carpet normal wear
Carpet Normal Wear

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Before you move into a rented Home or Apartment, be sure to do a walk through with the owner or property manager. Why? When you move out , the landlord may attempt to charge you for "damages" to the unit. What defines damages is often contested and the tenant, unless they have a move-in-checklist and pictures, may lose out in court. 
SEE OUR COMPLETE GUIDE TO NORMAL WEAR AND TEAR

CARPET DAMAGE

A landlord can only withhold for damages only amounts that are deemed reasonable for the damage claimed. If a defect existed before you moved in, you should not be charged for that particular problem. The importance of pictures and a move-in checklist cannot be stressed enough.

Normal Wear and Tear is vague term and means different things to different people. So protect yourself.

CALCULATING THE ACTUAL COST OF CARPET DAMAGE

One common method of calculating the deduction for replacement prorates the total cost of replacement so that the tenant pays only for the remaining useful life of the carpet the tenant has damaged or destroyed. 
For example, suppose a tenant has damaged beyond repair an 8 old carpet that had a life expectancy of ten years, and that a replacement carpet of similar quality would cost $1,000. The landlord could properly charge only $200 for the two years’ worth of life (use) that would have remained if the tenant had not damaged the carpet.

ORIGINAL COST OF CARPET

$1,000

Expected life of carpet

10 years

Depreciation charge ($1,000 / 10)

$100 per year

Age of carpet

8 years

Carpet Life Years Remaining

10 years - 8 years = 2 years

Value of 2 years Carpet Life Remaining

2 years * $100 per years = $200

NOTE: There may be some disagreement over this landlords - who feel if the tenant DID NOT CAUSE THE DAMAGE TO BEGIN WITH, the Carpet would still be used and the landlord would not have to incur the costs of replacing the carpet AT ALL.

NOTE: NOT ALL COURTS RENDER THE SAME DECISION. THIS IS A GENERAL EXAMPLE, NOT FACT.

NORMAL CARPET WEAR

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With regular use, a carpet will wear depending how much traffic use it receives - kids, pets, regular path to walk on will cause a carpet to wear. 
A carpet that is never cleaned will gather dirt, dust and wear even faster, as the dirt breaka down the fibers.
BEFORE YOU MOVE IN, LOOK AT THE CARPET. 
See if it has been cleaned. Smell the carpet - does it smell clean? Does it smell like pet urine?
Is it damp or smell moldy? Look for stains, wet spots, worn sports and difference in color. The difference in carpet color may be from where the previous tenant had furniture or the carpet was cleaned. Old, worn  carpet when you moved in or furniture marks in carpet. The natural wearing down of carpet because of normal use or aging. 

CARPET DAMAGES MAY INCLUDE

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  • Tear in carpet

  • Animal stains (even if landlord knew you had a pet). 

  • Burn marks - iron, cigar, cigarette

  •  Ground in stains.

  • Subfloor damage (the floor under the carpet may get damaged from spilled liquids, excessive cleaning/wetting of stains

  • Fleas

  • Failure to regular clean



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