Am I liable for the full replacement value of a damaged carpet or am I liable for only the depreciated cost?

UPDATED: Jan 8, 2012

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Am I liable for the full replacement value of a damaged carpet or am I liable for only the depreciated cost?

I rented an apartment for 2 years. During the time I mistakenly bleached the carpet in a couple of spots and I agree I am liable for the carpet. Am I liable to replace the carpet with a new carpet or am I liable for the depreciated value of the old carpet. If it is the depreciated value is there a standard life for a carpet and does the landlord have to tell me the cost and age of when the carpet was installed.

Asked on January 8, 2012 under Real Estate Law, South Carolina


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Under the laws of most states in this country, the landlord is repsonsible for the depreciated costs of the carpet when the tenant moves out assuming that the damage results from ordinary wear and tear.

In your situation, the bleach issue is not not a part of ordinary wear and tear. Under the laws of all states in this country, you would be responsible for the depreciated value of the carpet as opposed to brand new carpet. Possibly a real good carpet installer can simply cut out a portion of the bleached carpet and replace it with a piece that matches so that the landlord does not have to buy a whole new carpet for the unit.

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