to charge you a fee that you shouldn’t be required to pay. But just so you understand, there are things that landlords will find and charge you for. Some of the most commonly forgotten items are: Drip Pans, Stoves, and behind appliances.

Even in a unit that you feel has been cleaned, the landlord still may be able to justify some charges. I suggest you contact the landlord to dispute the charge. Also, if you are going to dispute with your landlord, don’t cash you deposit refund check. By doing so you are in agreement to the charges. You will have to decide if its worth it or not to dispute charges to your deposit.


September 22nd, 2008 7:59 am

Yes the landlord can do this. In fact its fairly common for landlords to charge a general cleaning fee. Almost everytime that I have a tenant vacate, I always have to do some type of cleaning or work in order to bring the property to rentable state. The general cleaning fee varies, but unless the unit was left spotless, there is always some type of cleaning that the landlord can do.


September 23rd, 2008 5:40 am

Yeah, I get sick of landlords charging for stupid stuff! I just got my deposit breakdown from the property manager and instead of getting money back, they say I owe them. It’s just stupid!


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