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Is it fair for me to be charged to replace the carpet in a rental that was already really worn?

When I had a house fire my insurance company found a condo to lease for me to live in while the home was rebuilt or replaced. It was a short term lease and we ended up being there about 5 months total. We gave a $1250 security deposit and paid an extra $50 for having pets ( 2 cats) the pets were not a problem but I have 2 small children and the dining room was carpeted and got pretty dirty from spills and such. I did my best to keep it clean but it is definitely a bit soiled. I have no problem paying for that room to be steam cleaned which I know would take care of the spots. but the landlord is talking about just replacing the carpet and I'm worried he is going to try to charge me for it.

Now I must say that if this carpet were in good condition and as a result of my staying there the carpet went from good to poor then I would feel it fair to pay to replace it BUT this carpet was on it's last life before I moved in, I definitely made mention of stains and parts where the seams were ripped up when I moved in on my checklist. The landlord also told me he was going to have them cleaned before I moved in which never happened so needless to say I was living with pretty nasty carpet from day 1.

I even made friends with the old tennents who said that the carpet was falling apart when they lived there too and that they got the same story about their intention to replace or clean it. So thats a good thing that I have their reference to fall back on.

I guess I just don't think it's fair that I should be stuck with the bill to replace it when it was desperately needing replacement already. He hasn't tried to bill me yet or anything but I am worried about the possibility because I've heard horror stories and I want to know if I have any rights or ground to fight if he does. That security deposit was taken from my contents settlement so I need that money to replace the stuff I lost so it's sort of a big deal to me that he doesn't try to stick me with the cost of something that should have been done a long time ago.

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Asked by kayslay at 1:05 PM on Jul. 1, 2011 in Home & Garden

Level 17 (4,286 Credits)
Answers (16)
  • If you had pictures, that would be helpful! You may end up going to court about it and you could have the previous tenants testify in your behalf.


    Answer by anichols1 at 1:07 PM on Jul. 1, 2011

  • Since you have the condition of the carpet listed on your initial check in, you shoud not have to pay for a full replacement. Make sure you keep a copy, and if he tries to stick you with the bill or refuse to give your deposit back, take him to small claims.

    Answer by anng.atlanta at 1:08 PM on Jul. 1, 2011

  • I think you're getting worked up too soon. If he hasn't tried to keep your deposit or told you to replace the carpet, then don't worry about it. If he does, refuse. If it has to go to Small Claims, then fine, but they generally don't want to go through the hassle and will give it back. Get the former tenants involved if necessary.

    Answer by Sigmon234 at 1:08 PM on Jul. 1, 2011

  • It should come out of your deposit most landlords dont give the deposit back because "of changes they have to do do"

    Answer by roxy0522 at 1:09 PM on Jul. 1, 2011

  • Since you put the condition of the carpet on your walk through list, it would be reasonable fro them only to charge the cleaning fee. Since you haven't been told you will be charged for replacement, I wouldn't get stressed about it.

    In all the apartments I've ever lived in, I've actually always gotten my security deposit back in toto. Only exception was the one where I had a weirdo landlord who was known for suing people. We left no forwarding address and chose to give up the deposit.

    Answer by gdiamante at 1:13 PM on Jul. 1, 2011

  • My landlord reimbursed me for my carpets.. I rent & the carpets were disgusting. I went out and bought $1200 worth of flooring and they gave it back to me.

    Answer by SuperrMommyy at 1:13 PM on Jul. 1, 2011

  • I think it's a common thing for people to trust landlords and what they say they're going to to. Everything should be fixed/cleaned before you go in.

    Answer by BeachyBabe at 1:13 PM on Jul. 1, 2011

  • @roxy ... There is a certain amount of wear and tear and maintainence that comes with being a landlord and that is something that when you choose to rent properties comes with the territory. Obviously gross neglect is a different story and what deposits are made for. Everything has a lifespan and say the lifespan of carpet is 15 yrs (random number) you should expect to have to replace it every 15 yrs and budget for that. My point is that this carpet was at that time where it should have been replace but he rented it to me in the poor condition it was and just because I happened to be the last tennant before he decides to replace it doesn't mean replacement cost should be on me. AT MOST maybe a prorated amount. I admitted hat the dining room had soil spots from me but that could have been handled with a steam clean it wouldn't have needed replacement if the rest wasn't already in such poor shape.

    Comment by kayslay (original poster) at 1:14 PM on Jul. 1, 2011

  • You should not have to replace it

    Answer by Madelaine at 2:35 PM on Jul. 1, 2011

  • Take him to small claims court if he takes $ from your security deposit. It shouldn't be your responsibility to replace the carpet.

    Answer by JSD24 at 3:39 PM on Jul. 1, 2011

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