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    Landlords and Tenants: Carpet Cleaning Requirements in South Africa

    Landlords and Tenants: Carpet Cleaning Requirements in South Africa
    March 27, 2024 Gnu World
    Landlords and Tenants: Carpet Cleaning Requirements in South Africa

    What carpet cleaning requirements, if any, exist for landlords and tenants in South Africa?

    Find out what legal ins and outs apply, along with what does and does not constitute “fair wear and tear”.

    The general cleaning responsibilities of tenants and landlords

    At the start of a lease, a landlord is required to rent a property in a reasonably clean state. Any faults (such as pre-existing carpet stains or damage) must be acknowledged by both parties before the lease is signed.

    The tenant has a legal responsibility to keep the property clean and in good condition. This means that reasonable measures must be taken to prevent damage to the property through neglect.

    To avoid any confusion, these requirements must be covered in detail in the lease agreement. They may include general gardening and pool cleaning if the property has those amenities.

    Are tenants legally responsible for carpet cleaning on moving out?

    Not usually. Generally speaking, basic carpet cleaning falls under “fair wear and tear”, if it’s even required at all.

    However, obvious damage to carpets, such as large dirty marks or fleas from pets, that must be cleaned before a new tenant can move in may be the tenant’s responsibility.

    Is a landlord responsible for carpet cleaning?

    A landlord is not legally required to clean the carpets between tenants.

    If a tenant feels the carpets should be cleaned, it must be discussed and an arrangement made with the landlord.

    That said, it’s a good idea to clean the carpets for a new tenant because it will make the property more attractive and may increase the rent.

    Who is responsible for replacing damaged carpeting in a rented property?

    If any damage to a carpet is deemed fair wear and tear, the tenant is not responsible.

    However, if the damage isn’t covered by fair wear and tear, such as damage by pets or children, bad burns from heaters or fireplaces, tears or large indelible stains, the tenant may have to cover the cleaning cost.

    The cost the tenant is liable for is dictated by the age and state of the carpet. If a carpet is old and worn, a tenant may not be liable for the full cost of a new carpet.

    The landlord may be legally obliged to replace a carpet at any time in a lease period if it becomes unusable because it’s old and worn.

    What constitutes fair wear and tear on a rented property?

    Fair wear and tear is general deterioration of the condition of a property through normal, everyday use. Examples include:

    • general wear on carpets
    • non-permanent grooves in carpet from furniture
    • tarnish marks on fittings
    • small marks on door frames
    • malfunctioning door or window handles and locks
    • leaking or rusting gutters
    • malfunctioning gate motors or pool pumps
    • peeling exterior paint from weather exposure.

    What would not count as fair wear and tear?

    Permanent damage as a result of irregular or irresponsible use doesn’t count as fair wear and tear. This type of damage can still be deemed the responsibility of the tenant even if it’s caused by an accident.

    Examples include:

    • indelible stains, burns or rips in carpets
    • nails in walls
    • marks from Prestik or double-sided tape
    • drawing on walls
    • garden and grass damage from dogs.

    Some cleaning costs may be the responsibility of the tenant, such as deep cleaning a dirty oven or removing excessive mildew from walls and windows.

    Importance of entry and exit property inspections

    Entry and exit inspections are a legal requirement when renting a property as per the Rental Housing Act, 50 of 1999. These must be done at the start of a lease, on its renewal and at the end of a lease.

    The inspections ensure that both parties know the initial state of the property and are aware of any existing faults.

    The inspections must include both the landlord and tenant being at the property and running through a “snag list” to document the condition of each aspect of the property, from lights to plugs, windows to doors.

    Subsequent inspections can compare the initial “snag list” and identify new faults.

    Both the landlord and tenant must sign this paperwork.

    Professional carpet cleaning for tenants and landlords

    At Chelsea Cleaning, we’ve been offering professional carpet cleaning for tenants and landlords for decades.

    Our highly experienced team can clean and revitalise fitted carpets with a minimum of disruption.

    Professional carpet cleaning for tenants and landlords

    To get an obligation free quote on carpet cleaning, call us on 021 761 1162 or contact us online.

    We offer professional carpet cleaning in the greater Cape Town region, including the Helderberg, the West Coast and the Southern Peninsula.

    Contact us now