Carpet Cleaning and the Lease Agreement
A landlord cannot automatically charge for carpet cleaning in a lease agreement. When a tenant vacates a rental unit, the tenant must leave the rental unit reasonably clean and undamaged, except for reasonable wear and tear (s. 51(a) of The Residential Tenancies Act, 2006). A provision in a tenancy agreement that requires the tenant to have the carpet professionally cleaned is unenforceable. Any provision of a tenancy agreement which is inconsistent with the Act or Regulations is unenforceable (s. 7(2)(a)).
If the carpet can be left reasonably clean by vacuuming or spot cleaning, that is sufficient. A landlord may charge for professional carpet cleaning if professional cleaning is necessary to remove stains or is necessary so that the carpet is reasonably clean.
For examples of decisions regarding this type of dispute, see:
- Saretzky Holdings Ltd. v. Bear, 2012 SKQB 151 at ;
- Broadstreet Properties Ltd. v S.M., 2016 SKORT 206 at ; and
- Calvin Properties Ltd. v I.C., 2016 SKORT 423 at .
Carpet Cleaning and the Security Deposit
A landlord cannot automatically deduct the charge for carpet cleaning from the security deposit. There is a process to follow under the Act. Within seven business days of the end of the tenancy, a landlord must refund the security deposit to the tenant. If the landlord claims some or all of the security deposit for damages or rent, the landlord must notify the tenant of any claims (including carpet cleaning) and refund the balance of the security deposit, if any. In this instance, the landlord completes the Form 13/14 - Notice of Landlord's Claim for Security Deposit and sends it to the forwarding address provided by the tenant. If the tenant disagrees with the claims, the tenant can complete the dispute notice portion of the Form 13/14 and submit a copy of the disputed form to the Office of Residential Tenancies (ORT). The ORT will require the landlord to pay the security deposit to the ORT and schedule a hearing to decide the claims.
Letters of Guarantee
If there is a Letter of Guarantee from the Ministry of Social Services, the landlord makes any claims on the security deposit by completing Form 13/14 - Notice of Landlord's Claim for Security Deposit. The landlord must deliver the Form 13/14 to the ORT within seven business days after the last day of the tenancy. The ORT will review the form for compliance with the law and forward it to the Ministry of Social Services for payment, and they will notify the tenant of the claims. If the tenant disagrees with the claims, the tenant can complete the dispute notice portion of the Form 13/14 and submit a copy of the form to the ORT. The ORT will schedule a hearing to decide the landlord's claims.
Application for Return of Security Deposit
If the landlord neither returns the security deposit in full to the tenant nor provides the tenant with a Form 13/14 within seven business days, the tenant can complete Form 12 - Tenant Application for Return of Security Deposit and file it with the ORT for a hearing to be scheduled regarding the security deposit.