A landlord or property manager may include professional carpet cleaning as a special term in a tenancy agreement regarding carpet maintenance upon a tenant’s vacancy. However, the landlord/property manager is under no obligation, by law, to provide such a service. Also by state law, the tenants’ obligations towards the property are defined “as far as possible, in the same condition they were in at the start of the tenancy, fair wear and tear excepted.”
The Queensland Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 or RTA can prosecute illegal special terms relating to professional carpet cleaning. Tenants are not and should not be required to buy or agree to buy goods or services from the landlord or property manager or owner.
Section 171 of the RTA concerns the supply of goods and services. It states:
- A person (the proposer) must not require another person (the prospective tenant) to agree to buy good or services from the proposer or someone else as a condition of the prospective tenant being accepted as the tenant under an agreement.
- The lessor or lessor’s agent must not require the tenant to buy goods or services from the lessor, the lessor’s agent or a person nominated by the lessor or agent (the nominated supplier).
If found to be in breach of section 171, the property manager or owner can face a maximum of 20 penalty units for each for the two articles mentioned. If a special term in the tenancy agreement requires a tenant to provide a receipt or engage a “professional” for carpet cleaning, it is also considered a breach of section 171.
To avoid any issues, the tenancy agreement must clearly articulate the standard or condition of the carpets upon the start of the tenancy. Evidence should be attached, such as photographs. Upon the end of the tenancy, the tenant must then comply with these terms regarding the condition of the carpets.