What to do about pre-existing pet urine marks on carpet and baseboards in a house that I just bought?

UPDATED: Aug 27, 2011

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What to do about pre-existing pet urine marks on carpet and baseboards in a house that I just bought?

I purchased a house from this woman who had a small dog. When I first moved into the house, the carpets had been professionally cleaned 2 days before and a freshener had been applied. I stayed in the house 3 days, then returned to my summer home until late last month. When I returned, the carpets smelled of urine. I contacted the previous owner who denies her dog ever urinated in the house. I removed the carpet in one of the rooms after finding urine marks with a black light. I found urine stains in every room of the house. I contacted the woman again and sent pictures and she denied everything.

Asked on August 27, 2011 Tennessee


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

In all states of this country, a seller of real property is required to disclose all items that he or she knows about before close of escrow in writing to all potential buyers that could materially affect the desirability or price paid for the property. The presence of pet urine at a home being sold are something that needs to be disclosed in writing before close of escrow.

You need to have an expert take samples of the carpet at the house you bought to prove the presence of undisclosed pet urine at the home you bought that was not disclosed to you before close of escrow. You also need to get estimates for new carpet and the repairs/remediation of the pet urine smell and damage from the house you bought.

When you receive the report and estimates, send copies to the prior owner requesting payment for such. If she refuses, your recourse is a legal action.

Good luck.


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