Long term tenant wants carpet cleaned

13 Replies

An inherited long term (6 years in the apartment, 1 month under my ownership) tenant has asked if I have a carpet cleaner. I don't have a carpet cleaner so I told them that. I could rent one and clean their carpet or pay a professional cleaning service. They're on a month-month lease and "don't plan to move out anytime soon". Is it worth me offering to pay for or split the cost of a rental carpet cleaner or professional cleaning surface?


I don't have any carpets in any of my units, but if/when I did the only carpet cleaning that was happening with me paying was between tenants. The tenant is responsible for keeping the carpets cleaned. Worn out is another story - carpets will wear out from people walking on them, vacuuming, etc, but a dirty carpet is the tenant's responsibility. 

The apartment buildings in my area all inspect the units yearly and charge the tenants for professional carpet cleaning if they find the carpets soiled (not worn). Most tenants rent carpet machines and clean the carpets themselves before the inspections. 

I would not suggest you splurge for the carpet cleaning unless they are willing to sign a lease with you (if you want to keep them long-term, that is). You will end up cleaning the carpet again as soon as they move out, and at this point it could be in a month or so. They have no "skin in the game" and they'll enjoy the cleaned carpet the same for 1 month or 12... and their new carpet in their new rental will be just as clean if not better if and when they decide to move.

In my experience, lots of tenants use a change of ownership as an opportunity to get some upgrades.

They are testing the new ownership to see what they can get away with. It will most likely escalate from here with all kinds of upgrades that they conveniently need. You should set your boundaries now. The apartment is rented in as-is condition, and no upgrades will be done unless necessary for habitability.

@Andrew Schrader simply no

It doesn’t cost much but it’s the tenants responsibility. It’s that simple. There are a number of things they can do to maintain or keep it clean and that is on them. Unless they just moved in and the carpets dirty, it’s on them.

Don’t overthink it

Nope.....maintenance of carpet is up to the current tenant.... you clean or replace at time of turn over.......that's it.

@Andrew Schrader I would probably tell him that next time I have a unit become vacant I will swing over and do his. He may be testing you but I would use it to make sure he knew you were going to be better than the last landlord. Just dont be afraid to say no with the next request. Guys not asking for a new carpet here. 6 years I wouldn't want to lose him over such a little request

If he asked you to come mop the kitchen floor or scrub the tub, would you do it? Carpet cleaning is on him.

Have you raised rents on them consistently? I hope you have, that sets the right expectation. If that's a good tenant and that long term invest in them and your unit and clean that carpet on your dollar. Don't give them a reason to talk about "how cheap their landlord is and how little they care about us".

Make little upgrades to their unit regularly, and make sure they're always paying at or very close to market rents in exchange and you will have a great, mutual relationship if they're the right tenant.

I would, but with it in writing that they are responsible for cleaned carpets (with receipt) at move out and without they will be charged a fee.

You're going to do it once anyways why not now to buy some Goodwill and in theory keep a good tenant.

Also depending on how long they have been there you might have to replace anyway as normal wear and tear...cleaning could be significantly cheaper.