Can a landlord charge me for extra days of rent for cleaning after my lease is over?

Our lease ended on the 16th and he wanted us to move out earlier so he could start repairs and cleaning. We were unable to leave any earlier and now we are being charged 7 days of rent because it took his workers 7 days to repair and clean the house afterwards. He claims he had people ready to move in by the 18th but is unable to because we left the house in a terrible state.

Asked on August 31, 2011 California


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Under California law, a landlord cannot charge his or her tenant extra rent because the tenant did not move out earlier than agreed to. The tenant is required to pay rent for all days that he or she is occupying the rented unit.

For the landlord to try and charge the tenant for days the landlord had to clean the unit formerly rented beyond the agreed upon and paid move out date has no legal basis. If you left on the final day that you had paid rent for even though the landlord wanted you out earlier for cleaning purposes, you are under no obligation to pay for "cleaning days" by the landlord for your former unit.

Cleaning a rental after a tenant has moved is the costs of doing business by the landlord.

Good question.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.