What is a tenant’s liabilty regarding carpet replacement?

UPDATED: Aug 9, 2012

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What is a tenant’s liabilty regarding carpet replacement?

We had 2 dogs that urinated on carpets many times when they missed their pads. We did have a puppy and the landlord OK’d the puppy and we paid pet deposits for both dogs and a security deposit for a of total $1900. The landlord now wants to charge n astronomical amount on top of the $1900 to replace the carpets. What am I responsible for? The carpets were 5 years old, 2400 square feet of carpet.

Asked on August 9, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Colorado


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If a tenant--or the tenant's family, guests, or friends--ruins a landlord's carpet, the landlord can charge the tenant the cost of replacement. Since urinating on the carpet "many times" would ruin a carpet and require replacement, the landlord can charge you. He can charge the actual current cost of replacement, and is not limited to the security deposit (which also has to cover other damage and any missed rent) or pet deposit. For example, you say you paid $1,900. Say that the cost of re-carpeting (including replacing the pad underneath, and possibly urine-stained subflooring in spots) is $3,000, and you also did $300 of other damage to the unit (e.g. the dogs scratched up a cabinet). Your total liability is $3,300. The landlord could keep the $1,900 and charge you another $1,400.

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