Can my former landlord charge me for replacement of capet if they are upgrading?

UPDATED: Jul 7, 2012

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Can my former landlord charge me for replacement of capet if they are upgrading?

We just moved out of our apartment that I have been renting for 3 1/2 years. They sent a bill for the replacement of the carpet totaling over $500. I know that the complex is upgrading the flooring in all the units as a tenant moves out and putting in hardwood floors in the main areas of the dwelling and then replacing the carpet in the bedrooms. Can I be charged for this. I feel that I should mention that there was signs of damage to the carpet already when I moved in that were not seen until after the carpet fully dried from the cleaning. And can stains caused by kids be normal wear?

Asked on July 7, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Louisiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You may not be charged for normal "wear and tear" or for carpet replacement occasioned by normal wear and tear. Stains from children, however, are not necessarily normal wear and tear--for example, if your children used permanent market either directly on the carpet or on paper that bled onto the carpet, got paint on the carpet, or grease (such as from wheels or chains on bicycles or other vehicles), or urinated on the carpet, etc., that  is not considered normal wear and tear and can result in charges.

The landlord may charge you an amount equal to the cost to replace damaged or ruined carpet with the equivalent, even if instead of actually replacing the carpet, he/she lays down tile, laminate, or wood flooring. So if you and/or your children caused damage beyond normal wear and tear necessitating replacement, and the cost of replacement would be $500, the landlord could charge you the $500 but apply that amount towards a $1,500 laminate flooring.

You may not be charged or held responsible for damage done by previous tenants, but only for damage done by you, your family, your guests, your pets, and any other members of your household (e.g. live-in boyfriend/girlfriend).

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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