One of the most common places for landlord/tenant litigation is over the cost of replacing a carpet.
Many leases will state that a tenant is responsible for the full cost of any replacement when damage has occurred, but this is actually considered an illegal requirement in many communities.
As a landlord, you can't charge a current tenant for the wear and tear of a carpet from previous tenants.
On the other hand, you've also got to make sure your carpet looks good so a tenant will want to rent your place, right?
How do you find the best place between these two problems?
Even the Best Carpets Last About 10 Years
It's a frustrating situation for sure when you encounter a tenant that has killed off the carpet in your unit.
When this was new carpet that was freshly installed, you've got a few options available to you so that you can get a majority of your investment back.
If the carpet is older, especially if it is over 10 years old, you're likely going to be paying for the replacement cost out of pocket.
The problem is the depreciation of the carpet. Whether you're claiming it on your taxes or not, the carpet in every home has a certain shelf life to it.
The best carpets last about 10 years, which means anything beyond that is something that falls outside of tenant responsibility.
If the carpets need to be cleaned or there's damage to the subfloor, which is definitely a tenant responsibility if it can be proven they neglected the care of the floor.
If it's just old and needs replacing, even with damage, a mediator will almost always rule in favor of the tenant.
For the cheaper carpets that are typically installed in a rental unit, their maximum life span is rated at 5 years.
Even though you can claim a depreciation on taxes for up to 7 years in most circumstances, a 5 year carpet that needs to be replaced in year 6 because there is ground-in dirt is going to come out of your pocket instead of your tenant's.
What Is Reasonable Wear and Tear?
One of the toughest calls to make as a landlord is to determine what normal wear and tear means for your current tenants.
A family with four kids is going to have a different standard of “normal” than someone living by themselves!
Add pets into the mix and you've got another set of standards! Here's a few things to look at:
1. Damage. If there are rips, tears, or even folds in the carpet that are not related to the age of it, then this is not reasonable wear and tear.
2. Stains. Traffic stains are often considered normal wear and tear because they are indicative of walking patterns.
Those coffee or wine stains? That's a different story.
3. Discoloration. Is your carpet fading because the sun hits the same spot on it every day?
That's normal wear and tear. Is it discolored because a tenant used the wrong cleaning product on it? That's damage.
By taking this information into consideration, you'll protect yourself and your investment in a much better way.
Many times, there are issues between a landlord and a tenant that need to be resolved but are failed to do so, because both parties have gone too far with their actions, and have retaliated in the... More
Where there is a landlord, there will also be a tenant, and it is no surprise that these two parties can only work together once there is some sort of agreement, contract or a binding deal in place.... More
Many landlords find it difficult to write and draft a lease agreement. Since every State has its own general template, it can also be difficult to make sure your lease agreement meets all the criteria... More
If you’re a landlord and want to manage your business in a better way, you should endeavor to get in touch with those industry experts who have the experience and the skills to help you do it. This is... More
When you talk about the most common disputes arising between landlords and tenants, nonpayment of rent has to be there in the list. People rent their properties to earn money, and when a tenant... More
If you have ever rented a living space and have had to move many times, you’d already know how difficult it is to find decent, affordable and secure living premises. A person has to deal with the same... More
Landlords across the state have the prime responsibility to make sure they inspect and up keep their property once they have rented it to the tenants. Inspections can occur monthly or yearly depending... More
Everyone knows that a landlord’s job is not easy. These folks have specific duties and responsibilities that they must perform in order to be fair. Being a landlord is not a position but it is, in... More
Asking for a security deposit is quite common in property dealings. The reason to ask for a security deposit is to have something that would help a property owner recover some of their financial... More