Ruined carpet and security deposit question

4 Replies

I'm sure someone has run into this issue so I figured I'd reach out but first a little back story. Tenants signed a 1 year lease in July. Paid rent on time if not early every month. A few months ago they asked if they could replace the carpet in a few rooms at their expense. Didn't know if they were staying for a while and I said I would be ok if they did everything so it all matched, but I never heard anything more until they said they were hoping they could get out of the lease early. I took it as a chance to get more rent and placed it on the market and had it rented in 1 day (should have asked for more rent in hind sight). They then started asking for their security deposit early because they needed it for the new place. Of course I explained why that could not happen.

While showing the place I noticed some coloring on the walls and what I thought were marker stains on the carpet.  They fixed the walls but the carpets are pretty bad after only 6 months.  I found out many of the stains are kool aid and probably won't come out.....  They are in every room.  I had not planned on replacing the carpets for quite a few years but now I will have to if a cleaner can't get them out.

My question is: How much of the deposit can I legally count towards replacing the carpets now if the stains don't come out? Also, on a side note, they smoked in the garage even though the lease states "no smoking on the premises" and when I showed the house it smelled like cigarette smoke in there. Thanks for the help!

If it is written in your lease, all of their deposit can be forfeit for not returning the home in the same or better condition as they found it, minus regular wear and usage. Koolaid is not regular wear and tear.

I would recommend prorating the cost of the carpet over the expected length of life. For instance if you are saying the carpet should last 10 years and they were in there for 1 year, then I would expect that you could claim 90% of the cost of replacement. If your area has some law saying carpet is 7 years then you would prorate it over 7 years. Also you can't charge for doing it yourself so hire the work out including sealing the inside of the garage.

Hope it helps.

I agree with @Mike Cumbie and when you do keep those receipts! That's a tax write off at the end of the year. maintenance and repairs (not a capital expense) are tax deducible on a rental properties.

Thanks, I was considering the prorated amount as well.  Either way I'm pretty sure it will consume their whole security deposit.  Thanks!