Moving Out Carpet Cleaning: Your Ultimate Guide to Costs, Obligations, and Landlord Policies

Tenants are responsible for restoring their rental house to its original state when vacating. Not doing so can get you, the tenant, into trouble with your landlord or cause you to lose your security deposit. To avoid those costs, it can often be worth while to hire a professional cleaning company that offers moving out carpet cleaning and other services.

Why hire a professional cleaner?

Suppose your landlord notices that the carpet is inadequately cleaned. In that case, he or she may deduct money from the security deposit to get professionally cleaned.

A professional carpet cleaner such as Zerorez®:

This article focuses on why you need carpet cleaning services when vacating a rental property and why hiring a professional cleaner is the best choice.

mom with two kids playing on an unmade bed with toys and boxes on the bed, as they are surrounded by moving boxes and disarray as they try to move into their new home with carpet

Do You Have to Clean Carpets When You Move Out?

Most landlords and leasing agencies require that you take good care of the property so that when you vacate, it's in the same condition it was when you moved in.

You can vacuum clean your carpet before vacating, but dead skin, grime, dirt, pet dander, and other debris will still be trapped deep inside the fibers.

A professional offers an exceptional, deep carpet cleaning service to remove the grime and other contaminants, making the carpet look as good as new.

Moving out carpet cleaning service creates a great impression on you, especially if you want to sell the property. A prospective buyer can strike a deal quickly due to the impressive condition of the house.

If your carpet is infested by mold or pests or heavily stained or soiled, don't attempt to DIY. Lack of skills, appropriate cleaning equipment, and solutions could result in wicking stains, tears, wear, or carpet odor.

Below are some of the major reasons why you should get your carpets cleaned before moving out of your apartment.

Removes Stubborn Carpet Stains and Odors

Most professional carpet cleaning companies use special cleaning methods to remove carpet stains and odors. That explains why they remove stubborn stains and odors easily and excellently while you have to clean the carpet repeatedly for perfectionism (and even then, sometimes it still doesn't work!).

Some stains also get worse if you don't use proper cleaning methods.

Hire a professional who can remove stains and odors without damaging your carpet.

Uses Proper Tools, Techniques, and Safe Cleaning Detergent

Using the wrong equipment and cleaning detergent could result in tear and wear of the carpet. Some harsh detergents cause burning, spotting, or discoloration, among other issues. You don't want extra stress; moving alone has enough troubles, and the financial burden that comes with it is huge.

The best way to clean carpet when moving out is to hire experts so that you can take care of other moving-related issues.

Experts know how to clean carpets regardless of their material and color. You don't have to worry whether it's heavily or slightly soiled; they have everything needed to do the job.

To be sure you're receiving the best services without worrying about possible damages, hire Zerorez. We use hot water extraction carpet cleaning method to ensure your carpet is spotless.

Your health is our priority, so we use Zr™ Water to clean the carpet. The water is harsh chemical free and doesn't affect you or the new tenant's health.

Removes Excess Moisture to Prevent Wicking

Some carpet materials, such as Olefin, have a zero absorbent rate. Such carpets dry faster than heavy wool carpets. If you use excess water on carpets that take longer to dry, wicking may occur, and you'll have trouble with your landlord.

Professionals are trained and know what material needs more water and which doesn't. This is important in ensuring that the carpet dries fast and without stains.

Zerorez® technician cleaning a white carpet in an empty room for a move out carpet cleaning

Can Landlords Charge Me for Carpet Cleaning on Move Out?

Yes, your landlord can charge you for carpet cleaning on move out if:

  • If the carpet was spotless when you moved in, but when moving out, it had pet urine, tears, paint, oil stains, and holes, among other major carpet issues, your landlord may deduct the cost of carpet replacement, cleaning, or repair from your security deposit.
  • The contract demands that you professionally clean it before moving out: In some states, it's against the law for landlords to ask tenants to clean carpets when moving out. But if the State allows landlords to include moving-out carpet cleaning in the tenancy lease, obey it. Otherwise, the landlord can legally deduct cleaning costs from your security deposit or sue you.

In some states, your landlord cannot charge you for normal tear and wear. Every state has different landlord-tenant move-out laws. Double-check your state's laws to know what's required of you.

How Much Will It Cost to Clean Carpets When Moving Out?

On average, the cost to clean carpets when moving out is about $360. Sometimes it goes down to $120 or up to $420.

