Can a landlord ask a tenant for money back to clean carpets when he already gave the security deposit back and the tenant cashed it after moving out?

I moved out and he mailed me my entire deposit back. I cashed it. Then a few days later he says he needs the carpets to be cleaned because the new tenants complained of dog dander. He knew I had a dog and permitted it and gave me my security deposit back only to say he now wants money. Can he do this?

Asked on November 3, 2011 under Real Estate Law, New Jersey


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Your former landlord can ask you for money back from your security deposit to clean the carpets because of dog smell but you are not required to return it to hin.

The reason is that unless the written lease agreement specifically states that you are responsible for cleaning the carpets upon move out, then it is the landlord's duty to do such. Cleaning the carpets is typically an obligation of a landlord as part of the normal wear and tear of a rental.

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