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Should carpet cleaning be included as a special term?

Property managers/owners often include carpet cleaning under special terms in a tenancy agreement to ensure a rental property is up to standard when the tenant vacates.

These special terms typically concern the obligations and responsibilities of a property manager/owner and tenant under the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 (the Act).

However, while carpet cleaning is not specifically referred to in the Act, the inclusion of a special term regarding carpet cleaning is not necessary, as carpet cleaning should be considered in terms of general rules around the standard and condition of a rental property.

Under section 188 (4) of the Act, the key phrase relating to tenants’ obligations is “as far as possible, in the same condition they were in at the start of the tenancy, fair wear and tear excepted”.

At the commencement of a tenancy, the standard or condition carpets are in should be clearly articulated through the Entry Condition Report with any evidence (i.e. photographs) attached.

The tenant, when exiting the tenancy, can then comply with their own obligations to clean the carpets to the same standard, fair wear and tear excepted.

If a special term states that a tenant must provide a receipt or engage a ‘professional’, it is a breach of section 171 of the Act (supply of goods and services). Tenants cannot be required to buy, or agree to buy goods or services from the property manager/owner or a person nominated by the property manager/owner.

For more information around tenancy and responsibilities, explore the RTA website or contact the RTA direct on 1300 366 311.

The RTA is a Queensland Government statutory authority that administers the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008. We provide tenancy information, bond management, dispute resolution, investigations and prosecutions, and policy and education services.