Landlord VS Tenant: Who is Responsible for Cleaning in between Tenants?

By: ROS Team

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Do landlord have to clean in between tenants is a question searched in high frequency over the internet. Landlords stay curious about it as well. To us, the question is more of an ethical one than a legal one.

Besides legal or ethical debate, a clean apartment is what anyone would expect when they first enter into an apartment. Hygiene is in our nature and we cannot compromise over it.

So, if the landlord invites a potential tenant to visit a property, there is no way that the property is not cleaned before the visit. Or else there is the least chance that anyone would think of staying in a messy place.

Therefore, as a general rule, when the property is handed over to a new tenant, it must be cleaned and maintained well.

Read Also: Essential Cleaning Supplies List for the Apartment

There Arises a Question that If Cleaning is the Responsibility of the Landlord or the Previous Tenant?

Well, the tenant must do a thorough cleaning before leaving the apartment and shall return the property in the condition in which he/she received it in the first place. If we have to draw a line somewhere, then it has to be that the tenant shall leave the property in good condition but it is the landlord’s responsibility to make sure the apartment is properly cleaned and is good for living.

Because a new tenant is not responsible for the actions of the previous tenant and if for some reason, the previous tenant left the property in poor condition, then the landlord must rise to the occasion and shall get that cleaning done for the new tenant. Though the in-between period remains busy for the landlord but keeping property cleaned is not something to be compromised over.

Read Also: Moved in a New Apartment – Follow These Cleaning Tips

Let us explore what the landlord has to clean in between tenants and what must be included in it.

Responsibilities of the Landlord:

The landlord is Responsible for the following:

  • The landlord is supposed to make sure that the apartment has proper locks in place. This is a safety concern. Usually, landlords do not get the keys back from the previous tenant. However, as a new tenant, you need to make sure every lock is properly installed. If the tenant wants to change the lock, take prior permission from the landlord for doing it and provide him with the extra key.
  • All the maintenance in between tenants also falls under the responsibility of the landlord. The landlord is supposed to inspect the property when the tenant is leaving and make sure to get it repaired if there is any major damage inflicted by the tenant.
  • A landlord is responsible for controlling pests such as bugs, cockroaches, rats, termites. As a rule of thumb, the landlord must make sure to keep the apartment habitable. If the tenant observes pests, he is supposed to inform the landlord. And if the landlord does not respond, the tenant may pursue the damage or can break the lease.
  • Heating is essentially the responsibility of the landlord while the tenant is supposed to use water adequately enough to keep the water pipes from freezing. Fixing a broken heater, water heater, and furnace is the responsibility of the tenant.
  • To make sure there is no safety hazard and all the emergency protocols such as a sufficient amount of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are well in place. The landlord must provide easy access to fire and emergency exits. However, tenants must keep an eye on it and must replace low batteries.
  • The landlord is responsible for cleaning common areas. And there shall be sufficient light in there.
  • The landlord is supposed to make sure all walkways are fine and not damaged.

Responsibilities of Tenants:

Having said it all, it is not a free passage for tenants. Tenants have to shoulder responsibilities and are liable to perform them. Maintaining good hygiene is not an optional thing. Tenants must keep the house clean while living so it would not require a big cleaning operation once they leave. Along with daily cleaning, the tenant must dispose of garbage properly.

Read Also: Vacant Apartment Cleaning Checklist for a Landlord

Since the property remains in the hands of tenants once they ink down a lease agreement, it becomes their responsibility. They are always considered responsible if any damage is inflicted on the property by them. Therefore tenants must keep good care of the property.  In case of any damage incurred upon property, intentionally or unintentionally, tenants must get that repaired.

Final Words

To make the whole debate simple and comprehensive, we must rest the responsibility somewhere and to us, it rests with the landlord. The landlord is obliged to examine the house and inspect it cautiously when the current tenant is leaving. If something needs to be done, get it done before the expiry of the lease, or else deduct the repairing expenses from the security deposit that the tenant had submitted to you.

If for some reason, the landlord failed to do that and the house is found with functional or structural issues or with a poor hygienic environment, the landlord is supposed to own and resolve the issues.

Now you have the complete picture of the question under discussion.

To be honest, we shall all own and perform our responsibilities with positive intentions.

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