Twizel landlord fails in bid to get $1900 carpet cleaning fee

The Tenancy Tribunal has ruled that a Twizel landlord's carpet cleaning fee of $ 1,900 was unreasonable.  (File image)


The Tenancy Tribunal has ruled that a Twizel landlord’s carpet cleaning fee of $ 1,900 was unreasonable. (File image)

A Twizel real estate agency failed to get a carpet cleaning fee of $ 1,900 through the Tenancy Tribunal, despite receiving other claims of $ 5,210.

In June, Armstrong Alpine Realty Limited successfully brought Candace Jacobs and Teresa Wilson to court for failing to pay rent, remove trash and leave the premises “reasonably clean and tidy”.

However, the claim that the carpets required a $ 1,900 cleaning fee was not confirmed by Judge J Talbot on the grounds that “the evidence available does not support this unusually large amount,” according to the official ruling.

“However, I’m pleased that it would be reasonable to incur a $ 300.00 fee for carpet cleaning, including stain removal, and I’m giving that amount in compensation,” said Talbot.

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* The landlord ends the tenancy by changing the lock

According to the Housing Rental Act, a rental property must be left in a reasonably clean and tidy condition at the end of a tenancy. This does not take into account normal wear and tear.

“The tenant did not leave the premises appropriately clean and tidy and did not remove all of the garbage,” the judge ruled.

“I am pleased with the evidence, including photos, that the amounts claimed for garbage disposal, cleaning and floor work are reasonable.”

Last year, excessive carpet cleaning claims caught media attention after Kelly Hannifin, a Christchurch tenant, withheld her $ 840 loan while her landlord unsuccessfully took her to the Tenancy Tribunal for a professional carpet cleaning fee of $ 90.

In their decision on Hannifin’s case, the tenants’ tribunal stated that tenants do not have to clean their carpets professionally after the end of their tenancy and that Hannifin does not have to leave the carpet in a condition in which the premises can be rented again immediately.

“Landlords must expect to have to carry out cleaning between tenancies,” said the tribunal’s judgment.

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