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Cleaning fee deduction from Housing Deposit
« on: September 08, 2016, 10:37:05 pm »
My school has informed me that the cleaning fee deducted from my housing deposit will be around 250,000 won (I'm only leaving next month and this place is spotless). When I queried why it would be so much I was told the general issue is cleaning the mattress, anyways a quick search revealed that costs less than 40,000. 
Here are some snippets from my contract - What do you think and is it legal to deduct for cleaning (zero damage to this place)?


"At the end of Employees use of any Employer provided housing accommodation, the premises must be left vacant and in broom clean condition, free of any occupants, personal property or pets. Employee shall remain responsible for the cost of any damage or cleaning incurred by Employer."
"When vacating his/her accommodation, the mattress, the carpet and the sofa used by the
employee should be cleaned by a professional cleaning company. Since it is followed by the
employee’s leaving, a cleaning company will be selected by the employer and the cost might vary depending upon cleaning companies."




Re: Cleaning fee deduction from Housing Deposit
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2016, 07:14:06 am »
My school has informed me that the cleaning fee deducted from my housing deposit will be around 250,000 won (I'm only leaving next month and this place is spotless). When I queried why it would be so much I was told the general issue is cleaning the mattress, anyways a quick search revealed that costs less than 40,000. 
Here are some snippets from my contract - What do you think and is it legal to deduct for cleaning (zero damage to this place)?


"At the end of Employees use of any Employer provided housing accommodation, the premises must be left vacant and in broom clean condition, free of any occupants, personal property or pets. Employee shall remain responsible for the cost of any damage or cleaning incurred by Employer."
"When vacating his/her accommodation, the mattress, the carpet and the sofa used by the
employee should be cleaned by a professional cleaning company. Since it is followed by the
employee’s leaving, a cleaning company will be selected by the employer and the cost might vary depending upon cleaning companies."

It is what it is, you are stuck paying for the cleaning. Not sure why you would sign a contract with a clause like that in it but, that's on you. It doesn't matter what your google search pulled up because, in all likely hood, they won't hire a cleaning service at all. That money will now become discretionary spending money for your employer.


  • gideonvasquez
  • Super Waygook

    • 459

    • August 27, 2015, 08:42:34 am
    • Uisung - Gyeongbuk-do
Re: Cleaning fee deduction from Housing Deposit
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2016, 07:48:27 am »
Tell them you need an invoice for official tax purposes. That you can deduct it from your tax bill. Then they either have to convince the cleaners to forge a document or deduct less. Although it might be that they just want to use the expensive cleaners who just so happen to be related to an admin officer. I see wiggle room to request an invoice in the contract though. If they push you on why you need one tell them that professional cleaning costs are included in deductible moving costs (not really but they won't know that).


Re: Cleaning fee deduction from Housing Deposit
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2016, 07:55:30 am »
Tell them you need an invoice for official tax purposes. That you can deduct it from your tax bill. Then they either have to convince the cleaners to forge a document or deduct less. Although it might be that they just want to use the expensive cleaners who just so happen to be related to an admin officer. I see wiggle room to request an invoice in the contract though. If they push you on why you need one tell them that professional cleaning costs are included in deductible moving costs (not really but they won't know that).

Possible but, they could always call out the "please understand or unique situation", we don't have cleaning invoices. The OP is at the disadvantage, and will likely have no choice but to take the hit.


  • Eros
  • Super Waygook

    • 380

    • September 01, 2010, 02:43:24 pm
    • Korea
Re: Cleaning fee deduction from Housing Deposit
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2016, 07:58:19 am »
It's in the contract, which you signed, and it's not an 'unfair term'. You don't have a leg to stand on. But, lucky for you, they could have taken more - 500,000 for example.


Re: Cleaning fee deduction from Housing Deposit
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2016, 08:21:53 am »
Or, you could arrange it yourslef, and give the receipts to the school to show all that was in the contract was done.


  • Savant
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1917

    • April 07, 2012, 11:35:31 pm
Re: Cleaning fee deduction from Housing Deposit
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2016, 08:32:33 am »
Or, you could arrange it yourslef, and give the receipts to the school to show all that was in the contract was done.

Yes, try this. If not, start "borrowing" 250,000 won worth of school supplies.

They are ripping you off. I [My wife] paid a cleaning company about that much to clean our apartment before moving in but that involved things like steam cleaning the floor which will likely be different than the hourly adjumma rate that your school will use.


