Cleanliness standards when negotiating contracts

Question from Gemma updated on 18th November 2010:

Can a landlord stipulate in a tenancy contract that at the end of the tenancy the carpets must be professionally cleaned? Also the company which is to do the cleaning?

Our expert Jeff Montgomery responded:

Tenants are required to leave the premises reasonably clean and tidy at the end of a tenancy. If the tenants have left the carpet in a reasonably clean condition, then to require them to have the carpet commercially cleaned would be to hold the tenants to a higher standard than is required by the law. It may be deemed unenforceable by the Tenancy Tribunal.

If the carpets are not reasonably clean at the end of the tenancy and carpet cleaning is required, the tenant can decide which cleaning company they use. Alternatively, the landlord may seek compensation for these costs. Where landlords and tenants cannot agree on the condition of the carpet at the end of the tenancy, either party can apply to the Tenancy Tribunal to have the matter resolved.

For information about applying to the Tenancy Tribunal, you can visit the Department of Building and Housing website (, or call 0800 TENANCY (0800 836 262).

The Department of Building and Housing provides information and guidance on building law and compliance, services including weathertight homes, and advice for tenants and landlords.


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