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No security deposit, can landlord charge for cleaning?

We are inclusionary housing residents in an apartment building run by a large management company. We were not required to pay a security deposit when we moved in five years ago. Now that we're moving out, they've asked us to pay $210 to clean the apartment after we move out. They encourage us to pay this so that we are not subject to itemized charges including cleaning the oven racks. They have said that if we don't pay to have the carpets cleaned, they may charge us to have them replaced. Our apartment has normal wear and tear and we intend to leave it clean. Can our landlord charge us for cleaning the apartment? Where is "normal wear and tear" defined?

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While I do not believe a landlord, under ordinary circumstances, should try to use a security deposit for cleaning an apartment, he may still attempt to collect the cost cleaning an apartment in a separate action, especially if the tenant agreed in a lease or tenancy agreement to return the apartment in a specified condition at the end of the tenancy.  After all, if the apartment was clean when you moved in, the landlord probably does not think he should have to pay to clean up after you.



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