Need new carpet and paint. Will landlord pay?

19 Replies

My family and I have been renting the same townhouse for 3.5 years. We are great tenants and have a good relationship with our landlord. Anyway, the townhouses were brand new when we moved in so the house has been settling causing paint cracks in the corners of several walls and it has caused the baseboard woodwork to separate and crack in several places. The carpet in the living room is nasty. It's very worn out and dirty and I can't afford to have it cleaned constantly. I also have a 4 yr old who was diagnosed with Reactive Airways Disease and it isn't healthy for him to be around carpet period nevermind a dirty one. Of course the living room is his playroom and the room we spend the most time as a family. Do we have the right to ask for a new carpet or HW floors in that room only and fresh paint? The reason why I'm even mentioning HW floors is because they just put them in next door when the tenants moved out and saw how terrible the carpets were. We have HW everywhere else downstairs except the most used room in the house! We haven't asked for any repairs or favors aside from a recent decrease in rent for a few months when my fiance was laid off. What are our rights? I heard after living somewhere for a 3 or 4 years they have to take care of carpets and paint but I don't know if that is true. Any advice would be great.

You say the place was brand new when you moved in. Does that mean just built with brand new carpet? And the carpet is not "nasty"? But if it was brand new when you moved in, and now its nasty, then only you could have made it that way. If well cared for carpets should last 10 years or longer.

I've never heard of any law requiring the carpets to be replace or the place to be repainted after three or four years. Not saying its not the case where you are, but its not here, and I doubt it is there.

If you were to move out, and the carpet and paint were both new when you moved in, and the carpets need replacement and the place needs repainting, I'd expect the landlord to charge you for those things.

In your situation, I'd ask the landlord for permission to replace the carpet with hardwood, at your expense.

If anything ask the landlord. Or move to a place where it is suitable for your child since health is a concern. Never heard of a law requiring carpet to be replace after a few years.

As stated in the previous posts, the landlord doesn't HAVE to replace carpet or repaint. As Jon said, you used a carpet that was brand new when you got in, so you are actually responsible for the shape it is in right now. However...

If you didn't ask for rent reduction, you would have had a case of just good business. Meaning, you are a long term tenant, always paid on time and always paid the full amount. For us landlords, you are golden. We love long term tenants who pay on time and don't make a mess of our properties. If you were my tenant under those circumstances, I would have made the effort and do those things you asked for.

In your case however, since you asked and I assume received reduction in rent, you are actually causing the landlord a loss. So in this case I don't think I would follow through,

I would follow Jon's advise with regard to changing the carpet but take it a step further. Since the landlord have a carpet contractor whom he /she work with and giving him a special price, you may be able to benefit from it by getting a special price. Also, you can put in a cheaper carpet, or skip on the padding (With the landlord permission of course) you can also try to negotiate the landlord's participation in the costs in exchange for a extending the lease for a longer period of time.

The only situations I am aware of where a re-painting was required was by the Housing Authority for Section 8 tenants, during the annual inspection of premises. If you're not in Section 8 program, Jon is on target; it was a new place, you were the only occupant, you caused the carpet to be nasty - you are responsible for that to be kept in good condition. With the settlement issues, you might find your landlord willing to listen, but the landlord isn't going to be so pleased to do upgrades after a rent reduction, IMO.

Ummmm obviously living with white/grey Berber carpets in the FAMILY room with children is not going to stay spotless after 3.5 years even with having it cleaned every 5-6 months. I care for my home Jon and that includes my carpets. You obviously don't have kids or white/grey Berber. Also, I've never heard of a landlord charging the tenant to repaint when they move out. Normal wear and tear happens and it is there responsibility to put fresh paint for new tenants. It is not our fault the house is settling anyway.
Also, no this isn't section 8 housing.
Has anyone ever had Berber carpets? They are impossible to upkeep and my landlord is realizing this now which is why he is taking them out of the other units. My point is this (I should have been more clear), when we move out they are going to put HW's in that room anyway so why not now when he is doing it next door? I'm sure he can get an even better deal.
FWIW, my landlord agreed to clean the carpets (hallway to the garage needs it) on his cost and we are going to discuss the HW in the living room this weekend. He might pay all or we might split it. As he said, we are good tenants of 3.5 years, we always pay our rent on time and we keep the inside and outside of our townhouse immaculate therefore he has no problem taking care of the normal wear and tear that happens in every home.
Thank u!

