If my tenant decided to pull up the carpet in one of the bedrooms without my consent, can I charge for replacement carpet and install?

I am moving back in my home after a year of renting it out. Can I charge my tenant for replacing the carpet she tore up without my consent? It will be my son’s bedroom and I want carpet in there? It was, however, very old carpet. What percentage can I charge her? It was clearly stated in the lease that all significant changes to the property needed to have written consent from the owner. I don’t want to go to court over this, I just don’t think I should have to pay for it all. I would have left the old carpeting that was there. She tore it up for cosmetic reasons only.

Asked on July 19, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Ohio

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If she tore up the carpet without your permission and didn't replace the carpeting, the cost assessed to her would be the cost of replacement discounted for the age of that carpet.  You cannot get a new carpet and install if the old carpet was indeed old and stained for example.  If it was hygenically not appropriate for her to keep the carpeting, I agree she should have sought your permission but in any case, she cannot be charged for the entire replacement. Charging her a quarter of the cost and replacement should be sufficient but you need to show costs and receipts as part of your final breakdown to her upon move out, in order to show deductions and prove deductions from her security deposit.


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