Darwin Community Legal Service

Steam cleaning

Whether the landlord may charge for professional cleaning or steam cleaning of carpets or other items at the end of a tenancy agreements.

In the Northern Territory, some tenancy agreements include a clause that requires you to pay a professional service to clean the premises, including steam cleaning carpets, when the you leave the premises. You may be within your rights to not do this, and prevent the agent taking the cost from the security deposit or bond.

A reference to a landlord generally includes a real estate agent or another person acting on the instructions of the landlord.

By law, the tenant is required to return the premises to the landlord in a reasonable state of repair and cleanliness, allowing for reasonable wear and tear. Nothing in the Residential Tenancies Act 1999 (NT) requires you to professionally steam clean carpets or hire professional cleaners at the end of a tenancy. A landlord may steam clean the premises after the tenant vacates, the landlord cannot charge you for this.

There may be some circumstances where you may be required to steam clean carpets or professionally clean in order to return the premises reasonably clean consistent with the ingoing condition report. For example, if the tenant lived with pets that have left marks on the carpet. You may also choose to hire professional cleaners at the end of your tenancy.

If you are concerned about a professional steam cleaning, or professional cleaning clause in your tenancy agreement, seek legal advice.

Darwin Community Legal Service 2017: Non-profit community groups have permission to reproduce parts of this publication as long as the original meaning is retained and proper credit is given to DCLS, as the publisher.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this publication is a guide to the law in the Northern Territory. It is not a substitute for legal advice. You should talk to a lawyer about your particular legal issue. The information contained in this factsheet is current as at November 2017.