Various factors determine how much you'll pay for move-out carpet cleaning services, including:

  1. Carpet Condition: Stains, grime, odors, and soiling require a deep carpet cleaning, attracting high costs. If you cleaned your carpet regularly, a standard carpet cleaning service would be enough, hence a lower price. That is why it's a good thing to hire a carpet cleaning carpet company often to ensure that you don't incur a hefty cost when moving out.
  2. Carpet Size: Bigger carpets need more time and (sometimes) people to clean. So, the bigger the carpet, the higher the carpet cleaning cost.
  3. Location: Your location can significantly impact the carpet cleaning cost. For example, the cost of move-out carpet cleaning services in urban areas is higher than in rural areas because labor and overhead costs are also higher. Lack of parking, competition among cleaning companies, difficulty accessing the customer's house, and existing building regulations can contribute to the high cost of carpet cleaning services. Long distance between your home and the service provider's base of operations may increase the carpet cleaning service cost due to incurred expenses such as fuel. The best way to cut costs is to hire the nearest carpet cleaning service provider.
  4. Labor and Number of Staff: The higher the number of people involved, the higher the move-out carpet cleaning service cost. In most scenarios, a company can send only two people if you need a standard carpet cleaning service. More people may be involved in a deep cleaning service, and the cost may increase.
  5. Move-Out Cleaning Add-on Costs: When moving out, there may be a need to pay for add-on services such as bathroom cleaning, air duct cleaning, or whole home cleaning. Add-on services increase the carpet cleaning cost, but if your home is messy, you may need them to secure your security deposit.

Do I Have to Clean My Carpets Before I Move?

You must clean your carpet before moving out if that is what the landlord-tenancy contract says. Leave the carpets as good as you found them, failure to which you risk being sued or losing your security deposit in whole or part.

Should I Steam Clean Carpet Before Moving In?

It's important to steam clean a carpet before moving in unless the landlord or the previous tenant deep cleaned the carpet a day or two before you moved in. Steam cleaning carpets is essential due to the following reasons:

  • Removes carpet stains, odors, and dirt
  • Creates a healthy home environment for everyone
  • Saves time as cleaning is easier if there is no furniture

How to Clean Carpet Before Moving In?

Hiring a professional carpet cleaner like Zerorez can ensure the best clean before moving into a new home or apartment, especially if you want a professional touch, or feel the carpet wasn't properly cleaned.

However, if you want to DIY to cut costs, here's how to clean the carpet before moving in:

bottom half of a person standing behind a rental carpet cleaner trying to know how to clean carpets before moving out or in of a new place

Rent a Steam Cleaner or Carpet Shampooer

It can cost around $100 to rent a steam cleaner and the needed cleaning detergents and pretreatment solutions.

This can be a great way to cut costs, but DIY carpet cleaning machines may not be the best option due to the following reasons:

  • Consumer carpet cleaners' water doesn't effectively clean heavily soiled carpets as it often doesn't get, or stay, as hot as professional hot water extraction does. Professional steam cleaner water has high temperatures, effectively removing carpet odors, debris, grime, and dust without damaging the carpet.
  • These machines aren't great at thoroughly rinsing the carpets of left over detergent, which leaves a residue behind that attracts dirt.
  • It takes a lot more time and effort on your part. Sometimes a single room of carpet needs multiple passes, and multiple tank dumps and refills. Professionals have trucks with all the water and storage they need and the right skills, equipment, and technology to do it faster and better.

We would only recommend you rent or borrow a carpet shampooer if the carpet is relatively new, less soiled, or the former tenant professionally cleaned it, but it still needs another touch or two.

Allow the carpet to dry completely, as walking on a wet carpet could result in stains or soiling, making your efforts useless. Then be sure to vacuum carpet after cleaning it and it is fully dry.

Do You Have to Legally Clean a Tenant's Carpet Before They Move In?

One of the questions tenants ask is, "Is the landlord suppose to clean the carpet before I move in?"

Yes! Tenants can sue you or withhold their rent if you don't take care of the necessary things, including carpet cleaning and repairing damaged areas, at least in most states.

The landlord is responsible for making the property move-in safe, clean, and ready. An unhealthy and insecure property threatens the tenant's health, and that violates the law. The tenant can sue a landlord for that, although laws vary from state to state.

In Florida, for example, the landlord breaches the tenants' rights if the property has debris, odor, and dirt when he moves in. The landlord should make the property livable under the legal doctrine (Implied warranty of habitability).

Zerorez® Zr™ Wand cleaning a white carpet, with a stripe forming as it cleans between before/after carpet cleaning

Take Action

While it might not be a legal requirement if your tenancy contract says you must clean your carpet when moving out, you don't have another option. Your landlord or rental agency can withhold all or part of your security deposit to hire a carpet cleaning company.

If you need to clean your carpets before moving out, contact Zerorez today for a professional moving-out carpet cleaning and any additional add-on services needed so you can get your full rental deposit back. Our customer care representatives respond to all your questions and give you a quote based on the service you need.

Plus, we frequently run carpet cleaning promotions, so be sure to ask about current specials.

Book a Cleaning with Zerorez Today!