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I have recently left my room in a student residence in Austria but my landlord said I have to pay for a cleaning rate from my deposit.

Let me give you some insight:

  • The building is in a very bad state, hallways are dark, mostly illuminated only by emergency lights, the kitchen is very dirty, there are no trash bins there. Supposedly there is a cleaning lady that comes once a week, but I never noticed the difference nor have I ever seen her.
  • I moved out of my room two months ago to an apartment, and, except for one occasion, I never came back to my room.

The day before handing in the keys I broomed most of the floor and cleaned the bathroom superficially, took my remaining stuff and left.

Next day, when I met with him, we went to see the apartment and he found some spots I haven't cleaned in depth (some dry toothpaste stain in the sink, and some dust in the back of the toilet and below the desk). He told me to clean it and that he would come back in an hour.

As I didn’t have the time, I refused. In consequence, he said he would call a cleaning lady to clean it urgently because the tenant is coming in two hours to inhabit the room. He said he would discount this from my deposit.

By law, in Austria, is it my responsibility to clean the room in depth before handing it over? To my knowledge, the security deposit is to cover any repair costs of things I could have damaged or broken. It’s the landlord's responsibility to clean the room before a new tenant arrives. Which also sets an alarm for me because that would mean that no professionals cleaned my room before I arrived.

If it’s legal to charge me for this, can I request an invoice’s copy to make sure he is charging me the correct price instead of a made up price to keep my money?

  • @shazamo-morebucks I edited the question to make it less specific, although, I was describing the situation, but the question itself asks about a general case, not a specific case: By law, in Austria, is it my responsibility to clean the room in depth before handing it over? and can I request an invoice’s copy to see how much he charged me?. Is this question valid or should I change something more? Thank you – Javier Bullrich Aug 29 '19 at 11:56
  • that may depend on your contract. Often stated is something in the form of Besenrein (term used in German BGB), which means basic cleaning and that you recieved the flat in that condition. Besen=Broom. Your deposit may be used to resove open sums. Defendantly demand a proper receipt showing the MwSt. amount. – Mark Johnson Aug 29 '19 at 15:26
  • What does your contract state? In many jurisdictions you have to leave the place as clean as it was when you took it, which means if it was shining when you took it it has to shine when you leave it, if it was dirty when you took it you can avoid cleaning at all. Do you have photos that you can prove where taken at the time you entered that show how clean/dirty the place was? Also: in many jurisdictions the landlord can only detract from the deposit if you agree to the detraction. If you disagree they have to go through a legal process, they can't just keep all/part of the money. – Bakuriu Aug 29 '19 at 19:14
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Yes

While I can’t speak directly to Austrian law in all the jurisdictions I know about the answer is yes.

A tenant must leave the premises is a neat, clean and undamaged manner, if they don’t, the landlord is entitled to recover their costs for making it so. The only thing the tenant is not responsible for is “fair wear and tear” - degradation that is attributable to stuff being used.

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  • Well, to keep up the story, he took 150€ from my deposit to clean my room. It's way over what a cleaning service would cost for a single room. I already asked for the invoice but still haven't get any answer. – Javier Bullrich Sep 6 '19 at 12:39

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