Do I have to pay for carpet pad repair and floor sealing for something that was there beforeI moved in?

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Do I have to pay for carpet pad repair and floor sealing for something that was there beforeI moved in?

This is due to urine. I don’t have a cat or dog and I sure didn’t do it. I lived in this apartment for more than 10 years and told I was not responsible for carpet replacement. I have birds in cages. The carpet, as far as I know was not new when I moved in. What can I do to get out of this?

Asked on September 28, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Legally, a tenant is not responsible for the cost of repairing or replacing damage which he or she (or his or her family, guests, pets, etc.) did not due. Practically, it can sometimes be difficult to prove who caused what damage; it also sometimes costs more to fight, given the cost of lawsuits, etc., then to pay.

Leaving aside those practical considerations, if you don't think you should pay, then what you do depends on what the landlord does:

1) If the landlord takes the money out of your security deposit, you'd need to sue him/her (maybe in small claims court) for  the money, to get it back.

2) If the landlord sue you for the money (e.g. asks for it and you don't pay), then you'd look to defend yourself in court.

In either event, you'd look to present evidence and testimony (of yourself, and of others with knoweldge) that would show that you did not create or cause the condition complained of.


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