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    Non-refundable Cleaning Fee in California

    Jurisdiction / State: California

    I'm renting a room in a house in Ca and my landlord wrote: "security deposit: $600 and cleaning fee: $100" on the lease agreement. I asked to hire someone to clean the carpet in my room (which would be cheaper than $100 - I called 3 places - $30 max) and the landlord said he liked consistency and has someone he uses. He said the company charges $60 and the remaining $40 is a "transfer fee." Can I hire someone to do the job in order to get the full cleaning fee reimbursed? I notified the landlord that the windows in my room were never cleaned and he said I should have told him earlier, however, my other roommates mentioned their room windows weren't cleaned either upon move-in. Only the carpet is cleaned.

    From other past tenants, I've been told he never refunds the cleaning fee and I've noticed the carpet cleaner usually comes to clean more than 2 rooms and the stairs each time. I think he is overcharging for work he's not completing.
    What are my options?

    Thanks,



    Annie

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    Make sure that when you move out that the apartment is as clean as possible. The landlord can not use your deposit to repair normal wear and tear or to clean carpets... unless there is something abnormal about the carpet that requires cleaning.
    If you are moving out, notify the landlord in writing and indicate the amount of deposit you expect to be returned. The landlord is required to give you an itemized list of deductions from your deposit. If you dispute any of the deductions and can't solve the matter between yourselves, take it to a judge in the small claims court.

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