WAUSAU (WAOW) -- It's a common practice: Landlords asking tenants to sign a commitment to get carpets professionally cleaned before moving.
But did you know, you do NOT have to take on this extra cost?
According to the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, your landlord cannot charge for routine carpet cleaning... no matter what! (Even if the carpet cleaning agreement was written into your lease or any other agreement.)
So here's what you should do if your landlord is trying to make you pay for routine carpet cleaning:
- Write a letter to your landlord citing State ATCP Code 134.06.
- File a written complaint with the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection by calling 1-800-422-7128, or going to their web site.
- If your security deposit is illegally withheld, file a claim in small claims court. You may be eligible for two to three times the amount wrongly withheld.
The only time a landlord can legally charge for carpet cleaning is if there is damage or abuse beyond normal wear and tear. For example, severe stains or damage left from pets.