Carpet Cleaning Clauses

During the last 18 months the RTA has made a concerted push to stop landlords inserting special conditions in tenancy agreement requiring the tenant to professionally clean the carpets upon vacating. The RTA has argued that such a clause is in breach of s171 of the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Act.

In the case of Eising v Westgarth Realty Pty Ltd [2019] QCATA 120, the consumer tribunal (QCAT) in its appeal capacity considered the law. In first instance QCAT decided the special condition requiring the tenant to professionally clean the carpet was valid. The tenant appealed and it came before Justice Carmody (previously a Supreme Court Judge).
 
He considered the wording of s171 and found that such a clause was valid providing the carpets had been professionally cleaned prior to the tenant moving in. He considered the wording of the section, the intention of the Act and a previous decision where an agent had been fined for inserting such a clause, before deciding the clause was valid.
 
This is the first case of which we are aware which deals with s171, so it is helpful to finally have a case to guide us. However, s171 is very similar to s47 of the Australian Consumer Code and the cases there suggest the decision by Justice Carmody is the correct one.
 
For more information please contact us.