Carpet Replacement ?

5 Replies

I purchased a duplex ( 3br 2 ba 2 car garage) 3 years ago an inherited a tenant. The tenant has lived in the unit for 8 years and pays rent on time. She is complaining about the carpet which is 20 years old. The carpet is not terrible but is flat from years of use. The seam is coming apart in the living room. i had it repaired once but the carpet wont hold a good seem anymore. The unit is priced about $200 below current market rent, I  have not raised the rent it because of the carpet situation.I have only raised the rent from $600 to $700 per month over the last 3 years.( The previous owned never raised the rent.)  

I'm thinking about telling her that I will replace the carpet or use Allure flooring but she would need to remove the furniture for installation purposes and sign a new month to month lease or 6 month lease at the minimum at a $900 per month rent rate which is market rent for the area.

I would like some feed back and thoughts about this issue.

Sorry for the long post!

Thanks,

John

Really depends on your long game. If youre planning to sell in the next 3-5 years you could end up replacing it twice to fix and sell. If youre holding for 10+ years, consider tile or laminate. Costs $1-2k more than carpet but requires less maintenance and replacement. She can buy her own area rugs. Definitely bring rents to market whether you replace the floors or not, unless you have an extremely good reason youre not already.

Replace the carpet with laminate or vinyl plank and raise the rent. She can't really complain since she wants it replaced and has to know her rent is lower than other similar places. I'd explain it up front though so they know what to expect.

I don't own any rental properties, but my father and brother do.  If they were in this situation and decided to replace the carpet or install new flooring to keep a good tenant happy, they would do it without making the tenant sign a new lease agreement.  They take the hit financially for the short term fully expecting that their decision will pay off in the long run.  The tenant is not in control.  You are.  If YOU decide to replace the flooring, then you should probably keep living with your current lease agreement until it actually comes time to renew.  

Let the tenant know what the probable bump in rent is going to be and then stick to your guns.  OR you could wait to replace the carpet until the last month of her lease agreement and let the new rent price reflect the improvement made on the unit.  

I have employed the strategy of providing two crucial pieces of information designed to discourage the tenant from continuing to ask for carpet replacement.  First, if you explain that they (and not you or the carpet installer) are responsible for moving their items, the tenant will often imagine how burdensome that would be and decide to keep the flooring they have currently.  

Second, I remind the tenant that if flooring is replaced and they happen to damage it, it will be costly and come out of the security deposit whereas if they damage already very old carpet, they will not be charged for replacement, no matter how badly they may have stained, torn, etc. the carpets upon move-out.  Ex. Consider between 5-7 years useful life on the carpet (you may employ different numbers- I use five years).  Let's say you replace the carpet for them and they move out 1 year later, but have permanently stained the living room carpet with red wine.  I would charge them 4/5 the cost of replacement in that room.  If the living room carpet costs $600 total for replacement, they would pay $480 whereas if they kept the flooring, they would owe nothing since the useful life of that carpet is long gone.

If they insist or if you decide to move forward with replacement, have them sign a new lease with whatever terms you wish to offer and raise the rent to market rate.  If you give the proper notice of the rental rate increase, you can time it as closely as possible to the actual replacement.  Good luck!