Can a landlord charge for full replacement of carpets for a stain or do they have to prorate it based on the age of the carpet and life expectancy?

UPDATED: Aug 23, 2011

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Can a landlord charge for full replacement of carpets for a stain or do they have to prorate it based on the age of the carpet and life expectancy?

I recently leased a home and also have a home that is currently being leased so I am on both sides of the equation. If there are some stains that won’t come up after a steam cleaning,can a landlord charge for full price of replacing the carpets or do they have to prorate the carpet based on the age and life expectancy of the carpet. For instance, if the carpet has a life of 10 years and it is already 6years ol,d can they charge full cost of replacement?

Asked on August 23, 2011 Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

A landlord can charge the full cost of replacement, regardless of the age of the carpet, though he or she cannot "upgrade" the carpet--i.e. the replacement must be of comparable quality to what was destroyed. (Or: the landlord can upgrade, but needs to pay the different in price; he or she can only get from the tenant the cost of comparable carpet.)

Also, the landlord can only charge the tenant for the carpet if the tenant--or tenant's family, friends, pets, guests, etc.--caused the stains. If the stains predated the tenant or were caused by the landlord or the landlord's employees or contractors, then the tenant is not responsible for the replacement cost.

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