After a lease has ended and a new tenant moves in, can a former tenant still be held responsible for the carpet?

UPDATED: Aug 22, 2011

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After a lease has ended and a new tenant moves in, can a former tenant still be held responsible for the carpet?

The new tenants complained of a smell after they steam cleaned the rug and the apartment complex is now saying I owe them $1200 for a new carpet.

Asked on August 22, 2011 Connecticut


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If you have moved out of your apartment and have received the return of your security deposit from the landlord, he or she will be hard pressed to now argue that you owe $1,200.00 for a new carpet if a significant amount of time has passed from when you vacated the apartment without any communication from the landlord to you over any problems with the carpet.

Many landlords claim "damage" to carpets or rugs as a pretense for not having to pay the costs for new ones when a tenant moves out where in reality the "damage" to the carpets or rugs result from their normal wear and tear and use by the tenant. The laws of all states do not require a tenant to repair or replace an item that has degraded through normal wear and tear.

Although the former landlord may claim you are responsible for a new carpet, in reality had you really damaged the carpet where a new one was needed, you would have heard about it before the new tenants moved in and complained of a smell after steam cleaning.

Good question.




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