Re: Cleaning fee deduction from Housing Deposit
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2016, 08:53:03 am »
Or, you could arrange it yourslef, and give the receipts to the school to show all that was in the contract was done.

Yes, try this. If not, start "borrowing" 250,000 won worth of school supplies.

They are ripping you off. I [My wife] paid a cleaning company about that much to clean our apartment before moving in but that involved things like steam cleaning the floor which will likely be different than the hourly adjumma rate that your school will use.

The weird thing is, the landlord is responsible for having it cleaned before the next tenant moves in. As another poster pointed out "an old Korean lady with a brownish orange bowl, and dirty rag". That is normally standard which is why I don't understand why the op would sign with a clause like that.


  • HaLo3
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1058

    • January 02, 2014, 08:19:08 am
    • Seoul, South Korea
Re: Cleaning fee deduction from Housing Deposit
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2016, 09:21:09 am »
Or, you could arrange it yourslef, and give the receipts to the school to show all that was in the contract was done.

Yes, try this. If not, start "borrowing" 250,000 won worth of school supplies.

They are ripping you off. I [My wife] paid a cleaning company about that much to clean our apartment before moving in but that involved things like steam cleaning the floor which will likely be different than the hourly adjumma rate that your school will use.

The weird thing is, the landlord is responsible for having it cleaned before the next tenant moves in. As another poster pointed out "an old Korean lady with a brownish orange bowl, and dirty rag". That is normally standard which is why I don't understand why the op would sign with a clause like that.
Well the OP onlt has 9 posts so its probably their first year and didn't know that that sort of clause wasn't a normal thing to have in the contract. Or that the school would rip her off.


  • Pecan
  • The Legend

    • 3769

    • December 27, 2010, 09:14:44 am
    • Seoul
Re: Cleaning fee deduction from Housing Deposit
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2016, 09:45:18 am »
The employer sounds pretty smart and proactive.

He may have been "burned" by some scummy foreigner before, so having the clause in the contract is totally understandable.

We used to have a reasonable deposit on our properties in the US, but after being "burned" by a tenant 5 years ago, we doubled the rate of deposit and made part of it non-refundable and haven't had an issue since, so I can appreciate what the OP's employer has done.


  • donuts81
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1364

    • October 20, 2010, 10:23:37 am
    • Korea
Re: Cleaning fee deduction from Housing Deposit
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2016, 12:56:36 pm »
The employer sounds pretty smart and proactive.

He may have been "burned" by some scummy foreigner before, so having the clause in the contract is totally understandable.

You're joking right?? They sound like a scammy asshat.

And why would someone doing a midnight run and leaving a messy apt in the long distant past justify ripping off every foreigner since?


Tell them you need an invoice for official tax purposes. That you can deduct it from your tax bill. Then they either have to convince the cleaners to forge a document or deduct less. Although it might be that they just want to use the expensive cleaners who just so happen to be related to an admin officer. I see wiggle room to request an invoice in the contract though. If they push you on why you need one tell them that professional cleaning costs are included in deductible moving costs (not really but they won't know that).

Possible but, they could always call out the "please understand or unique situation", we don't have cleaning invoices. The OP is at the disadvantage, and will likely have no choice but to take the hit.

Make it clear that if they don't provide you with an invoice you will take them to the Labor board for unauthorized deductions from your salary (Don't know if you can, but I bet they don't either). Also ask the school for quotes from a few places in advance so the two of you can sit down compare them with the prices you find before you leave. It's only reasonable that when they are spending your money that you get some say. Don't worry if they huff and puff, it's all an act and as long as you stay consistent and firm then they will bend. You'll have to pay something but it should at least be reasonable.

Lastly, it's worth a shot calling the Labor board just on the off chance that they can help out. You can't sign away your rights. Just because something is in your contract doesn't mean that it can contradict Korean labor laws.
"You can't hurt me now, Mr Lee. I've lost all feeling"


  • Pecan
  • The Legend

    • 3769

    • December 27, 2010, 09:14:44 am
    • Seoul
Re: Cleaning fee deduction from Housing Deposit
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2016, 01:11:03 pm »
Yes, I'm serious.

It's not a scam.

When the OP moved into his apartment, it was spotless.

That is the price you pay.


Re: Cleaning fee deduction from Housing Deposit
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2016, 08:18:50 am »
Let's all become ripoff cleaners @ 250,000 won per hour then. :laugh: :laugh: