A cleaning fee is a nonrefundable fee charged by a landlord when a tenant moves in. The landlord uses this fee to clean the rental premises after the tenant moves out, regardless of whether the tenant left the place dirty or not. While most states do not have laws on cleaning fees, there are some states which make it illegal to charge cleaning fees. Also, the few states which do provide for cleaning fees, allow it to be charged only insofar as is necessary to bring the premises to the condition it was in when the tenant moved in.
However, landlords in every state can collect a security deposit and deduct from it expenses for the damage caused to the rental property which goes beyond normal wear and tear.
[Last updated in June of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team]