Can My Landlord Charge Me After I Move Out?

written by Valencia Pro Cleaning Agency - June 28, 2019

As your moving day approaches, you’re probably starting to feel overwhelmed with everything you have to do before you leave the place. What can your landlord charge you after you move out? Will you get your full security deposit refund? How clean does the place have to be before you move out?  

Even if you haven’t damaged the apartment in any way, you need to make the place shine if you want to minimize the chances of your landlord keeping an amount of your deposit. Luckily, you don’t have to do it yourself! Let the finest move out cleaning service in Napa make your moving day at least a little bit easier by cleaning your place to perfection.  

Read on to find out what can make your landlord take your security deposit and what you can do about it. 

Can landlord keep deposit for cleaning?

The state in which you leave your place after you move out is key to ensuring a full security deposit refund. This applies to the condition of the floors, furniture, and appliances, as well as the level of cleanliness in the apartment. But how clean does the place have to be? 

While your cleanliness standards may differ from your landlord’s, there are several principles you should uphold to make sure the apartment is sufficiently clean: 

  • Strive to leave the property in the same cleanliness level you found it in. If the place was spick-and-span when you moved in, make sure it’s the same when you move out. 
  • Normal wear and tear doesn’t apply to cleanliness. Even the most careful of tenants can leave a scratch or two, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t make sure everything is clean. 
  • If you don’t think you can clean it well enough yourself, seek professional help. While you could probably clean the place yourself to an acceptable standard, professional cleaners are sure to leave it in a truly pristine condition. 

What can a landlord deduct from deposit?

Your landlord might keep your deposit for a couple of valid reasons, depending on the state you live in. While the security deposit laws can differ from state to state, there are some general situations your landlord would have the right to keep your deposit, no matter where you live. 

Leaving early and breaching the lease

Unless you notify the landlord in time and take appropriate steps, terminating your lease agreement could result in unnecessary hassle and expenses. The landlord has every right to keep your deposit if you break the lease without prior notice and is likely to charge you a settlement fee and advertising costs. 

Unpaid utility bills and rent

This one is a no-brainer. Leaving the apartment without paying the rent and all the bills you were supposed to take care of is a surefire way to lose your security deposit. Pay all utility bills stated in your lease to protect yourself from a claim.   

Damaged or extremely dirty property 

If you leave the apartment in visibly dirty, with clogged drains, large stains or floor damage, for example, your landlord may charge you for the cleaning and repair costs. That’s why being careful with the property and employing a professional cleaning service are the best way to ensure a full deposit refund. 

What is normal wear and tear?

Sometimes, it’s not easy to determine whether the state of the apartment is the result of abuse or neglect of the property or simply aging and normal use by the tenant. If you’re not sure what your landlord may consider “normal wear and tear”, here are some guidelines: 

  • Slightly worn carpets without heavy stains and holes are acceptable
  • Faded, slightly scratched floors are normal, deep scratches and heavy damage are not
  • Worn window hardware and light scratches are fine, as long as nothing is broken
  • Tile grout is acceptable if the tiles aren’t chipped, broken or missing
  • Unless you’ve punctured or stained the walls, you won’t be charged for small cracks

The leading move out cleaning service in Napa will get your deposit back

Your moving day doesn’t have to be so draining! Instead of stressing over your deposit and the condition of the place, leave the chores to the professionals and spend your free time relaxing and exploring the Napa Valley AVA. 

Let seasoned cleaning superstars clean the property to exceptional levels of cleanliness and take your mind off of your moving day chores. What’s more, they can also help you clean your new house before moving in. Reach out to us today!