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Unread 01-29-2008, 02:08 PM
 
Location: Hampton Roads, Virginia
1,123 posts, read 3,203,810 times
Reputation: 610
Default How do landlords judge 'normal wear and tear'

Here is the situation... our daughter lived in a condo for 4 years and just moved back home this weekend. When she moved into the condo, the carpet was brand new. Needless to say, after 4 years of having friends over and partying the carpet was a mess. However, mom and dad came to the rescue and spent 1 1/2 days cleaning and scrubbing and I say the carpet (and the whole condo) looks like normal wear and tear. We got 95% of the stains out and the ones left are barely visible - just barely noticeable. During the walk thru, the owner was disappointed with the carpet - and I was shocked at that. However, I agreed that he could hire a professional carpet cleaner to do it again. I felt like he expected the carpet to still look brand new... he even said 'You know the carpet was brand new 4 years ago'. Huh????

The only reason I worry a bit is because that deposit is ours.... Over the years I have rented apts and houses, and DD's carpet is way better than some of those rentals. Just curious what landlords would think. I know it is a hard thing to quantify, but it really looked good for 4 years old...
Thanks
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Unread 01-29-2008, 03:02 PM
 
Location: NW Montana
6,259 posts, read 7,699,583 times
Reputation: 3307
Quote:
Originally Posted by stacylee926 View Post
Here is the situation... our daughter lived in a condo for 4 years and just moved back home this weekend. When she moved into the condo, the carpet was brand new. Needless to say, after 4 years of having friends over and partying the carpet was a mess. However, mom and dad came to the rescue and spent 1 1/2 days cleaning and scrubbing and I say the carpet (and the whole condo) looks like normal wear and tear. We got 95% of the stains out and the ones left are barely visible - just barely noticeable. During the walk thru, the owner was disappointed with the carpet - and I was shocked at that. However, I agreed that he could hire a professional carpet cleaner to do it again. I felt like he expected the carpet to still look brand new... he even said 'You know the carpet was brand new 4 years ago'. Huh????

The only reason I worry a bit is because that deposit is ours.... Over the years I have rented apts and houses, and DD's carpet is way better than some of those rentals. Just curious what landlords would think. I know it is a hard thing to quantify, but it really looked good for 4 years old...
Thanks
First, as a pm I will tell you that you are on the hook for the damages to the unit. The landlord will need to do repairs to make the unit sparkle for the next tenant. I would have your daughter refund the entire deposit to you then let the landlord send you an accounting. It is his/her determination as to the damage, but know that no one wants to go to court and I know that I usually scale to the low side just to avoid such problems. After you recieve your accounting, usually a requirement in most states within 30 days, then go over it carefully. Make calls if you think the charges for different repairs are higher than you think they should be so you have a point of ref for the friendly follow-up call you will make. The landlord knows anything that that passes verbally between you can be considered binding so give him time to digest. You should not be signing for or contributing to any type of rental agreement that you are not in control of. Ok, no more scolding, good luck and update when you can
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Unread 01-29-2008, 03:45 PM
 
Location: Maryland
1,668 posts, read 4,893,803 times
Reputation: 1443
Normal wear and tear is subjective. You can check out web-sites, like Life expectancy - Oldhouseweb.com to see life expectancy of household items. If there is obvious abuse, you will be responsible, but if the rest of the place is cared for, worn carpet (to a point) is expected.
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Unread 01-29-2008, 04:16 PM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
1,368 posts, read 4,129,768 times
Reputation: 494
Quote:
Originally Posted by stacylee926 View Post
Here is the situation... our daughter lived in a condo for 4 years and just moved back home this weekend. When she moved into the condo, the carpet was brand new. Needless to say, after 4 years of having friends over and partying the carpet was a mess. However, mom and dad came to the rescue and spent 1 1/2 days cleaning and scrubbing and I say the carpet (and the whole condo) looks like normal wear and tear. We got 95% of the stains out and the ones left are barely visible - just barely noticeable. During the walk thru, the owner was disappointed with the carpet - and I was shocked at that. However, I agreed that he could hire a professional carpet cleaner to do it again. I felt like he expected the carpet to still look brand new... he even said 'You know the carpet was brand new 4 years ago'. Huh????

The only reason I worry a bit is because that deposit is ours.... Over the years I have rented apts and houses, and DD's carpet is way better than some of those rentals. Just curious what landlords would think. I know it is a hard thing to quantify, but it really looked good for 4 years old...
Thanks
If the carpet was brand new, and there are still stains (not just the carpet lacking its luster after 4 years) then the landlord will probably want to get it back to a fairly decent state.

