You may think that your new landlord is going to present your apartment in excellent condition, and you expect a super-clean kitchen, new grout in the bathrooms, and nicely finished floors.
If your apartment manager cleaned the carpets in your unit not so long ago, however, he or she may try to cut corners and, if the carpets look OK to the naked eye after a good vacuum, you may not be the beneficiary of a good steam cleaning.
If you can’t convince your property manager to have your carpet professionally cleaned, it may be a good idea for you to contract with a pro to have it done anyway, and here’s why:
If the previous tenant had pets, your apartment could have flea eggs lurking in the carpeting. These eggs can lie dormant—especially in a vacant apartment—and even if you made a few visits before deciding upon your unit, you may not have seen any traces of these pesky bugs.
When you do move in, however, the vibrations caused by your presence can cause the eggs to leave their dormant stage, and soon you will not only see fleas jumping four or more feet into the air, you may find yourself itching mosquito-like bites that don’t go away for days.
And check this out—fleas were responsible for bubonic plague in the Middle Ages and can actually still transport that disease. A good professional carpet cleaning can get rid of dormant flea eggs, and you can avoid a nasty flea flare-up.
If you are moving into a new home with your pet, as well as making sure the carpets have been professionally cleaned, it's a good idea to invest in a flea treatment preventative for your four-legged friend. Dogs and cats often get infested with fleas through contact with other animals or through fleas in the enviroment, so keeping them protected with a preventative or a flea collar will help keep pesky parasites away for good.
Dander and Pollen
Pollen can make you sneeze, and you’re not necessarily safe just because you are inside. Pollen grains can hide in your carpet, and easily be tossed up into the air as you walk from room to room.
If you open the windows—even if you have window screens installed—tiny grains of pollen can enter and end up on and then in your carpeting.
Many people are allergic to pet dander, and again, if the previous tenants had pets, you can be assured that there will be a nice supply of pet dander in your carpets. Get a pro cleaning to take care of these issues.
Don’t believe it? Those little particles that look like tiny stringy things only visible in the light are commonly called dust.
Some dust settles on wooden furniture and can be wiped off, but the dust you see in the air is excreted by tiny bugs called dust mites. These guys can hang out in your carpeting, so a good cleaning can be a great start to eliminating them.
Kids are called rugrats for a good reason—they constantly crawl on the floors.
While you may be somewhat germophobic and have a bottle of alcohol sanitizer in every room, your three-year-old won’t even know what that is. They will touch your dirty carpets and then put their hands in their mouths.
Yes, we have immune systems, and yes, you can’t put your kids in a bubble, but even a clean-looking carpet can be full of nasty creatures, and you need to eliminate as many of these as possible with a professional carpet cleaning.
We’re talking about your money here. If you maintain your carpets, you will have a much better chance of getting your security deposit back.
Even though states and municipalities have laws in effect to protect tenants, if you aren’t savvy, you may inadvertently allow a landlord to deduct money from your security deposit because you let your carpets get really dirty.
While normal wear and tear should not generally de a reason to lose part of your security deposit, some landlords push the laws and regulations to their limits and may try to deduct part of your deposit whether it is legal or not.
If you do nothing in this case, you lose money. The easiest way to avoid a dispute about a dirty carpet security deposit withholding issue is to have the apartment’s carpets professionally cleaned regularly.
Health concerns and financial issues are the number one reasons to have your apartment’s carpets professionally cleaned.
Plus, if you’re planning to rent your place out to a tenant, you’ll want to keep things clean and maintain to get top-dollar for rent prices in your area (use rent reports like this one to understand your local market).
And while you may find that you spend a couple of hundred bucks once a year, the cleanliness of your home that will result from a pro carpet cleaning is well worth it.
And if you can remove even one issue that can cause a landlord-tenant security deposit disagreement, you’ll be one step ahead of the game.
Gemma Tyler is a freelance journalist with 15 years of experience writing for consumer publications. She has tested and reviewed a wide range of household items from vacuum cleaners to washing machines and dehumidifiers to steam irons. Her attention to detail and exhaustive testing certainly makes her an expert in her field.