If my dog ruined the carpets in a room I have been renting outbut they were notnew when I moved in,what is the replacement cost thatI should pay?

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If my dog ruined the carpets in a room I have been renting outbut they were notnew when I moved in,what is the replacement cost thatI should pay?

For 1 year I have rented a room out of my landlord’s house. My dog had urinated on the carpet in the room frequently and the LL is having the carpet in the room replaced. The carpet was not new when I moved in. My lease states, “Renter will promptly pay for repairs or replacement of any owners property that the renter has damaged.” What do I owe her for the carpet replacement costs?

Asked on April 16, 2011 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If the carpet needs to be replaced, you liable for the cost of putting in new carpet of the same approximate quality or value as the carpet that was destroyed or ruined. In the absence of a specific lease term like that which you cite, it may that you could make an argument that you are only liable for the then-value of the destroyed property (though that argument applies more to things like washers, dryers, etc. that do have a "used" value; carpet though does not); however, the language you cite states clearly that the tenant has to pay for repair (if it can be repaired) or replacement. In this case, it seems you'd be liable for the cost to replace, though again, it's only of like quality--the landlord cannot use the opportunity to upgrade (or rather: he can, but needs to pay the premium for the upgrade himself, and just charge you the cost for like quality).


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