Small time landlord, one duplex and we have a rental unit.
Tenants moved out, very passive aggressive the entire last month after we gave notice, and they cleaned the carpets the day of move out. When we went in to get the keys, all the windows were open, tenant tries and gets us to sign a document saying they get their deposit back in full. We refuse as you know... that's not a thing, not able to fully inspect the unit.
Almost as soon as they leave and windows are shut, we notice a "wet dog" smell. During the day when it is warm it is more evident.
So we get a quote from Stanley Steemer, let them know we will be having them professionally deodorized. Tenant wants to get back in to the property to inspect for herself, though with the attitude she had she's not easy to deal with. I gave her an opportunity, heard no response so I cancelled it. It would delay me working to replace the kitchen and bathroom, and on top of that, we're not required to do so.
I let the former tenant know and she's saying things like "we don't know if you dog has been down there, you should have ventilated the unit so the carpets could dry" and so on.
Anyone deal with small claims here in NH? It seems like such a petty amount but she'll try for the ~$200.
Carpets were installed before they moved in. So at ~7 years of useful life that's about 70% of value... what happens if I charge them $200 for deodorizing and then decide to replace the floors? Any recourse or am I free to not deodorize and just rip them out?
Is the hassle worth $200? Time versus money. Sometimes it's worth losing a little money to be headache free.
I get it. Don't bend to idle threats. But the carpet is indeed old, so just replace it with something that's not carpet...such as laminate. Laminates look fantastic, are easy to clean, affordable, and water resistant. Go for it!
And minimize your communication with the tenant. Send back whatever portion of the deposit is due within the parameters of the law. Any deductions for other repairs, list them along with the check.
@Nate Burnett did they pay a pet deposit or let fee? That $200 would help with that expense. Did the carpet guy write up something that says there was pet odor in the carpet and needed the deodorizer? If you decide avter the fact that you want to replace, then I think a judge would be ok with that, but the again, they could be pro-tenant and have you give them back the $200
If I was you I would tear out the carpet and replace it with laminate or tile if you are going to keep it as a rental.
Well plan was to do LVT like we have in our unit ourselves. Actually already have it... Just out of principal I guess, I would have liked to charge them.
Instead of focusing on the attitude of your 7 year tenant and the $200; read a few of the many horror stories off BP ... and also know that some landlords deal with annual annual and biannual relets. I would be tempted to give my 7 year tenants a parting gift card to a restaurant to enjoy during their stressful move. Count your blessings.
Agree with the above...eat the $200 on the carpet and move on..... not worth the hassle. Especially if in reality the carpet has lived most of its useful life and its time to change them anyway...
I totally get the desire to want to stand by your principles.....and I hate to cave to tenants since it also trains them to be a PITA to their next landlord.... but its s business and you have to pick your battles and move on
Well, if you have nothing but time on your hands, then follow this through and charge them, being aware that they may fight you in court. Most judges, if they find you replaced the carpet with other flooring, won't look kindly on your trying to charge the tenant for something that is a moot point. If, on the other hand, you are busy with a job and an apartment turnover and living your busy life, then let it go and move on, and put the new flooring in. The angst from going to court over something so small will get in the way of other positive activities.