Are Dirty Windows Normal Wear?

I have a tenant moving out the end of the month, good tenants all in all, no major problems. They have excessively worn out three rooms of carpet that was new when they moved in which they have agreed to replace.

The windows where also new and clean when they moved in and they have been there just over one year. The windows and window wells are quite dirty and they do not want to clean them stating New York State law considers this “Normal Wear”

The ome is located on Long Island, not the City if that makes any difference regarding law.

Are they correct with this stance, are dirty windows considered “Normal Wear”…?

It would be, in my opinion. Landlords usually have to clean up a house prior to renting it out again.


A dirty house is not normal wear and tear to me. I charge them $200 to clean the house if it is left dirty. I don’t charge to clean the windows though.

What I consider “normal” is that the tenant gets the house a little bit dirty and then cleans it up. Then they get it a little bit dirty again and then they clean it up (on Saturday, usually, if they both work).

They track a bit of dirt onto the carpet, and then they vacuum it up. They spill a bit of sauce on the stove and then they clean it up.

They get a ring around the tub and then they clean the tub.

They get fingerprints on the windows and then they wash them.

That’s what is “normal” wear and tear.

I’ve got to say, though, that I’ve given up expecting tenants to clean windows. I don’t get what is so hard about it. It’s not such a bad job, but tenants act like you’ve suggested the electric chair if you want windows cleaned.

I have no idea how a judge in NY would rule on it. Some judges think that burning a hole through the subfloor and spraying graffiti on the walls is “normal”

Thanks all for your responses, looks like the tenants are going to clean the windows. It’s not a big deal to clean them myself of hire someone, it’s just the extra time it takes to do a good job.

I also like to keep the home slightly under rented to minimize vacancy and attract more qualified tenants, so it’s more of a sore point under these circumstances if they act in less than good faith on their end.

I was suprised to read the answer to this question today in a landlord/tenant publication put out by out state’s department of consumer affairs.

According to the security deposit statute (Civil Code Section 195.5(b)(3)), the windows must be in “the same state of cleanliness” as at the beginning of your tenancy.


Yeah right, that should be clean since when they moved in thats clean. they should be responcible. :biggrin