A clean carpet makes a world of difference to a rental – it looks great, it smells fresh and it generally makes your place so much more appealing. Yet it’s a massive point of contention between tenants and landlords.
Many Kiwi landlords optimistically put a clause in their tenancy agreement that says something like, ‘Carpets must be professionally cleaned at the end of the tenancy’. It’s important to know that just because a tenant signs a contract with a clause in it, doesn’t mean it’s enforceable. You may well get lucky and the tenant may have the carpet professionally cleaned, but the clause cannot be enforced. A certain amount of wear and tear on the carpet is to be expected as part of the tenancy, and you can’t force the tenant to have a professional clean carried out.
Other unenforceable clauses include:
- Paying a four-week bond plus an extra ‘pet bond’ – four weeks is the max.
- The tenant must pay for fixed water charges – the landlord is responsible.
- The tenant should replace any fixtures that wear out – again, your responsibility.
- Tenants must seek permission before having a party, or having friends over or similar – that’s part of the tenant’s rights.
We won’t put unenforceable clauses into our rental agreements, so make sure you don’t do it either. It creates a lot of stress and hassle for everyone involved when a landlord tries to force a tenant to have carpet professionally cleaned and the tenant refuses. Know what you can and can’t do before you draw up a tenancy agreement – and, once again, you’ll find the whole process is much simpler if you employ a quality property manager.