Can I legally withhold the amount it is costing me to clean the carpets due to small stains and pet hair?

Tenants did not have dog at move-in but stated they might like to get a pet later. We agreed to a $250 pet deposit but amount to be withheld was not determined at that time, so the spot on the lease for that undetermined amount is blank.

Asked on June 5, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Colorado


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Tenants are not responsible for ordinary end of tenancy cleaning, but are responsible for cleaning required by things they--or members of their household, guests, or pets--did. If  you have to clean the carpet due specifically to the tenant's pet(s), you should be able to retain the cost of the cleaning.

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