Apartment Carpet Cleaning
Apartment carpet cleaning should be done on a regular basis. As a rule of thumb, you should do it about once per year, or more often, depending on soil level, how often you vacuum, if you have kids or pets, etc. If you are an apartment owner, this will save you a lot of money by extending the lifespan of your carpet. There are also a lot of other benefits to cleaning the carpet regularly, such as removing dirt, allergens and creating a cleaner, healthier living environment.
Why should you hire a professional to clean the carpet in a rental apartment?
Because it’s your responsibility as a landlord to ensure that your property is safe, sanitary, and habitable for your tenants.
If you want to make sure that your rental property is always ready for new tenants, then you need to keep up with regular maintenance and repairs.
DYI vs professional cleaning
There are lot of vacuums and “carpet cleaners'” for dyi carpet cleaning. Most of the time they are very ineffective compared to professional services. They might also leave a chemical residue in your carpet. As far as cost, after you factor in rental prices, the drive to the store and back (x2), chemical prices and drying times, the cost is almost the same as having a pro do it.
Carpet Cleaning Tips For Landlords
The best way to maintain your rental property is by hiring a professional carpet cleaning service.
A good carpet cleaner can help you save money by making sure that your carpets look great after a move-out.
They also know how to spot problems before they become big issues that will require you to replace the whole carpet.
Last, but not least, in case you will need to charge the new tenant for carpet cleaning when they leave, you might need to prove that the carpet was clean at the time of the move-in and that the cleaning process required at the time of the move-out will go beyond cleaning regular wear and tear.
Professional Carpet Cleaners Will Save You Time
Even if you have a very good property maintenance team, they will not have access to the equipment and chemicals a good carpet cleaner uses. This means the cleaning process will be much faster and much better versus having your maintenance team do it. And you might even save some money as you will not have to buy a wide range of chemicals and pay a lot of hourly wages for someone else to do it.
Who is responsible for cleaning the carpet in a rental apartment?
It usually depends on whether the cleaning is for regular wear and tear or extensive, restorative cleaning, such as stains and heavy traffic areas.
Do I have to clean the carpet when I move out?
Tenants might be financially responsible for cleaning the dirty carpet when they move out if the carpet is not in the same state as it was when they moved in, minus regular wear and tear. If there are stains, heavy traffic (dark areas) as a result of not vacuuming or wearing soiled shoes on the carpet, a tenant might become responsible to pay for the cleaning. In such cases, the tenant can either make arrangements with the landlord or hire the cleaner themselves.
Are carpets a landlord’s responsibility?
Landlords are generally responsible for cleaning when the carpet was left in about the same state as at the move-in minus regular wear and tear. It is advisable to clean the carpet even if you think you can get away with only vacuuming as you can prove to the new tenant that the cleaning was performed if any issues appear in the future. Also, regular carpet cleaning prolongs the lifespan of the carpet and will save you money in the long run.
Of course, the responsibility for cleaning the carpet might shift based on the following:
- the state you are in; laws vary from state to state and so does each party’s responsibility
- the language in the lease agreement
- what is considered normal wear and tear
Should I clean or replace the carpet?
It depends on the soil level, age and type of the stains. Sometimes, when the carpet is full of older stains such as paint, marker or pet urine stains, replacement might be a better option. If the carpet is heavily soiled with dirt, for example, it might be still be saved.
The best option is to decide what an acceptable level of clean represents for you and the contact a commercial carpet cleaning pro and get their opinion. For some stain (and carpet) types, the damage might be permanent because the fibers change color. Even if that is the case, most of the dirt, if not even all of it, is removed from the carpet and the remaining stain is mostly esthetical and not because the carpet is still dirty.
As a rule of thumb, we are able to significantly improve the looks and cleanliness of 99% of the jobs we perform.
Rental apartment carpet cleaning best practices
An empty apartment does not produce rental income and will cost you money for the period when it stays unoccupied. That is why it is crucial to plan everything accordingly and make sure your property gets rented again asap:
- schedule carpet cleaning after remodeling/repairs. A professional cleaner will clean bigger paint stains on the apartment carpet, for example, so it is important to schedule the cleaning after painting. Also, if you have construction workers walk on fresh cleaned carpet, they might get it dirty again.
- clean up bigger remodeling debris, such as plaster, drywall pieces, screws and nails. This will result in a much better cleaning.
- leave enough time for the carpet to dry. Most of the time, the carpet dries in just a few hours. However, as a rule of thumb, you can give it 24 hours to make sure that the tenant respects the time frame. Placing big furniture on wet carpet might result in much longer drying times (because there is no air circulation) and might cause issues.
- note the condition of the carpet together with the tenant at the time of the move-in and move-out. Take pictures or videos and store them safely. This will allow you to fairly decide who is responsible for the cleaning cost.
Apartment carpet cleaning cost
The cost to clean the carpet in an apartment varies from company to company. Here are a few questions that you should ask about the carpet cleaning cost:
- what is included. Some companies include only the how water extraction in the cost and everything else is extra: pre-spray, chemicals, stain treatment, deodorizer, etc.
- what kind of equipment and processes they use. Cleaning with a portable extractor is not a powerful as cleaning with a truck mount and it can be seen in the end results. Same with VLM cleaning (very low moisture), which should be used at best as maintenance cleaning and cannot produce the results and cleanliness of hot water extraction.
- if the carpet cleaning cost is charged per room/area or per square foot.
- if they offer volume discounts. If you have a lot of apartments and other areas, such as hallways, that need cleaning regularly, e.g. several per month, you might be able to get a deal vs the company’s regular price.
The bottomline is that there is a fine balance between getting a competitive cost and making sure the apartment is ready on time.
As an example, our carpet cleaning cost for an apartment with 3 areas (e.g. bedroom + living + dining) is $135, or $45 per area. This price might get adjusted in the future to compensate for ever increasing gas, chemical and equipment maintenance costs. However, we might also be able to offer small discounts to property management companies that have constant work, especially if more than one apartment is scheduled in the same day.
How should I select an apartment carpet cleaning company
Price is not the most important factor when it comes to rental apartment carpet cleaning. There are a lot of issues and delays that can come up during remodeling after a move-out. If those delays are too long, the apartment might not be ready in time for a new tenant, and it loses one month or more of rental income.
When choosing a carpet cleaner for apartments, you should look at their availability and responsiveness as one of the leading factors in hiring them.
Other factors are:
- having the right equipment. Truckmounts are powerful, but in the case of buildings taller than 3-4 stories, a portable will be necessary.
- using safer chemicals.
- there is a visible, significant improvement after the carpet is cleaned.
- they are responsive and courteous. This should be the gold standard, but is not the case with a lot of companies and their employees. The professionalism should be extended not only to the property management staff, but also to the tenants themselves.
- they have everything else in good order: business insurance, worker’s compensation, etc
Green Steam Upholstery & Carpet Cleaning is fully insured and experienced with cleaning carpet for property managers on a regular basis. To get started, please give us a call and we will take it from there.
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All of our apartment carpet cleaning jobs come with free deodorizer application.