Can a landlordmake a tenant pay to replace all the carpeting in an apartment if only one area in the living room showed wear and tear?

I have lived in an apartment for 2 years. I have decided to move. The apartment states that the living room has wear and tear to it so they need to replace the carpet in the entire apartment and charge me for the cost.

Asked on March 7, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Tennessee

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You are not responsible for ordinary wear and tear--that is the landlord's responsibility. As a tenant, you would only be responsible for damage you, your family, your guests, or your pets did, which exceeds ordinary wear and tear: for example, pet urine or red wine stains, rips from moving your furniture around, cigarrette burns, etc.

If you are responsible for this damage, then whether you can be made to replace all the carpet depends on the circumstances. Basically, if the only way to have matching carpet in the carpetted areas (assuming that it had been matching before) would to replace it all, then you could be forced to pay for total replacement. If matching is not an issue or if the damaged section can be replaced and matched, then you should probably only be charged for that. The idea is, if you do damage beyond normal wear and tear, you are responsible for the costs to set things right, whatever that reasonably costs.


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