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Can Landlords Deduct Professional Cleaning Fees from the Bond?

29 February 2024

When tenants vacate a property, they sometimes leave behind more than memories. Understanding the distinction between normal wear and tear versus actual damage is crucial for landlords when deciding on the next steps.

This guide will help you navigate the process of addressing carpet stains left by tenants, ensuring fairness and clarity for both parties.

Understanding Wear and Tear vs Damage

First and foremost, it’s important to recognise that not all marks and wear signify tenant damage. Normal wear and tear are part of the expected life cycle of a carpet in any living space. Tenants are generally not held responsible for the natural degradation that occurs over time. However, if the stains are a result of negligence or careless actions, then it's a different story.

Learn more - What is normal wear and tear?

Giving Tenants the Opportunity to Rectify

Before jumping to conclusions or deductions, it’s only fair to involve the tenants in the resolution process. Ideally, tenants should be given the chance to remedy the situation, whether that means tackling the stains themselves or hiring professional cleaners.

When to Deduct from the Bond

If the carpet cleaning can be directly attributed to damage beyond fair wear and tear, and this can be proven to be due to the tenant's intentional or negligent actions, then it would be reasonable to consider deducting the cleaning costs from the bond. It's crucial to have clear documentation and evidence of the carpet's condition at both the start and end of the tenancy, as well as communication with the tenant regarding the damage and repair efforts.

Starting the Conversation

The best way to address this issue is by having a conversation with your tenants. Share your observations, listen to their perspective, and aim to reach a mutual understanding or solution.

The information contained in this article is exclusively for promotional purposes. It does not in any way constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as the basis for any legal action or contractual dealings. The information is not and does not attempt to be, a comprehensive account of the relevant law in New Zealand. If you require legal advice, you should seek independent legal counsel. does not accept any liability that may arise from the use of this information.

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