I am a new resident of Oregon and will be renting a home. To prepare, I've been reading their landlord/tenant law. There are two parts about carpet cleaning and I'm not sure how to reconcile them.

90.300(7)(a) outlines what, in general, the security deposit can be used for:

(7)(a) The landlord may claim from the security deposit only the amount reasonably necessary:

(A) To remedy the tenant’s defaults in the performance of the rental agreement including, but not limited to, unpaid rent; and

(B) To repair damages to the premises caused by the tenant, not including ordinary wear and tear.

However, (7)(c)(A) specifically addresses carpet cleaning:

(c) Defaults and damages for which a landlord may recover under this subsection include, but are not limited to:

(A) Carpet cleaning, other than the use of a common vacuum cleaner, if:

(i) The cleaning is performed by use of a machine specifically designed for cleaning or shampooing carpets;

(ii) The carpet was cleaned or replaced after the previous tenancy or the most recent significant use of the carpet and before the tenant took possession; and

(iii) The written rental agreement provides that the landlord may deduct the cost of carpet cleaning regardless of whether the tenant cleans the carpet before the tenant delivers possession as described in ORS 90.147.

It's not obvious to me how to combine these two things. My interpretation is that the landlord is allowed to charge carpet cleaning fees to my security deposit if (and only if) the damage to the carpet caused by me is not "ordinary wear and tear".

I have talked to some local landlords who understand the carpet cleaning law to be interpreted separately from the rest. They want to charge carpet cleaning fees to my security deposit whether or not the damage to the carpet is normal wear and tear.

1 Answer 1


Paragraph (a) is the stuff that applies generally, where paragraph (c) would append or modify (a). ORS 90.300(7)(c) seems to append carpet cleaning to the items covered in ORS 90.300(7)(a). So it appears they can charge for carpet cleaning regardless if its 'ordinary wear and tear' or not as long as the conditions 90.300(7)(c)(A) i - iii are met.

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