Can a landlord make me pay for all new carpet?

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Can a landlord make me pay for all new carpet?

Rented for 3 years. Can agree that there was damage to carpet in 2 rooms; 1 room had pet urine, thought it was the kids bed-wetting; the other, the treads where being pulled out during vacuuming. I found to figure out: 1. price of old carpet 2. date installed 3. life of carpet. However, I am being made to pay based off of the new carpet cost not the old. They refuse to tell me the original carpet costs or install date and are threatening to sue. The carpet that was in there was cheap, the carpet installed now looks like a much nicer upgrade.

Asked on July 21, 2011 North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The landlord is not allowed to significanly upgrade quality if it has to replace carpeting or some other fixture or surface--not unless it can get the better quality for pretty much what it would have paid for the lesser quality (i.e. if there is no real economic difference, it's not required to go for the lesser). That said:

1) It does NOT have to base replacement cost on the cost of the original--what's available changes, there is inflation, etc. It can charge you for now applicable price for new carpet of comparable quality (or, as noted, better carpet if the better one costs about the same as the comparable would have, anyway).

2) If due to changes in the "carpet market" the landlord must upgrade, because the old quality or type is no longer available, if you damaged the old carpet, it can then make you pay for the upgrade--it is allowed to charge you to replace the carpet, so if the only carpet available is better, that's what you'd have to pay for.


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