If he asks to replace it, I'd say thats probably going too far... but, paying for professional cleaners? Not terribly unreasonable.

Wear and tear is fixing things that normally wear down... stains aren't normal 'wear and tear'. Holes from tacks in the walls from posters, thats normal.
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Unread 01-29-2008, 05:55 PM
 
12,572 posts, read 21,901,468 times
Reputation: 6928
Very Good Question...

I provide every new resident a one page list of examples of "Wear and Tear" vs. Damage. It has proved to be very helpful in avoiding misunderstandings, especially when used along with the "Inventory and Condition" Checklist.

Carpet Depreciates... so even if the carpet was a total loss, It would not be reasonable for a tenant to bear the full replacement cost after 4 years of use.

Leigh Robinson authored a very Helpful Book titled Landlording I would recommend this book to anyone considering becoming a Landlord. He has an entire Chapter dealing with Security Deposit and Damage issues.

Last edited by Ultrarunner; 02-15-2012 at 03:29 PM..
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Unread 01-30-2008, 07:30 AM
 
Location: Hampton Roads, Virginia
1,123 posts, read 3,203,810 times
Reputation: 610
Thank you all for your advice. The landlord has been very reasonable and the walls in the bedrooms were a mess - DD nailed everything up - but he is a contractor himself and had no problems with the walls and nail holes because he will repaint.

He also has 2 possible tenants lined up so that should ease his mind.

The stains were not terribly obvious and I feel pretty confident that a pro will get up those last remaining faded spots.
Thanks again for the advice!
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Unread 01-30-2008, 05:53 PM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
1,368 posts, read 4,129,768 times
Reputation: 494
Quote:
Originally Posted by stacylee926 View Post
Thank you all for your advice. The landlord has been very reasonable and the walls in the bedrooms were a mess - DD nailed everything up - but he is a contractor himself and had no problems with the walls and nail holes because he will repaint.

He also has 2 possible tenants lined up so that should ease his mind.

The stains were not terribly obvious and I feel pretty confident that a pro will get up those last remaining faded spots.
Thanks again for the advice!
Cool! Glad the landlord was reasonable.

And yeah, repainting is a fairly common wear and tear item.
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Unread 07-02-2012, 11:01 AM
 
1 posts, read 18,913 times
Reputation: 11
Default "Wear and Tear"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultrarunner View Post
Very Good Question...

I provide every new resident a one page list of examples of "Wear and Tear" vs. Damage. It has proved to be very helpful in avoiding misunderstandings, especially when used along with the "Inventory and Condition" Checklist.

Carpet Depreciates... so even if the carpet was a total loss, It would not be reasonable for a tenant to bear the full replacement cost after 4 years of use.

Leigh Robinson authored a very Helpful Book titled Landlording I would recommend this book to anyone considering becoming a Landlord. He has an entire Chapter dealing with Security Deposit and Damage issues.


Could you give examples of the one page list you use?
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Unread 07-02-2012, 12:07 PM
 
Location: Phoenix AZ
2,848 posts, read 2,919,941 times
Reputation: 2952
Around here, it's fairly common to see leases that require the tenant to provide a paid receipt for carpet cleaning from a professional service ( no rug doctor rentals). Tenants expect very clean or new carpet. Reasonable wear & tear is at most a slight wear pattern, but stains are never "reasonable". The IRS allows carpet to be depreciated over five years, but if the carpet was six years old at move-in and in great shape, and destroyed @ move out a year later, I'd be sending a bill for replacement.

State laws vary, and in some areas depreciation is required, that is not the case everywhere. The IRS rules are only for tax purposes, not leasing purposes. The IRS allows me to depreciate a roof with a 40 year warranty over 15 years, and they require all "make ready" expenses on a new rental (even paint!) to be depreciated over 27.5 years. Quite a few tenants, and even a few landlords confuse & muddle state laws, irs rules, and area practices with "law" - and that isn't always helpful.
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Unread 07-02-2012, 12:15 PM
 
811 posts, read 613,133 times
Reputation: 809
Is the life expentacy of the carpet a state thing or a lease thing? When we rented at a highrise the life span of carpet was 5 years. We moved into brand new carpet. We lived there 5 years so in the end when we notified the complex that we bought a house and were not renewing I asked them about the carpet. The rep said, not to even worry about it because the 5 years was up and they were going to put new carpet down anyway. They said if we moved out after 4 years there would be a partial fee (depending on the state of the carpet) to replace it.
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