Look, obviously if you are a good tenant and he wants to keep you, he will come to term with you. It's just a matter of business sense.
To the fact that he replacing other units carpets and not yours assuming that those are vacant units, he potentially can get a higher rent. If you leave at the end of your lease,yes, he will have to replace the carpet as well, but again, he can raise the rent as well.

As I mentioned before, your bargaining chips got lower value once you requested a lower rent.

I have white berber carpet in my family room (and the bedrooms) and have been in my current house for 3 years with 2 small children. My carpet won't be getting replaced for quite some time...

I would agree that your family *is* being hard on the carpet. I wouldn't expect to replace my *own* carpet every 3.5 years and I certainly wouldn't want to do it in my rentals that frequently.

Sounds like you have a good relationship with your landlord so you should consider yourself fortunate that he is performing any of this at his expense.

I have been in my house for 3 years and my berber looks brand new, and I have a pet. If the carpets are nasty, it's because you made them that way...sorry. People are not allowed in my house with their shoes on either.

I had berber in my rental, White/gray, just like your I bet. it lasted 13 years and 4 tenants. That's because they cleaned it and made sure it was clean when they moved out, or good bye to they're security. IMO that's a judgement call on the part of your landlord. But don't be surprised if he tells you it's YOUR responsibility. I would, good tenant or otherwise. It great to have a tenant who pays on time, but just as great to have one who takes care of the place, that includes the carpets. Not to be nasty, if the carpet is that bad, there's NO WAY you cleaned it every 5-6 months.

I also tell them that NORMAL wear and tear is expected, but filthy isn't. I'm surprised he hasn't said anything to you after his 6 month inspection. Not sure if he does them, but I do. And I would have made mention of that to you.

Please pardon my candor, I'm not trying to be a jerk. But it is what it is.


IMO, the OP is fortunate that this landlord isn't viewing this thread; if he were, he might have a change of mind ...

Oh, Steve. You would never know. He may already did... :joker:

I don't think she like our answers to her questions?

old post but....

nice to peer into the thoughts of your classic "not-my-problem" tenant.

I am not surprised by the ignorance. It sounds like she just wanted support for her opinion.

Just to give you an idea of perspective folks. Paint has a life expectancy on an interior of 15 years. Carpet is 10 years.

This is the standard set by the insurance industry for depreciation. So if you have a long term tenant, you should be repainting the interior once every 15 years and replacing the carpet once every 10 years.

Any wear and tear that occurs faster than that is because of the lifestyle of the tenant.

I love how she asks for lower rent and then HW floors! Classic tenant/ never owned anything. I also like the declaration of her rights. I see this all the time on cops and I love it!

Originally posted by Jeffrey Koenig:
I love how she asks for lower rent and then HW floors!

I just saw that. Maybe we can get her some European style wood floors.

It's an old post, so OP probably isn't still around.

I might touch up the paint if the house settled and had cracks that needed repair. Not new paint throughout, but spackle and touch up.

No way would this tenant get new flooring after destroying what was new when they moved in. However, I might get my carpet cleaner in and have the carpets professionally cleaned as a lease signing bonus for another year.

I've got berber in 2 units. I won't do it again, but one unit, the berber is 8 years old and still cleans up nicely. The other, the berber is 4 years old and looks really good

It cleans well and it is the easiest carpet to vacuum. The problem with berber in a rental is that the seams run and the tenant won't take care of it. But it definately is easy to keep clean.

I would suggest that you speak to your landlord and perhaps offer to pay for part of the floor replacement. You could also offer to sign a longer lease if you plan on staying, that may give him some incentive. I know kids are hard on carpet but it should not be ruined after 3 years.

I realized that this original post is quite old and the poster either moved on or got the carpet replaced. This is more for the landlords out there and here is my quick 2 cents bottom line. If the tenant moves, the landlord would have to replace the carpet anyway, if the tenant is of a kind, a landlord would love to have, it would be more cost effective to pay for the carpet replacement and keep that tenant.

Eddie, please allow me to point out, very gently, that if a tenant moves into a place with brand new paint and brand new carpet and within 3 years both paint and carpet are ruined, that tenant is NOT the kind that a landlord would love to have.

Yes, you have to replace the carpet and repaint when they move out. But if you give them new carpet and new paint, they will ruin that quickly and you will still have to redo the carpet and paint when they move out, only you will have done it twice.

Kids do not destroy paint and carpet if the parents actually watch them and teach them manners. If the children ruined the carpet and ruined the paint, then the parents are responsible for that damage. They are financially responsible and they are morally responsible because they allowed their childrent to run wild like little wild piglets with no supervision.

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