I have seen it written on countless General Tenancy Agreements. “The tenant will professionally steam clean carpets at the end of the tenancy and provide a receipt.”

It sounds like a great idea. In good faith, the property owner hires a carpet cleaner prior to the tenant moving in. They want the property returned at the end of the tenancy in the same condition.

But as with all special terms added to a General Tenancy Agreement, care should be taken to ensure they don’t contradict any legislation, or duplicate the standard terms of the agreement, risking an inconsistency that may void the term.

Let’s consult the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 (RTRA) to ensure everything checks out.

Again Section 171 lets a lessor know of a breach of the Act. Let’s take a look.

As the special term states that a tenant must provide a receipt it is a breach of section 171 of the Act (supply of goods and services). Tenants cannot be required to buy, or agree to buy goods or services from the property manager/owner or a person nominated by the property manager/owner.

The solution?

The RTRA offers solutions, you just need to know where to look. We will jump to Section 188 (4).

The Act obligates the tenant to leave the property in the same condition as it was at the start. i.e. cleaned to Australian Standard AS/NZS 3733 at the start of the tenancy, cleaned to Australian Standard AS/NZS 3733 at the end of the tenancy.

There is no need to add a special term.

If you need an idea on the standard of cleaning required by a vacating tenant (or standard of cleaning required when preparing a property for rent) take a look at this Cleaning Checklist.

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