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Old 01-16-2009, 12:30 PM
 
165 posts, read 544,562 times
Reputation: 95

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I'm moving to Oregon, and in researching rentals I keep seeing this "nonrefundable cleaning fee" of several hundred dollars that seems to be legal/the norm in Oregon. Does that mean I don't clean the house much upon leaving because they're going to charge me to clean it anyway? I'm most likely going to have to clean a new place or hire someone to clean it to my standards before moving in anyway, so this cleaning fee seems to be a shame.
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Old 01-16-2009, 12:36 PM
 
Location: Salem, OR
10,995 posts, read 18,900,293 times
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Nonrefundable cleaning fees are fairly common out here. Since people have different standards of clean and arguments over being docked on security deposits for cleaning was a problem, this type of fee was born.

Yes, it means you don't need to clean the house before you leave since they are going to charge you anyway. It doesn't mean you dump junk there and leave it, but you don't have to sweep, mop, vacuum, etc...
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Old 01-16-2009, 01:56 PM
 
Location: Hillsboro, OR
5,696 posts, read 4,600,293 times
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Interesting. In our lease agreement we had to agree to a non-refundable cleaning fee of $250 but we also had to agree to professionally steam clean the carpets before vacating. The rental agent was very upset with me because I commented on the redundancy. She stood up and said, "look, do you want to go ahead with this or not?" What could I say/do, we loved the house... ... but everytime I am in the supermarket I keep eyeing those racks of steam cleaners... ... more than one way to skin greedy profiteers.

H
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Old 01-16-2009, 02:23 PM
 
Location: Salem, OR
10,995 posts, read 18,900,293 times
Reputation: 6945
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
Interesting. In our lease agreement we had to agree to a non-refundable cleaning fee of $250 but we also had to agree to professionally steam clean the carpets before vacating. The rental agent was very upset with me because I commented on the redundancy. She stood up and said, "look, do you want to go ahead with this or not?" What could I say/do, we loved the house... ... but everytime I am in the supermarket I keep eyeing those racks of steam cleaners... ... more than one way to skin greedy profiteers.

H
She is requiring you to steam clean the carpets along with the cleaning fee? I could see if she allowed you to have a pet or something, but that does seem redundant.

I've used those Rug Doctors before and they work well. It does take a long time to clean the carpets though...
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Old 01-16-2009, 09:37 PM
 
Location: Denver
1,084 posts, read 2,920,424 times
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I looked at a number of places on Craig's list and there seemed to be a mix of refundable and nonrefundable. I look at it like this: if you don't want the uncertainty and frustration of getting it back, go for non refundable. If you are willing to clean/fix/repair up to someone else's standards, go nonrefundable. I have not looked at landlord tenant but would guess that if you do a walk through inspection and the lease exempts charges for "normal wear and tear" then when you leave you do a walk through and get a better result. The only thing I have ever had to clean that was frustrating was cleaning behind a fridge that was NOT clean when I moved in, and I paid for a sliding door that my dog scratched--and that was fair. On the other hand, I asked for and got permission to paint over a child's bedroom wall that had some outdated movie theme on it and they gave me no credit for the upgrade. I saw more 100 dollar nonrefundables but I was looking at small places. Believe me, the cleaning charge is related to the market rate for the square footage and the quality of the finishes there when you move in. So price the cleaning if you want to get a square deal.

Plus, I hate carpets because all they do is retain the dirt of pets or worse including the ones before you.
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Old 01-19-2009, 03:42 PM
 
165 posts, read 544,562 times
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I agree, I think carpets are filthy even when they've just been cleaned, and I'll definitely be looking for a place without carpet. Hard to find.
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Old 01-19-2009, 04:56 PM
 
Location: Oregon
861 posts, read 424,105 times
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Even if the cleaning fee is refundable it is still hard to get it back. In the past I have clean my apartment better then when I got it and never got the deposit back. They will try there best from my experience to find something like not pulling out your fridge and stove and cleaning under it. Maybe get a copy of the move out checklist from manager or owner so you know what they look for.
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Old 01-20-2009, 09:46 PM
 
8 posts, read 32,675 times
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Every place we rented in Portland was through ads in the paper or through rental services, not realtors. When we moved in we always took pictures of the place, each and every room. Then insisted on having the landlord do a walkthrough when we moved but still took time stamped pictures the day we moved too. We always talked about cleaning fees up front and if they flat out said there was no refunding, we still had proof of what the place was when we moved in. Were glad of this after we were sued because they said our 2 kids had destroyed the house and when we went to court we had proof that the place was in great shape when we moved and that the pictutres they had weren't even of the same house. The only place that refused to even talk about refunding any of the cleaning fee was the one that sued us and boy, the judge raked them over the coals for being greedy and forcing people to part with their hard earned mony just to live in a decent place.
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Old 02-10-2009, 12:09 AM
 
7 posts, read 24,710 times
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I live in Medford and in my previous rental agreement I had to pay and provide a receipt of a carpet cleaning service. We cleaned the place top to bottom including the $100 carpet cleaning service and she still took out an additional $70 for cleaning in our deposit and $40 for blinds (even though we replaced the blinds at one point and paid only $10 for it from Home Depot). Renting here is not cheap nor kind. I wish there were laws that gave renters additional rights against slumlords.

In my new rental agreement, I had to fork over $100 upfront for the carpet cleaning. In addition, I had to pay $250 for a pet deposit. A word of warning to pet owners: my friend paid $600 for her dog deposit which she never got back because they said the dog peed all over the place - so before you move out take pictures of the place with a UV light. That would be the only way you can prove there wasn't urine stains in the carpeting before it's too late.

Last edited by astraea; 02-10-2009 at 12:20 AM..
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Old 02-11-2009, 08:43 PM
 
1 posts, read 10,472 times
Reputation: 15
Regarding the issue of refunding cleaning fees/deposits:
A tenant has every legal right under OR landlord tenant act to appropriately schedule a final "walk-through" with the owner/agent. During this meeting, a tenant can finalize any further cleaning/repairs requested by the owner/agent, and can secure a "Move-out" form stating what damages will be charged (if any).

Never enter into a lease agreement with an owner/agent who is not willing to supply a form commonly know as, "Move-In/Move-out Inspection Form" or some legally recognized comparable. Also, always take advantage of your tenant rights to demand a walk-through upon move-in and move-out. Always protect yourself and never fear walking away from something you love (sales pressure=sketchy industry practice=goodbye to your money).
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